Monday, August 12, 2013

Life Pit Stops

A little over a month ago, we had to say good-bye to someone that we loved.  

It was unexpected and terribly sad.  Then, in an early moment of our grief, we realized that we were the ones asked to take care of closing the estate.  Never before have I dealt with the conflicting feelings of honor and grief to such an extreme level.  Not even when my father died because at that stage of my life, barely more than a child, I was given a pass and left to my own personal grieving without any worry of what would be happening next.

This time, I knew I needed to step up and to take care of those 'loose ends'.  I had help and my family graciously devoted their summer vacation to come and stay with us during the process.  In an odd way that sometimes happens in the middle of deep sadness, our family bonded even closer together and we discovered an even deeper feeling of love. 

Ultimately though, I learned that I am made of steel as are most all of us.  Those loose ends required ten hour days of cleaning, packing, moving, selling and even some remodeling.  Through all of it, our life did not stop.  Blood sugars raged on, infusion sets needed changing and as a part of JDRF, might duties did not stop. 

Sometimes I had to stop and cry (or rage) but then, I would dig deeper and find a way through this life pit stop. 

Even on the day when my husband, heroically carrying furniture, stepped off the wrong step and snapped his leg.  My advice on this is simply to DRAG your husband, who is insisting that his very swollen and bruised leg is FINE, straight to the doctor for x-rays.  You both will be very glad that you did although he may discover that the real pain of healing happens a few days later.  Then hopefully, you will also have kind friends that bring him manly goodie packages and make a fuss when you as a wife, no longer can. 

Even on the day that my oldest daughter cheerfully chowed down 90 grams of store-bought cookies (throughout the day) - with no dosing of insulin just to get herself above 80!  And let me say, that if you find yourself in a situation like this, bring a warehouse size box of cookies because I guarantee that you will see blood sugars so low that you might even think, "It's a miracle!  She is cured!"

Even on the two days that our sweet niece and our oldest daughters celebrated birthdays, which included quickly procured store bought goodies and some cash in an envelope, to which they both declared 'the best birthday ever', even though you were driving right back to cleaning, packing, moving and remodeling situation.

Even on the many days when you worked until 9:00 p.m. at night and still had to come back into the house to make dinner while feeling guilty that they were left to fend for themselves most of the day.  Even though we have budding teens and tweens, I have always been one to help the kids make choices and oversee carb counting.  I am proud to say that the kids stepped into the role of independence without so much as a blink, taking all of that onto their shoulders so that we could work.  Now do I want them to continue that?  No, and already as life slips back into our normal, those duties have been redistributed evenly.

Even on the days when you have to stop what you are doing to head over to an endocrinology appointment and hope for the best because trying to spend extra time on numbers is more time than you have at the moment. 

Even on the days where things you thought had been taken care of, somehow magically unraveled once again... such as mail forwarding and then a not-so-helpful postal worker telling the neighbor that he was keeping packages at his office. 

All of that and so much more not even worth reliving, require strength and fortitude to continue on.  If there are days where you think that you can not handle one more thing, dig deeper and find the strength to do it.  I guarantee that within all of us are limitless supplies, we only have to find them.

For us, the hard part is mostly over with a few bits here and there.  Husbands leg will continue to heal and our daughter's blood sugars are back to normal with no life-threatening lows.  In fact, as I write this, my nighttime routine is even normal again - with only one check and not the multiple checks that I was making all through July and part of August. 

Amazing how that happened and I didn't even notice it.  See, life is funny that way.

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