The last time we spoke, I was feeling really overwhelmed. My mother-in-law just passed away. My kids were sick. Really, what else could go wrong?
I was trying really hard to be supportive of my family by doing whatever I could to cheer them up. It was the hug while crying. I found their feelings of anger and despair incredibly hard to deal with.
Saturday after posting, I took my daughter Arabella shopping to get a dress for her grandma’s funeral. We also went to get our nails done. I never took her in to get a manicure before and thought that it might bring her a little joy. She was having a hard time with a lot of tears and anger.
While I was running errands with my daughter, the doctor’s office was trying to get a hold of me about my son’s test results. I had to take him to the doctor on Friday instead of going along to plan the funeral. A few weeks ago, my son was on antibiotics for Strep while visiting his grandma in the nursing home a lot. With Martha’s weakened immune system, she came down with an intestinal bacteria that my son ended up contracting while on antibiotics which weakened his immune system. I’ll save you all of the gory details, but it is treatable with anther round of antibiotics.
While I was running around with my daughter, the doctor’s office tried calling me twice. I didn’t hear the phone ring and ended up carrying the phone in my hand while trying on dresses. When they finally got a hold of me, they chastised me saying something like a good parent stays by the phone while expecting a call from the doctor’s office. I wanted to say, “Hey lady, we have been through hell the last couple of days and I am running errands to prepare for his grandma’s funeral”. Instead, I said nothing and it added to my stress. Mark me down in your file as a bad parent, whatever…You have no idea..
Sunday Paul and I spent 8 hours driving to pick up our daughter from college. When we last spoke, she was out of state on tour with her choir. She was having a hard time hearing the news of her grandma’s loss then came down with the stomach flu the next day. I had envisioned her puking all the way home, but thankfully her fever was gone and she was feeling better when we picked her up.
Paul and I had plenty of time to talk on the way. He said that there was nothing out there that prepared him for his mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis. In the next couple of days, I am going to write something about what to expect having gone through it before I forget.
The funeral was on Monday. It was surprising how nice Martha looked. For some reason, that made things a little easier. The pastor gave a really touching sermon. He said that one time Martha heard that he was sick and said that she was praying for him. He said how humbling it was for someone with terminal cancer to be praying for someone with a cold. That was how she was. Then we buried Martha. It just didn’t seem real to me. I spent the last couple of days in a tunnel vision haze unable to think.
Then we went back to Darryl’s house with family to go through Martha’s belongings. Darryl’s sister thanked us for looking out for Darryl. We are not sure what will happen next since Darryl is Paul’s step dad. Darryl doesn’t have any family in the area and we will try to include him in our life as long as he wants to. We met his siblings for the first time at the funeral.
Then yesterday we drove Angel back to college. The real life realization was starting to sink in. Angel had a lot of homework to catch up on from being on tour and an unexpected trip home for the funeral. Paul and I were stressing about problems at work. Paul had a public speaking engagement today for work with over 100 people attending. That is an incredible amount of pressure.
I broke down on the way home. I felt like I was putting my feelings on hold to support everyone else. This time I cried. I mourned. (Not to mention being crazy from not being able to write or exercise).
We returned home last night utterly emotionally and physically exhausted from 18 total hours of driving with a funeral sandwiched in between that.
Every day it has been getting a little bit easier to deal with..