Those are usually ominous, and, yes, dramatic words. But this isn’t a post about anything ominous. Dramatic, maybe. Because, let’s be real here: I’m a dramatic person. And my life as I know it, is over. That’s happened several times over in my life. Maybe yours too. First, you graduate high school. You’re classified in the eyes of the law as an “adult”. But really, “adult” is put into quotes because that’s a relative term. I’ve seen many adults act like complete…well…you get the picture. So, if you’re blessed enough to graduate high school, maybe you choose to go to college. So, that past life as you know it, is over. Then you graduate college, maybe go on towards a career, or marriage or family and, once again, life as you knew it is over. These don’t have to be downtrodden times. It just means things are growing and changing. And you all know how I LOVE *sarcasm* change! I swear I think my life has been one big ball of change. And not always the best kinds. I used to think the worst would be my parents’ divorce when I was 12. Then it was my beautiful child being born with a horrible disease know as Muscular Dystrophy. The worst change was his death. I used to think of my life in terms of B.W. and A.W. Before William died, and after William died. Because let’s face it: when your kid dies, your life as you knew it, is most definitely over! You have to be in this new life without the things that made you a parent. You don’t watch cartoons anymore, you aren’t “forced” to watch the same movie every day five times a day. But then there’s this impenetrable loss that can be hard to overcome. The lucky few are those who do it. Especially when you aren’t blessed in being able to have more children, by birth or adoption.
My next “life as I know it” phase began when my husband was deployed. I was going along doing the best I could to keep my house and home in order while he was gone. But my health slowly declined. We joke that it was just a ploy to get him home. More of my dramatics! lol But the day had finally come. One my pulmonary doctor warned me about, but that I hoped I could avoid or have a few more years. I needed a trach…and a ventilator…Thus, life, as I knew it, was over. Surprisingly though, as frustrating (and sometimes depressing and heartbreaking) as this change has been, I’m still finding my way and trying to do something special with my life. Something worthy that God will be proud of. Something that makes me happy and where I don’t feel like a useless slug. Do I still get pissed that I studied my ass off for 6 years just to get 2 degrees I can no longer use? Absofreakinglutely! But I believe God made me for a purpose and that purpose isn’t to lay in this bed forever like a bump on a log! So I’ve started getting out more when I’m able. Sure I don’t last longer than 3-5 hours. But I’ve stopped thinking this life couldn’t be lived anymore. I declared last summer the “Summer of Heather” and I haven’t looked back! This post has been more rambling than I intended so if you’ve stuck with it, thank you. But this is kind of how this blog seems to be going for me. A thought or phrase pops into my head and the thoughts just roll (ha! pun intended) from there! Because, life, as I know it, is over. But I think the best can still be yet to come!
I’ve felt worthless a lot in my life. Actually I guess ALL my life from one time or another. I’ve let my disability make me feel worthless, un-usable. Like I could be a BETTER daughter if only I could do more for myself. If only I didn’t get sick so much. If only I didn’t have accidents. Like I’d never be a good enough wife or mother. I can’t chase kids. Play with kids like I want. I couldn’t even have more than one kid. And even that kid died. So I screwed that up too! How ridiculous is that?? I let my circumstances effect how I felt for so long. You aren’t good enough. Those lies Satan told me have stuck with me so long. And while it felt so good when I went through moments of clarity and told him to shove it, he reared his evil head again and I would succumb to those negative thoughts, anxious feelings, and tears of sorrow. One of my favorite quotes from the Bible are from Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”.
I feel like my heart and soul have been through a metamorphosis since my William died. God really took me to task. I went through the usual phases of grief. I blamed God. I blamed myself. I blamed my husband. I blamed my disability. I blamed William’s disability. In the end, no matter the blame game, God meant for him to live as long as he did. I can’t change that no matter how many times I play in my mind what I could have done that night after we put him to bed and Kevin found him the next morning. And then you fill this need to procreate again. You want a replacement for your loss. And then you feel guilty for that because your child could NEVER be replaced! But, due to medical reasons, we surgically took the choice from us the day our beautiful angel was born. So no more children, at least biologically. We talked about adoption before William died. But afterwards it took a long time before Kevin even wanted to talk about it. Then, right when he decided he was ready to explore that option again, my health declined. And now I’m on a ventilator 24/7 just like William. I can’t be left alone or I could die. Just like William. Sometimes I feel the axe is swinging above my head and I’m waiting for it to drop and my life will end as well…When ones you love die and/or you come close to death, it becomes a frightening subject that your mind plays over and over…But if you cling to God, as I desperately tried to and still do, that word…DEATH…no longer becomes an axe. It becomes a blanket that will cover you one day so God will come and take you gently saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Come Home”.
But I digress. We were talking about feeling worthless. But now in my life is one of the biggest times I felt worthless. No more children. No more to be had. None I can adopt. None I can love, dress up for trick-or-treating, take to Santa, take to church, help with homework, watch them achieve milestones. I’ve defined myself by these moments. I can’t do them, I can’t have a child to do them with. And now I’m bedridden so I can’t be what (in my mind) constitutes a good and WORTHY wife! I can’t clean, can’t cook, etc…Boy maybe the theme of this blog post should be “The Can’t Diaries”. Despite all these feelings, God has slowly worked His wonders on my worthless-feeling heart. He gave me a husband who kisses away my tears and tells me he’d rather have me here with him, than with God and William. He’ll take me any way he can get me. I am thankful for that. I’m thankful that God will do that too. He’ll take me any way He can get me and then proceed to mold me and bend me to His Will. I am no longer worthless. If only we all realized our worth isn’t in some guide for how to live our lives. Our worth is shown in the words written in another book. Can you guess which one?? I’m sure you know, but in case you don’t, I’m gonna say it. The Bible. Come on, you’re not surprised I said that! I’m a Bible thumper remember? Lol Thank you God for my worthiness. Even though I don’t feel worthy of You, I still am!
I have a lot to say. No, really I do. Isn’t that what everyone says? Everyone’s got an opinion. Everyone’s got an idea. Well if you’ve stumbled upon my blog or I have shamelessly linked you to it in self promotion, then you’ll find that I, too, have something to say. Sometimes I’m not quite sure what that is. But I usually get there. My life is totally uninteresting. It is also absolutely fascinating. The contrast of my life is like most people. Like that annoying chick off “The Bachelor”, my story is “tragic” but beautiful. But isn’t that everyone?? Ok, let’s scratch “tragic”, shall we? My life is amazing though I will say that. Am I rich? Famous? A celebrity? Nope. It’s amazing because every day I wake up. I breathe. Granted it’s thanks to a handy-dandy machine and some tubes through a hole in my throat. But it allows me to BE alive. Well, that and God’s grace. Gotta give Him the first props. And so I try to live.