I've been sitting here staring at the blank page for over 20 minutes... drinking coffee and trying to think of something, with a meaningful point, to write about.
I have come up with nothing.
So I thought I would just start typing and see where it leads. Such planning and forethought is inspiring, no?
It's the first day in over 3 weeks that I am home without the boys and have no plans for my day. It's freeing and stressful all at once. I have the freedom to do nothing and rest... but I have a list of things a mile long to do, and the undone-ness of it all is staring me in the face... which in turn is stressful.
The past week (maybe two, but my brain doesn't function properly anymore so who knows) have been difficult. The Captain is declining at a steady rate. So much so, his hospice nurse thought he would pass last weekend... but then he rebounds a bit and is up, laughing and eating... so it is still incredibly uncertain as to what to expect.
Life for me right now looks incredibly strange. On one hand, I look and live part of my days as a single mother, trying to get housework done, trying to raise boys, trying to learn how to do life on my own. And on the other hand I am a married woman... traveling to see my husband, spend time with him, make sure he sees the boys, that the boys hug and see him... striving to make decisions based on what Andy would want.
It is a weird and abnormal balance.
I was chatting with my Father-In-Law the other day about Andy. More specifically how I am dealing/grieving. I told him that it has been so long... well over 2 years since I have had the Andy I knew. And even before that... the Captain changed so much after Caden's death, I have been slowly grieving the loss of My Andy for a very, very long time. So even though watching him these past few months has been difficult, I feel like I have been in the midst of losing him for much longer.
I remember hanging out with a friend and her family around this same time last year. Seeing her and her husband interact, watching how involved and interactive he was with her and his kids was heartbreaking for me... it was that experience that made me fully realize that I no longer had that with Andy. And it broke my heart. I remember crying for days... I grieved then. It wasn't his fault... it was the cancer. And we both had been living so close to it for so long that I didn't even realize life was as hard and as different as it had been, until I got some new perspective. I look back on that time of realization and grieving as a blessing. God has allowed me to see, and process, and grieve slowly... and still be able to sit next to and hold Andy's warm hand... and that is not something I was able to do after losing Caden. To ache for something that is gone and not be able to have comfort is so hard. God has given me time to have both simultaneously with the Captain.
Andy and I made the decision for him to go and live his final days at his parents home a long time ago, when he was still fully capable of making that decision. When we discussed it, we knew we wanted to protect our boys from seeing things that could change them forever, maybe even tarnish the memory of their daddy. We did it out of love. We chose a hard thing for us, so they could have more peace and freedom.
It hit me just the other day that my in-law's are doing the same thing for me.
I struggle, so much, with wanting to do more.... be with Andy more. On one hand I feel like I need to be with my boys as much as possible. I do not want them to feel like they have lost both parents at once. On the other hand, I feel like I do not spend enough time helping out and being with Andy. It is something I struggle with everyday. But as I was sorting through things in my mind the other day, I realized that my sweet Mother-in-law and Father-in-law, by taking Andy in, caring for him and allowing me to care for my kids, have protected me from seeing and experiencing things with my husband that could change my memory of him...
I am aware that some women in my situation never have the choice, and have to be the caretaker... and I think God honors and blesses that. But I am so thankful that I have family that loves me, cares for me and allows me the freedom to care for my sons.
I was sitting next to Andy the other day, wondering what God was doing... wondering why Andy had to have days where he is in pain, why God allows people to linger when they are in such a state. (not super pretty thoughts, but real) And I was gently reminded that God has a plan and purpose for all things... even the hard and painful things. He uses the things in our lives to teach us, as well as teach others, who are watching from a distance. He is a God who wastes nothing. I might not fully understand or see what God is doing in these hard and final days... But God has a perfect and Holy plan. And because I trust God, I choose to lay my uncertainness, my doubt, my heartache down at His feet over and over again.
I am actively leaning into the only One who can make all of this beautiful.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.