We’ve Got Two Lives – One We’re Given and the Other We Make

When I read Jenni’s blog post this morning, I felt like she was writing to me. (Go read her post – it’s full of some very wise words.)

“Lately I’ve been having difficulty getting the words out. My thoughts are disjointed paragraphs, and maybe that’s a reflection of life right now.”

2012 has been a tough year so far.

On December 30, Mike’s dad passed away from lung cancer. He was diagnosed in May, completed a round of chemo and radiation, and had been doing pretty well. We all thought Mike would have more time with his dad. But the Wednesday before Christmas, things started going downhill. A week and a half later, we gathered at the hospital to say our goodbyes.

Losing a parent is unlike any other loss. And Mike has handled it as best anyone can. I am SO proud of him.

It’s a long road back to “normal” life, if things can ever be “normal” again. But, like many tragedies, life goes on. So that’s what we’ve been doing. Living life among moments of sadness.

I want to give a HUGE thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of those who have been there for us, and especially Mike, over the past few weeks. We’re so lucky to have such an incredible support system. If there’s any silver lining to something like this, it’s realizing how many people you have to lean on.

* * * * *

Moving on to something that is far less important, but something I need to talk about.

A couple days ago I found out I have a stress fracture in my right foot and was put in a walking boot for the next four weeks.

No big deal, I thought to myself. After all, I went through the same thing with my left foot in college, crutches and all. It could be much worse.

But after the first day of lugging around my new accessory (which Mike and I affectionately named Boris), I broke down.

Then, at book club last night – a place where I normally can relax and recharge – I found myself unable to focus. I wasn’t myself.

I think the last few weeks have taken their toll more than I realized. And adding one more annoyance was more than my emotions could take.

When I’m in that low place, where I start to throw a pity party, my life feels full of inconveniences. Coming home at the end of a long day, only to have more than an hour’s worth of treatments to do. Having a coughing fit at my desk in the middle of the work day. Leaving a friend’s house early so I can make it home in time to do my meds. Remembering to wash out my med cups each and every night. I could go on.

Throwing this boot onto that pile only highlights all of the things I’m normally able to ignore.

So I’m in that place again, where I don’t have the energy to give myself to anyone. Right now I want to take care of Mike. To be there in whatever way he needs, while also taking care of myself – doing my meds, fueling my body with good food, getting a good night’s sleep.

And instead of feeling guilty, or wallowing, I’ve decided to let myself off the hook. I’m looking at this as a time to take things easy, to slow down. To reflect on what I DO have, what’s going well in my life and not what’s going wrong.

Because at the end of the day, walking around in Boris the boot isn’t so bad.

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4 thoughts on “We’ve Got Two Lives – One We’re Given and the Other We Make

  1. Firstly, my condolences to Mike and to you. I wish I could say something far wiser than that, but there it is.

    Secondly, I’m glad you named Das Boot. Boris is a good name.

    And lastly, yes. This is a good time to let yourself off the hook for a while. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask.

  2. Katharine, I continue to think of you & Mike, and I understand too well the loss of Dads last month.

    You deserve some time off to think, to dwell, and even to feel a little sorry for yourself. That’s OK. Sometimes you may need to do that.

    You are very strong, and have been for Mike, as well as yourself. Every once in awhile you can’t be the strong one, and that’s OK.

    I like Boris, and I think you could BeDazzle him to make him even more enjoyable. 😉

    Take some time to relax. Read a good book. Be with Mike. That’s sometimes all you can do, and it’s enough for now.

    Many hugs!

  3. My condolences to Mike. 😦

    I was in a boot for about 6 weeks and it made me absolutely MISERABLE, so I don’t blame you at all for breaking down over it. It made every facet of my life just that much more difficult. Things that should be been easy became difficult chores.

    I’d say that you’re holding up extremely well under the circumstances!

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