Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

This Sucks

Date: 
Monday, August 13, 2012
Posted By: 
Wendy

How many times since you were widowed have you thought/said/yelled/cried, “This sucks!”  Too many times to count?  Me too and a lot of those times have been in the last few months. 

My family and I have spent way too much time in hospitals this summer and are practically single-handedly keeping the healthcare system going.  Between my 3 year old daughter and me, we have had two surgeries so far and have another planned for the end of the month.  Two are for Claire due to a cyst in her neck and one was for my back.  All were unexpected.  All threw a major wrench into the summer I had planned for us.  And all leave me with the overall feeling that we missed out on a lot of quality time together.  Yep, this sucks.  

Back in May, the kids and I designated Tuesdays as, “Mommy, Ian and Claire Day.”  We compiled a list of places we wanted to go and things we wanted to do this summer.  Destinations like the zoo, the Shedd Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center, and Santa’s Village were on the list. But as I write this, my nanny is out having fun with my kids instead of me.  Today, as with every day for the last three weeks since my surgery, she is taking them on adventures that I should be enjoying with them.  They are off to a train-themed restaurant for lunch and the library afterwards.  Last week, they went to the Museum of Science and Industry, the Botanic Gardens and the Kohl’s Children’s Museum.  And all this time, I’ve been stuck in my house, unable to drive or do anything else without popping oodles of pain pills.  This weekend, I ventured out to Target and to a store to buy some dancewear for Claire.  And I’m paying for it today.  This sucks!

The most challenging part of this situation is that I haven’t had a partner to lean on.  Not when decisions had to be made about the infected cyst in Claire’s neck, not when she was being wheeled away into the operating room, not when I was told the bulging disc in my back required surgery, not when I was worrying about what would happen to the kids if I was one of the few people who reacted adversely to anesthesia, not when yet another decision had to be made about Claire’s health and not when I needed someone to pick up all childcare and household responsibilities while I recovered.  Yes, I have had wonderful family, friends and even paid help fill the void.  But you know as well as I do, it isn’t the same.  And frankly, this sucks!

This summer has been reminiscent for me of the first few months after Chris died.  The feelings of isolation, despair, hopelessness, self-pity, etc., are all rearing their ugly heads.  The reality of being physically incapable of caring for my own children and the feelings that the best part of myself (the part that can walk around without pain) is missing are too familiar.  Heck, even the food very generous people have been dropping off are taking me back to that time.  And by the way, everything has been delicious.  It’s just that, I thought I knew how to handle most things by now.  I thought I was someone who could juggle it all—maybe not well all the time but juggle it nonetheless.  I thought I was prepared for how I would miss Chris during this time.  I thought his absence wouldn’t feel so obvious while I struggled with all this.  I was wrong.  And that sucks!   

Any minute now, the nanny will be back with the kids.  I know the first thing they’ll do when they get in the house is run to wherever they think I am and shower me with hugs and kisses.  They’ll want to tell me every detail of their day.  And they’ll seem perfectly fine.  They won’t seem to have been forever scarred by the fact that this summer didn’t go exactly as planned.  They won’t realize that we only got to experience one “Mommy, Ian and Claire Day”.  Thankfully, they will be glad to take me as I am.  And that definitely does not suck.  That is my biggest blessing in life and what I’m going to hold onto these next few weeks.  Make that the next few months because in September, even the dog needs surgery!

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