Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hello Hardship, My Old Friend

I have been in such a fog lately because of my mother-in-laws illness. I think we must be only at the 2 month mark at this point, but it has been so intense. She has been down in Fargo for at least 5-6 weeks and the 2 weeks before at home she was really starting to need a lot of care at home. Life does go on, there is no stopping the merry-go-round. I had signed up for 2 online classes before all of this. The first will train me how to provide an online class. It is 6 weeks long and the pace is very fast The second is only 2 weeks long and just started last week. We are entering week 5 of my first class so in a few short weeks we will be all done.

I often am presenting workshops, or out selling for the business and I end up feeling like I have to look a certain way (smiling, friendly, cheerful, happy) when I may not be feeling that way. So I end up feeling plastic. Also, in my husbands family, you really don't share very much with other people and so I am constantly trying to figure out what I can and can't share. I have gotten burned a few times after sharing private information with a neighbor or sister, or friend and then it comes around and bites me. I end up being vague about what I am struggling with because I don't want EVERYONE in the world knowing what is going on, but then I feel closed off, a plastic doll whose emotions are stuck inside.

The boys have been fighting more than usual lately. My 13 year old has been very close to his Grandma. He has gone to Fargo to see her every single weekend. This is not a joy ride. 2 hour drive down there, then either sit in a little tiny ICU room with at the most 1 chair, or go over to the hotel room with it's little beds and so small floor area. My husband and he are often down there together and they would take turns using the chair. One standing while the other sat. Benjamin would hold my mil's hand for hours. I know the one weekend I was down there, I held her hand a lot and she would dig into the back of my hand with her strong, hard nails. I thought perhaps she was mad at me, but then found out that she was also doing this to her sons and Benjamin. When they were not able to be in the room, they would have to wait in the family waiting room, which was often full. They would end up standing in the hallway outside the ICU, leaning against the wall, waiting to go in to see her. I am proud of how he has been so faithful to her.

It is interesting to see how a crisis is seen by others. How many people have called to offer help, but not anything specific. I am so exhausted, I wish that if people were going to bring food, they would have done so when we were trying to care for her at home. Or when we had been gone all weekend down to Fargo, and still had to get a whole weekends worth of work done in 2 hours. We are bringing her back to Fosston today. She will be in the nursing home. This is such a great solution. To have her close where we can all go and be with her. For an hour, or 15 minutes if the kids act up. We can drive seperatly so I can take the kids home when they have had enough. I would think perhaps her friends would go to say goodbye to her.

I found an article in the World magazine recently titled "Hello Hardship, My old Friend". It talks about how in James it says "Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials". Hmm.. I think I am going to have to work on the joy part. I need to re-think what joy is. Does it mean that I am just supposed to focus on the parts that are positive? I can see that this is maturing my son. For him to go down there each weekend and be so faithful in the face of a very hard time. I so admire my husband too. He is so steady. No pity parties for himself or the difficulties we are going through. He just keeps working hard, being faithful, taking care of his mom and so many details. Working with his brother for the best result. I think I almost most admire my brother-in-law. He has been taking care of my mil for weeks. Selflessly. Tirelessly. Seeking God through all of this.