Friday, August 29, 2008

So I have this problem, it's called HYPOCRISY

So, I have this problem. It's called complete and total hypocrisy.

Here I finally post yesterday and all I do is whine, whine, whine, cry and complain. When my kids start their days like that, I give them ONE opportunity to turn around their attitude or they will lose a privilege - friend playing, crossing the street (which severely limits their friend-playing options), bike riding, scooter riding, treats, etc. According to my attitude yesterday, I deserve to lose one privilege. I hereby punish myself by taking away my right to make dinner. No wait, I take away my right to clean the toilets. No even worse, I take away my right to file any mail or coupons today.

Seriously, though, my hypocrisy is so thick you could eat it with a fork. Yuck.

Here I whine and complain that my shoes are discontinued, but didn't tell you I found ONE pair left on Ebay for less than $20 with shipping (provided they come as I assume they are going to and not a different line which just happened to me with the trampoline.)

I tell you I assembled the trampoline and the double glider by myself as if that is some punishment on me, but honestly, I stay home and don't currently work. Isn't that part of my current job description? And it isn't as if Brian doesn't WANT to do it. It breaks his heart to watch me do it and that is why he retreats to the basement and watches TV as I do such projects. You see, the hypocrisy doesn't end or start with me sitting here and writing out my complaints. Oh no. As Brian sits over my shoulder and tries to patiently give me advice on how to assemble the furniture or tries to hold something steady for me or tries to hand me the correct part, I snap at him for various stupid reasons that make me blush in humiliation just thinking of them, not the least of which is it simply gets on my nerves to have people stand around and watch me possibly screw up.

Sometimes I even cry to Brian just because I feel "so burdened." Are you kidding me?

This is the guy who is battling one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer known. He has undergone 4 major brain surgeries and several minor brain surgeries in 11 years. He has submitted himself to various forms of radiations. He has had 2 total hip replacements due to avascular necrosis as a result of the high dose of steroids he had to take. He suffers from major sinus issues I am sure that have become exacerbated by the numerous surgeries and chemotherapies he has endured. He lost a large percentage of his right side functions due to his April 2007 surgery. He can't use his right hand much at all. He walks with a significant limp because he has to will his right side to move. He taught himself how to do most everything left handed. He struggles cutting his steak because, come on, you need two hands to cut a good medium rare T-bone, but he often refuses to let me do it for him. He can't speak the same as he used to and is constantly interrupted and his sentences are constantly finished for him. He tolerates chemotherapy every 14 days right now and feels like crap for 6 out of those 14 days. And I CRY THAT I FEEL BURDENED?

I know what you are thinking of me right now and believe me, I think it of myself on a regular basis.
Brian endures all of this, and I am inconvenienced because I have to put together a few more things and pick up the slack on a few more household chores??? What the hell??? Where is my perspective?

I don't write this to get those "don't be so hard on yourself" or those "you are so strong" comments. Seriously. I. DO. NOT. I am human and I am not strong and I take it out on the very person I should be supporting the most.

I write this because I want you to understand the kind of person Brian is. I created this blog originally to notify our family and friends of Brian's condition. I have used it as a platform to chronicle our lives with kids as well. I have also used it as a way to vent my frustrations. I have used it as a soapbox for my opinions. But today, I use it to tell you that my husband, Brian O'Neill, is one of the most amazing individuals you could ever meet.

He endures all that I detail in that paragraph above, but he never complains. He is a thirty-five year old man who has had so much stripped away from him, but he handles it with more optimism, dignity and grace than most do when faced with a bad call at a kids soccer game.

Example: When asked if his speech issues bother him, he replies like this.

Example: Yesterday when begged by his 5-year-old who simply wants his Daddy to play with him, he finds a way to maneuver himself onto that trampoline, get onto his shaky feet (this is hard for him with those right side deficits) and muster the strength in his left hand while willing his right hand to play along to throw that little boy in the air laughing hysterically all the way to his bouncy fall on the mat. I watched that yesterday and marveled at his dignity while feeling so ashamed of my own self-pity.

Example: He has found a way to play catch with his left hand only. He can catch the ball in his right-handed glove (the glove that goes on the left hand) and throw it with the same hand.

Your life, if you could meet this man, would be better because you sat down and had a conversation with him. You would be touched by his empathy. You would laugh at his wit. You would be awed by his optimism. You would marvel at his character. You would take some of it with you and you would make the world a better place because it started with him.

And I think, when I reflect on all of this, that my hypocrisy and my snapping at him and my complaining is more a reflection of my own self-pity at the incomprehensible thought of losing this man from my life. It isn't the extra work that burdens me. It is the constant threat of life without him.



  1. I am sitting in my office right now with tears welled up in my eyes.

    It is the last line of your post that got me.. "It is the constant threat of life without him"..

    Angie..You are blessed.. not that you need to hear me say that.. but I read your blog and feel love.. I can only imagine how it is in your house.

  2. Wow. Okay, I won't say "good for you" or "don't be so hard on yourself" but I do think you're doing a great job at reminding yourself (and me) that we should be grateful for what we have. Thank you!

  3. Hey Angie, I don't know if you realize it, but you and I had this exact same conversation a few years back. I think it was exactly 10 years back, as a matter of fact.

    Except the complainer was me, and the strong person was you. I was apologizing to you because I wanted to go to you to complain about my life, my "big" problems, yadda yadda yadda. But I felt so horrible unloading on you when I thought about what you were going through with Brian.

    You responded with, "G, I don't want you, or anybody, to ever think that just because I have big problems, that somehow their problems are smaller. Their problems are important to them. And I care because I love you. So don't ever think that I'm secretly saying, 'they have it so easy. I wish they'd quit complaining.' because I'm not. I want to be there for you."

    I seriously cried. I cry every time I think about it. You are about the most genuine, sincere, authentic, fun, funny, honest, and loving person I know.

    So, please don't think that you are somehow a bad person for wanting a normal life. We all want it. We're all selfish. It's human. It's not how God made us, seeing how he made us perfectly in His image, but that's what His grace is for. You're covered in it!

    Love You!!!

  4. Well if you were perfect, I wouldn't read you. I am prone to bouts of whining. Last time I checked, you have a lot on your plate.

  5. xoxo
    You are totally blessed.. and lucky aren't you :-)

  6. I don't think you are a hypocrite. I think you are scared.

    And as for the whining and complaining, I think you are just keeping it real and human and honest. And I know that's why we all come here.

  7. Yep, I think you both rock too. Hugs. Oh, and blogs are for VENTING. Never apologize for that, or I may feel guilty and stop writing mine. :)

  8. I much admire you both. Your husband's courage in facing his challenges are encouraging to all of us who have our own challenges. Your courage in facing these same challenges, undaunted most of the time, is an example to all who read your blog.

    That there are times when it all rises up and seems overwhelming is normal. Thanks for letting us watch the process of overcoming fear (for I agree with one commenter: fear is the enemy).

    We all whine and complain. I don't know why it takes much more effort to think and act positively, than it does to just go with the flow into negativity. That you pull yourself up and out of it at these times (I'm sure with the help of the Lord) is a credit to your character.

    Thanks again for sharing and giving us all a bit of courage for our own lives.

  9. You're not a hypocrite, you're a human being. You've done so much for your husband just by recognizing his struggles; that doesn't mean you don't have struggles of your own.

    I wish I was able to give you a real life hug.

  10. Because you've instructed not to do so, I won't say it. I'll just give you a hug.

  11. I am new to your blog, but I wanted to say that you guys are in my thoughts and that I wish you the best. We all have to whine sometimes. And cry and scream. Best of luck to you and your family.

  12. Thank you for writing this Angie. I felt as though I was there, at your house, watching Brian play with the boys. You do have an amazing husband, I am a better person for just reading about him.

    And if you don't mind that I steal your signoff just for this post, KEEP BELIEVING!!

  13. My God, hon. I can't imagine. I whine about the most insignificant things, even more insignificant than you mentioned. Just...big hugs to you and your guys.

  14. I always like reading your deep thoughts and feelings. Here is a HUG for you and your family. :)

  15. You have one amazing talent to write so we all feel like we are there with you. You also have one amazing husband!!

  16. I never for a moment judged you.
    I just thought about you and Brian, and what an amazing love story this is. And how my life IS different for having known you and Brian (even if not in person).

    It's no mistake that he has YOU and you have HIM.

  17. You do not whine. Whinning and venting are different. And Im sure it is different because you are worried about your husband and I am sure that it can be hard to turn to your husband and talk about him to himself. You are so strong and amazing, you show us all everyday how to be a better and more posative person, don't tell yourself that you whine or are negative. You are amazing!

  18. Wow. You are so genuine to write this, and your husband DOES sound like a gem. I do believe I would be better to know him. Now I feel like I kind of do.

  19. And? You still get to be a human being, you know?

  20. Selfishness is a form of insecurity because an overly selfish person needs to take advantage of or withhold resources from others, since they don't believe they can live their best life being generous and honest.