Saturday, January 30, 2010

Single parenting while sick...

I will start out telling you that I am much better. Still not 100%, but getting closer. For the last 2 weeks, I was sick on and off, where off means Tylenol and Advil performed their intended function, with a cold which gave birth to a cough which gave birth to a sore throat which gave birth to an achy body which gave birth to clogged ears and an inability to breathe like a human being is meant to breathe. And the good news of all that is that at least SOME PART of me is able to give birth. I tried to ride it out, thinking it was just a cold, but after 11 days and being asked by everyone in my life to repeat what I was saying no less than 3 times because they could not hear me while I felt like I was screaming, I went to the dr. and got some Zpac. Within 24 hours, I began to feel better. It has been 48 hours now and I am feeling EVEN better.

It was really difficult these last two weeks not feeling well, but still being the only parent to care for the boyz. They are getting older and don't require as much help. They dress themselves. They put away their own laundry after being told only 15 times to do so. They can start and finish their own showers after being told only 11 times to do so. They can make their own breakfast and put their own dishes in the sink - sometimes even the dishwasher. BUT, they cannot do their own homework. They cannot make their own dinner. They cannot make it to the bus on time without someone assisting them with lunches, backpack packing, and time monitoring. They would leave the house dressed for 50 degrees when it is in the single digits. They cannot practice their spelling words without someone assisting them. They would not read unless someone encouraged them to do so and listened to them do it. They cannot take themselves to and from their extracurricular activities.

So, as you can see, regardless how I feel, there are still things that require adult interaction in the home. Being the only adult in this home, the process of elimination is quite simple.

I rarely get sick. Or if I do, it is usually something minor like seasonal allergies or a pesky cold that doesn't really affect much of my everyday life except my dignity with the constant nose blowing. This was the first time I have been sick for more than a day or two since Brian died.

I cannot tell you how much I missed Brian these past two weeks. The mere thought each day as 3:00 would draw closer knowing the boyz were coming home filled me with dread. I hate that I felt that way, but I did. Knowing that the responsibilities were still there with no one to share in them was such a daunting thought. There was no one to help with dinner and no one to help with homework or to arrange many of the boyz' rides and schedules for their activities or to help with the laundry that was piling up or to tuck them in at night - knowing all those things were still left for me had me in tears a couple of times this week. I hate those moments because I really am a strong person. Physical weakness begets emotional weakness sometimes, too.

Also, I missed knowing someone was available to take care of ME. I know how selfish that sounds. I missed knowing that Brian would walk in that door, do his best to take the reigns and still have enough in his tank to just BE with me if I wanted it. I missed knowing that he would come home, see me in all my chapped, congested, hacking horror, still LOVE me and make sure I KNEW IT. WOW, how I missed that comfort - that PRESUMED love.

So, it hasn't been a great couple of weeks.

  • Gavin did the worst on this spelling test than he has ever done.
  • I think Grant spent more time in his room in time-out these past 2 weeks than in the past year. I don't have enough hindsight clarity to determine if that was because I was not feeling well and lacked patience or if it was because he knew I wasn't feeling well and tried my patience.
  • Both boyz lost screen and snack privileges just about every day this week due to attitudes and fighting. (See above comment regarding hindsight clarity again.)
  • We were late to every single appointment and activity they were part of this week. Or frantically rushing to be on time. (Actually, that isn't a stretch from a normal day.)

I feel like I failed the boyz a bit. I also know we will survive. If I have learned nothing else the last 13 years, it is that I am a survivor. It is just strange how difficult it feels to survive when one is fighting health issues and just doesn't feel like it.

It is in that realization that I cannnot comprehend how Brian maintained his attitude and good-nature all those years - how he believed in his survival as his body failed him over and over, how he always reserved some of himself for others around him - for me, the boyz, his family, his friends, his work. Truly, as I fought to control my own emotions this last week, I was ONCE AGAIN amazed at the character of that man.

Maybe that is the greatest lesson in all this.



  1. I'm glad you're on the mend.

    It's lovely the way you honor Brian's memory in everything you do.

  2. So glad you are feeling better!

    I can't imagine how that would be-- getting sick with a helpful husband is hard enough. What a great man that Brian!!

  3. I could have done so many of those things for you! I"m not Brian, and I'm a terrible cook, but I'm great at spelling and mac n cheese!


  4. Aren't antibiotics just grrrreat?

    I hate it when I'm sick for so long that I don't realize how sick I am.

  5. Sheesh! Now I feel bad...sometimes I dread my kids coming home and I feel fine. Is that wrong?? :}

    Sometimes life is just hard and when you are sick it is even harder. Let us know if you ever need help - we are used to going in different directions!

  6. Angie, I'm glad to hear you're on the mend.

    one thing that struck me in this post is you calling yourself a SURVIVOR. Yes, you indeed are a survivor. And, try to remember that and cut yourself some slack. Right now you are in survivor mode. Things will be shaky and uncomfortable and new, and you will screw up and you will learn from your mistakes. But one day you won't be in survivor mode anymore and you'll be having a great day and you'll realize that you've passed survivor mode. And it will be a new, better part of your life, and you'll look back at NOW and realize how much stronger you are to have gotten through it.

    and you will. You always have and you will continue to do so.

    You're an awesome woman. And mom. And friend. And sister. And daughter. Even when you don't feel like it, you still are.

  7. Girlie, there is nothing at all 'selfish' about wanting someone to be there to take care of you & help you with the boys. Being a married woman for many years, it became a part of your life & it's hard to go without that these days. It doesn't make me think you're weak or less of a survivor to hear you express things that make you sound human! :)

  8. God will give you strength to do what you need to do each day. Just trust him and don't try to be a superwoman. Don't be afraid to ask for help and let your good friends or family take care of you