(If you’re my mother- or a close friend- don’t freak. I’m fine. I’m just being honest about the fears that happen when Moms face surgery and or chronic illness. )
Purpose: To give voice to those concerns so that moms find out they aren’t alone.
What if: I die?
- Have I done enough?
- Have I loved my kids, enough?
- Disciplined them enough? Too much?
- Taught them enough?
- Modeled enough healthy things? (Lord knows, I’ve modeled enough NOT healthy things.)
- Loved God, enough?
- Loved others, enough?
- Will I go to heaven?
- Will someone do my hair and make up so I look like a supermodel instead of just a dead version of me?
- Counsel and explain this all to my kids?
- Keep up the laundry and the house? (I mean: who will remember to flip the couch cushions so they don’t break down.. and keep my OCD positioned pillows in their correct places????THIS IS IMPORTANT.)
- Make time for each kid.
- Encourage my husband. Be there for him. Love him? (Not sure I want anyone else to do that.. also: don’t want him to be without support)
- Find all the things that are right where they should be- in plain sight?
- Remember to lock the patio door- front door and the cars?
- Feed, water and groom the pets?
- Remember garbage night? (and keep it holy…. sorry- sounded like the Sabbath there for a minute… oopsy told you- dramatic)
- Mediate all the things that require mediation?
- Throw out the underwear and socks with holes in them?
- Clean up cat puke? (It’s a scientific fact: Only moms can see cat puke. To others it is invisible. Cat vomit creates tiny tears in the time/space continuum that can only be bridged by moms. Apparently.)
- Throw out all forms of junk mail, so my family doesn’t smother in advertisements for credit cards and window replacements?
- It hurts and I can’t hide it, and it scares my kid? (My kid- not a fan of seeing mom in pain. Nether am I, actually.)
- It hurts and doesn’t get better?
- The surgery doesn’t work?
- The surgery makes it worse?
- I end up paralyzed?
- The surgery works, all goes well- and then it turns out I DO have Lupus and everything else body-wise goes straight to H***?
- I can’t do my make up after surgery? (hello, vanity- party of one.)
- The surgery works, I DO get better and i don’t have an excuse for why EVERYTHING still, doesn’t get done? (It won’t. Trust me.)
- This is just the beginning?
- I don’t heal according to my “Schedule?” (Hello- 6 weeks puts me at mid august, I have a vacation first week in September, and school starts after the holiday…)
- I lose more range of motion than I want to? (Seriously? Spinning my head around as a PMS warning sign- is just so: effective.)
- I get addicted to the stupid meds, stuck in a burning crack house and fall through the floor only to have my friends and family watch me die as the building explodes? (Sorry- just re-watched the last season of House…..PS: not faking my death. I promise. )
These are the thoughts and fears the fly through my mind like mosquitoes, as I clean house, wait for more blood tests and get ready for surgery. They don’t stick around long… just long enough to suck a bit of my peace out and give me a rash. They need to be recognized, addressed and then smooshed. Preferably before they have sucked up enough peace to leave a smeary mess when I splat them.
They need to be smooshed.
Because the truth is- in all likelihood…. All will go well. I will heal. I won’t die. Whatever autoimmune thing I have going on can be treated and managed. If I do die? Well, God has been there taking care of my family all along, and he will continue to. Even there.
I wish I could say I’m not afraid. That my faith means I know that all will be fine. But it doesn’t. My faith means that whatever happens…. God is present. Right there, in the messy middle of it. In pain, in sickness, in grief and fear. In celebration and healing. In all things. Present.
So that’s my prayer as I finish getting ready for surgery and for facing whatever autoimmune thing I have going on… (or don’t) …
“Dear Lord, I love you. I don’t like pain. I don’t like surgery. I don’t like fear. I don’t like the questions that I have. I don’t like the lack of answers to those questions, or even all the answers I do have.. it’s possible the house could overflow with junkmail and cat vomit if I died.. it’s just a fact…. But, lord, I love you. I need you. Lord- whatever happens… be present. Be with me and my family… even here. Amen.”
So readers…. how bout you? Fears, rational or irrational as you face surgery, or serious illness? What do you do when they buzz in your ears like mosquitoes ready to suck the peace from your life?
- Tell myself the truth. (God is in charge and able, I am not. The world does not actually, revolve around me. My kids and husband would be fine and are brilliantly capable of handling the house and life.)
- Talk about the fears and concerns.
- Talk to friends who’ve experienced what I’m experiencing.
- Pray. Listen. Read and listen to the things that fill me with peace.
- Do what I can to prepare what I can prepare.
- Feel the feelings- then move on.
Do the next thing.
Which today, is: Get ready to meet friends for lunch, instead of worrying myself into a headache or working myself into so much pain I can’t stand it.
See you after surgery! Prayers appreciated- As of now, I’m scheduled for 11:00 A.M Eastern time- tomorrow- July 3.