Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I sat down in the aisle seat in the second row, the colored lights from the stained glass window filling the empty sanctuary.  I looked up at the Ner Tamid, the Eternal Light, the symbol that God is always present, and blew out a big breath of pent-up air.  I folded my hands, resting my arms on the seat in front of me, and leaned my head down.  Tears immediately filled my eyes. 

It's too much.  I can't do this.  It's just too much.

My sister had major surgery last week to repair significant uterine and rectal prolapses she had been experiencing for almost six years or so.  The prolapses had begun to affect her bladder, causing her to have to pee sometimes as much as five or six times an hour.  Kind of tough to do as a teacher.  The pain she felt coming out of anasthesia was so much more than anyone had anticipated, and ended up lasting much longer, causing her to have to stay in the hospital much longer than originally planned. 

Her pain meant one of us had to stay with her at all times in the beginning.  That first night we sent her husband home to spend some time with their kids.  On his way back to the hospital, when he was one block away, someone in another car flew through a red light and crashed into his car.  Seriously.

Luckily he was not hurt more than a little pain.  The car was really damaged.  Like they needed one more thing.

Once my sister was discharged, she still needed someone to be with her.  My mom and I had planned to split the days between us so neither one of us would have to be away from the rest of our lives too much during this long recovery period - up to eight weeks.  But then my mom got sick.

Please grant me strength.

After spending three full days in the hospital with my sister, my mom's face and legs and feet began to swell.  By that fourth day the swelling was so bad she could barely move her feet.  Her doctor called in some medicine for her, but the words "Congestive Heart Failure" were now being used.  I've got to tell you, those are some really scary sounding words.  Plus, since we don't want my sister to worry, my mom doesn't want me to say a word.  Great.

It's too much for me to deal with.  It's too much to keep inside.

Twin A has been having a really rough time at school.  And for the first time, his rough time is translating into behavior that is down right beligerant towards his teachers.  My boy, the one everyone always talks about how sweet and polite he is - beligerant.  He is having a really tough time with his expressive language, his eye contact is almost non-existent.  He's even lying a little, telling me he didn't need to complete pages in his spelling workbook when he did, failing the spelling test that week with a 55%, telling his teacher with a smile, "That's better than half!"  So funny but sooo not the point.  His current medication is clearly not working.  So once again, we have to start experimenting on my son to figure out the right dosage of a new medication.  Yay.

Twin B is pretty good right now.  I'm sure the other shoe will drop sooner or later.

The Princess is once again having an impossible time at bedtime.  She simply refuses to fall asleep on her own.  After a few tearful bedtime discussions, we decided she needs DH or me to cuddle up with her as she falls asleep at night.  In order to do this, I need to once again switch beds between kids' rooms, which means that I have to take apart the bunk bed/loft in her room, move it into the boys' room, take apart the single bed in the boys' room (we ran out of money before being able to buy the second bed), move it into her room, and then put both beds together again.          

I need the strength to be present for my kids, not just look at them and try to solve problems and figure out how to make things better.  I need to be present in my own life. 
The tears were now streaming down my face, but I knew I had to finish my prayers so I could get to my sister's, so I said aloud the words I always say in my heart during the time for silent prayer:

God, please give me the strength to make it through one more week.
 I wipe my eyes, take a deep breath, and stand up, ready to face the rest of my day.

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