In talking with Chris this week he was mentioning how fatigued he has been as of late. He brought it up to relate to my own recognition a few weeks ago of my growing fatigue. We both had thought that perhaps some levels were off in our bodies or most likely we are just getting old and losing stamina. Then I stopped and said, "Babe let me just remind you of all that has happened since January."
It began with my parents putting their house up for sale and buying one two doors down. If only it was that simple. It was chalked full of drama. Buyer's in. Buyer's out. Buyer's in. I walked down to the house that was to be theirs the final week and prayed and pleaded at the door to God. I'm sure I looked like a crazy lady with all the pacing I did back and forth with tears. I'm surprised the cops didn't show up. I can't think of anything else I have consistently asked God for the past three years since living in Peoria other then this. "Please God make a way for my parents to move!" I missed them. I missed living close and having grown up with my mom always living on the edge with her health, I have an appreciation for how short time is here on earth. I was sick of spending that time driving an hour one way to visit.
Back to my recounting, buyer's in. They Move. We help them pack and unpack while mom gets increasingly sicker. We weren't sure why. Mom goes to the ER two weeks to the date of moving in. Was told she mostly likely had Ovarian Cancer and was in the end stages. Cry for 24 hrs straight. I never knew you could have a constant flow of tears. It's actually possible to fall asleep crying and wake up five hours later to realize you are still crying. Then we are told it's not cancer. PRAISE THE LORD! Full hysterectomy is done to remove a 12cm cyst. Rejoice surgery went well. The next day she begins bleeding internally. Another surgery. More tears and real fears of her dying. Four blood transfusions. 16 long days in the hospital mostly ICU.
One night I returned home around 10pm to find Chris in a growing amount of abdominal pain. We both figured, heck we've been living at a hospital let's just go back.
We left the ER at 2am knowing Chris was in need of gall bladder surgery.
By God's grace only my mom returned back home, two doors down. I was still fearful of her dying but I guess that's just a state of living I've grown accustomed to. Even though she was returning home, as a dr. put it so nicely the day she was leaving, "you are one sick woman." I wanted to beat him up. Of course after 16 days I wanted to beat everyone up there. We were all done with that place. Mostly my mom. But she had a long road ahead of her. She starts to improve. Rejoice. Infection is found. Tears. And the tunnel, although getting shorter, feels oh so long.
Meanwhile we sneak in a much needed family week long trip to Disneyland. We didn't even tell the kids till the moment we were leaving. Pure joy.
We return and Chris goes in for gall bladder surgery. Which was longer and more complicated then anticipated but praise God he gave us the wisdom to take it out before it turned into an even more complicated full abdominal surgery! I was told surgery would take 40 minutes to an hour. 2 1/2 hours later the surgeon comes out to tell me that my husband had one diseased gall bladder. Four times larger then a normal one. That next week was absolutely awful for Chris but he and I survived. I had to do things I never thought I'd have to do for my husband. It helped having my dad two doors down heroically serving and changing bandages left and right for months. I figured I could handle a week.
Somehow in the midst of all of this I had more photography business then I could handle. I was having to turn people away for the first time ever. I was grateful for the income, we were racking up our fair share of eating out. And also grateful for the occasional distraction from my roller coaster life. I don't think I was aware of the toll it was taking on me. When I returned my last clients edited pictures I felt like I could breath for the first time in awhile.
Our sweet Taylor turned 10 and I completely redid her room, blue paint and everything, for her birthday. It was all she wanted for her birthday.
Now Chris and I are finishing up our three weeks stretch of leading worship for blackstone. A privilege we have had for the past eight years. It gives us sweet time together in the mornings But we are up at 5am and back home by 9am.
So yes love, we are tired. It has been THE most insane, emotional, tiring five months I can remember. God has been faithful. He has sustained our every step. He has kept us in love and unified. But it still has it's effects. I have unreturned e-mails. Phone calls. My house is a disorganized mess. I have put on weight. I've said no to a handful of photography requests and my son might have just memorized every word to Tao Cruz's song Dynamite. But it's ok. I live in a state of renewed gratefulness. For today my loved ones don't have cancer, I am not driving back and forth from home to hospitals. My dad and mom still live two doors down. For today we are alive. We live as imperfect sinners being perfected by our loving Savior. If I've learned anything these past couple months it's that there are no guarantees of anything other then God finishing and completing his work in his children. He WIll bring us safely home. All things WILL be made new. And there WILL be a day where every tear will be wiped away.
*keep my mama in your prayers. She is most definitely still in the tunnel straining to see the light at the end. And as we have joked with her not "that" light. We mean the light that let's her play with her grandkids, enjoy swimming in her new pool and shopping with her daughter and daughter in-law.