Maybe Not Everyday Afterall
I set out with a goal to update my Caringbridge everyday. I then let the weekend slide with a “weekend update” instead of an update on Saturday and Sunday. I’m finding that updating everyday is not going to be an achievable goal. So let’s just cut a deal right now. I’ll update as often as possible and definitely when things are happening, but just not everyday. This journal for me is not just a way to keep you informed, but also a way to compose my thoughts and emotions. That may not happen everyday, but will definitely happen often enough. If I don’t post for a day, just assume I’m resting peacefully or enjoying time with the fam.
Going Back In Time
I was going to write about what I should have been doing on Monday vs what I did. Monday’s post got a little long, so for today’s post I’m going to write about my “shoulda Monday” today.
Monday, June 15th (What I should have been doing)
On Monday, I should have woken up to Lindsey’s kiss goodbye as she leaves for her normal Monday at work. A few minutes later I should have heard my alarm as a 2nd reminder to get up. And then 10 minutes later I should have heard my snooze alarm as a final warning of the day ahead. I should have gotten up to get myself ready. I should have turned on the lights in the girls room and Tucker’s room as kind of a nice way to say “your butts are getting out of bed soon, be warned”. I should have picked up the clothes for each kid that Lindsey lays out for them the night before.
I should have changed Sydney while she kept sleeping. Taking off a diaper, wiping her with wipes, and getting her fully dressed; even then she doesn’t wake up. She grabs her blanket tight to her face and I cover her back up fully clothed for a few more minutes of rest. I should have tried to dress Natalie, only to have her tell me she will do it herself. And she does. I then should have gone to get Tucker and carried him into the girls room. He doesn’t sleep like Sydney, but he still yawns and cuddles with his blankies while I get his clothes on.
At this point Sydney should have her eyes open and when I tell everyone I’ll be folding blankies, Sydney tightens her death grip. I should mention that Daddy will be right back and then I should go into my room to put on my polo shirt and turn off all the lights. I should then return to a room where Tucker is hugging his blankets goodbye before he gives them to me, Sydney is huddled with her blankets and doesn’t want to let go, and Natalie is busy folding her blankets on her own because she wants them folded a certain way (must be hand flattened and all corners must match up).
After I should have been done folding blankets and Natalie carefully hands me her folded blankets, I should have stopped at the top of the stairs. There, with blankets in hand, all three kids ask me to carry them downstairs. I should have taken 2 the first trip down (blankets in hand) and then I should have gone back upstairs to get the other (who is already saying “daddy, daddy, I’m still up here). I should have placed the blankets in the bag that Lindsey graciously packed and I should have placed that bag and a cooler in the van. As the kids loaded into the van, I should have grabbed my work laptop, keys, water, and Kashi bar. With all that said, I most likely would go back into the house for one of those items because I forgot it.
I should have played negotiator in the van as everyone wants the same seat. I should have played peacemaker in the van as someone was getting ready to climb into a seat and then was pushed away. I should have backed out of the garage around 735 and exclaimed “Ok, we’re going to miss Lindsay’s!” I should have heard little voices asking questions and making observations. Voices excited by school buses, excavators, horses and the like. Curious about cars on the side of the road and little boys and girls who are out in their driveways.
I should have dropped the kids off at miss Lindsay’s. Taking their shoes off and putting them in the closet. Passing along any necessary information for the day. I should have tried to leave, only to be stopped by a voice, or 2, or sometimes 3 that say “Daddy, daddy, wait. I need a hug goodbye.” Some times one hug turns into 2 and sometimes one of the kids will need 3 or 4 hugs to say goodbye. I give them all out willingly and drive away with a smile on my face.
As I turn right out of the driveway, I should be changing the radio station to Mike and Mike. I should be zoning out for a 45 minute commute to work. I should be using my keyfob to walk into a great job and start a day working with great people. I should be sitting next to two coworkers talking about weekend plans, softball, beer and the like. I should be solving problems, thinking of creative solutions, motivating people, moving my company forward and of course throwing darts and having that beer we we’re discussing earlier. Towards the end of the day the conversations of my cube mates might start up again. I should be hearing one of them talking about the spreadsheets and Power Points she has been working on. The other talking about some motivational emails he read and forwarded. I should hear an “Oh Robbie Poo” over the wall or be told “Super Great!” when I ask someone how their day is going. Then someone may walk up and I do my best to not break out into “This land is your land” because they asked me not to. I should walk into the break room to pour out my coffee and if I’m lucky I should see our VP of Engineering with his normal endearing smile.
I should then be leaving work. I should be picking up the kids and hearing about their day. I should be taking them home. I should be cooking them dinner. I should be playing with them and running around. I should be getting their jammies on. I should be reading books to them. I should be singing them to sleep. I should get all of that done before Lindsey gets home from a long day. That is what a Monday should look like.
Monday, June 15th (What I was actually doing)
My day still starts out with a kiss goodbye from Lindsey, but all similarities end there. There is no alarm clock to go off. I sleep to conserve energy so I can face the day. I check the cameras in the kids rooms just to make sure they are sleeping. I know Grandma Jane will be here soon to wake them, dress, them and take them to Miss Lindsay’s. All the things I cherish to do on a normal Monday. I do wake up before the kids leave, so I dawn my surgical mask and leave the protection of my room to say goodbye. I then lather up with hand sanitizer and return to my room.
With the kids gone I forgo my mask and eat the leftover cinnamon rolls that Grandma Jane has made for the kids. I drink a glass of juice in solitary and think about the day ahead. I go back up stairs to get ready and as I sit on the toilet, I begin to cry. Emotion comes out at different times and for different reasons. I don’t stop the tears.
I finish getting ready. I feel a bit nauseous so I pack some graham crackers and a drink. I eat and drink all of it on the way to Simon Cancer center. I pull up to the hospital, forget that I can use valet parking and then drive around the block so I can pay $5 for valet vs who knows how much for standard IUPUI parking garage rates. I walk into the hematology clinic and have my visit. I run downstairs to grab a bite to eat in the 10 minutes between my outpatient appointment and infusion appointment. All the while I am texting my Aunt Marquita who is in the same hospital with my Uncle Jim.
I show up at my infusion appointment. I’m led back to a chair. I pray for those I can see from my chair and for those that I can’t. That they would win their battles. That they wouldn’t be in pain. That they are getting the support they need and that they know Jesus. My time in the infusion center passes quickly and I go up to the transplant floor to visit with my aunt and cousins. It’s great to see family. It’s great to be in the comfort of those you love and know. I can’t see my uncle because I have a slight fever, but I am still able to visit in the waiting room. Feeling tired, I excuse myself and head back to the valet.
I’m in my car, heading home. I can tell these few hours out have taken it out of me, but I have an independent streak and I want to do things that help keep my stamina up. I arrive home. I wash my hands to rid myself of germs I might have picked up and then I sleep. I sleep hard from a few hours of being out. Something that wouldn’t have phased me 2 weeks ago has taken all that I can muster to accomplish.
Grandma Jane picks up the kids and brings them over. She also brings me some food, which always brings a smile to my face. She takes the kids to VBS. I eat some and rest some more. Soon Lindsey comes home. The kids come home and the bedtime routine begins. The bedtime routine I can’t really participate in. I don’t have the energy and little arms don’t always cover the coughs that come out of little mouths. I stay in my room. Air purifier one. Sometimes still with my mask on for extra protection. I wait until the kids are asleep and then I sneak into their rooms. I give them hugs and tell them daddy will play with them again one day. I whisper I Love You’s and tell them about all the things we will do together. Daddy is fighting kids. Daddy wants to be here for you. Daddy wants to see you grow. Daddy wants a Monday full of the things I should be doing.
A Duck Dynasty Prayer
Father God, I weep at your feet. I beg for the things I want, but I know you are in control. I long to know how this story will end, but I will take one day at a time. I will take one step at a time. One foot in front of the other as we walk this journey together. I know you will carry me. I know you will hear me. Father God, please grant comfort to my kids. Please answer their questions in their hearts when they aren’t sure why daddy can’t get close. Aren’t sure why daddy can’t swing them or toss them in the air. Aren’t sure why daddy always wears a mask that they can’t touch. Be with my wife who carries a burden I never meant to leave her with. Who acknowledges you in this journey and with simple determination says “we’ll do what we need to do” when we have the hard conversations about a path forward. Thank you God for all those in my life who offer up support, a kind word, an email, a verse, a prayer and the list goes on. Please be with those who may not have the same support system. May your love touch their lives through any way possible. Thank you God for this journey. It’s not one that I would have chosen on my own, but I walk it willingly with you. Thank you for another day.
Maybe Not Everyday Afterall