For the past year or so, when it comes to everything this family has been through I’ve made a real effort to not make it about me, for it not to be about Corey and I. Not everything in life is about us, in fact for the most part very little is about us and I really have tried on the outside and on the inside to make sure that my focus, my concern and my energies be put into the two little girls who are having to face a lot of hard stuff.
I mean, Corey and I are the adults after all. We are the ones who chose to have these girls, we’re the ones with years of experience dealing with the hard and the ones who are making the choices here. I mean, we should be able to handle what’s happening, and all the heavy stuff on our own right? We’re fine, aren’t we?
If you’d have asked me that question Friday night I would have answered “Absolutely! This ISN’T about Us at all! It’s about Bethany & Audrey.” If you’d have talked to me Friday night I would have been right, partially right any ways.
Then Sunday happened, a dozen or so things came crashing in around my heart (and the heart of my husband, my rock) and I realized something – it IS about us, at least half of it is.
Standing in my laundry room, tears streaming down my cheeks (in a cry that’s been months overdue) I said to Corey, “This year has sucked. It’s been hard. It’s been heavy” and then we cried together.
We are approaching 3 years of uncertainty on what’s happening with our Audrey. We’ve spent far too many days driving the long trek to Children’s hospital. We know the inside of our local emergency rooms too well, and the nurses in the children’s ward recognize us – heck so did the cleaning lady. In the midst of all of that we’ve held up Bethany through her own struggles, her own health issues and the anxiety that all of this stuff comes with. We’ve dried their tears, we’ve slept on cots, we’ve prayed, and cancelled trips, there have been long nights and days that have felt even longer. Outside the walls of our own little family there have been family issues, there have been other health concerns, friends with injured kids and the heartbreak that comes with knowing someone you love is suffering. It’s been a long year, a hard year, a heavy year and on Sunday our knees buckled underneath the weight of it.
The thing is we’ve done ok, we’re doing ok. We’re not broken, we’re not wallowing in sadness and we haven’t forgotten ALL that we have to be thankful for, at all. But I learned this weekend that sometimes, admitting that it’s hard, it’s hurting doesn’t mean it’s all going to shatter. I learned that saying “this has been about us too” doesn’t mean I’m taking away from our girls the love and support that they need. This weekend, we felt the love, the comfort and the support of parents who dropped all their Sunday plans to come and lift us up. In the midst of it all, the small hands of my girls rubbing my back and giving out endless hugs I felt the warmth of my heavenly Father’s touch and the reassurance that we are truly NEVER alone.
This year has been hard for me. It’s been hard for Corey. The weight of all the things we’ve faced, all the things we have yet to face and the fear that lurks on the edges of every moment, every choice, every day can sometimes be almost more than I can stand. Then I realize I’m still standing, I’m still laughing, we’re still smiling, we’re still happy.
The weight of all that this year has and may hold is nothing compared to the joy that comes from our children, the love that we feel from our family and the strength that comes from Him. It’s not something we’ll ever forget but sometimes…
it’s ok to say, this is hard.