The painful truth


Facing facts can be a painful process.  Doing so while in pain… well it is even worse.

I was flat out – dead on my back Monday and Tuesday.  No idea what caused it exactly, but the knife like stabbing between my shoulder blades radiated across both shoulders, up my neck, down my spine, and into my hips by the time Monday evening rolled around.  I didnt sleep a wink and was confused because the normal way this pain thing goes is it starts out after getting up from a night of being still and acts like stiffness till it progresses.  This was the opposite.  I took meds that would act like muscle relaxers and it took the edge off, but nothing let me rest.  Then my headaches began to make it a merry mess.  I was mad, frustrated, and irritated.  But it wasn’t anyone’s fault.  It just was what it was.  Happy Anniversary Honey – joy of joys.  Good thing we aren’t celebrating till the weekend or I would have missed my alone evening out with my college sweetie of 15 years.

The kids understand my pain issues only too well.  I hate that like you wouldn’t believe.  I hate that they have a whole series of things they do when I am down and out.  Lindsey always makes pudding – chocolate to be exact – because since she was 4 years old she has understood that chocolate makes everything better …and her grandma taught her how to make pudding.  So even though she is 12 now, and often puts it into a pie crust and gussies it up, she still needs to make her mom smile.  Both she and her sister clean when I get “sick”.  They always do the kitchen and organize and straighten the house.  The kids dont fight, they are good, sweet, and work together to make surprises for when I am well enough to get up and move around again.

I love that they are so dear and thoughtful.  I hate that they know this like an internal software program.  It saddens me that they will remember whole days and parts of weeks where I was out of commission, where I couldn’t manage to get out of bed, where their dad had to help me with simple things like getting to the bathroom and find creative ways to eat while laying down.

While I laid in bed with the stupid pain rolling through me like waves, I realized something.  My kids were growing up.  Duh, Christi.  Are you just now seeing that?  No – No… but listen…no one shushed them.  No one told them I was down again.  They just somehow knew…  No one told them they’d be making their own breakfast and lunch, and playing quietly inside since it was storming outside.  There were no fights for the TV, computer, and they never once came to me and bickered over who’s turn it was on the Wii like they would have if it was a pain-free day.  So the truth of the matter is this – they already know nearly everything I spend all my waking hours trying to drive home to them.  They already get the lessons I am trying to teach.  Really what I do on a day to day basis is just reinforce the truths to them – but they are already in there.  That is what struck me.  They may need me for a long time yet, but they are not babies, and they really do know what needs to be known.  And somehow?  Somehow that was a bit painful.  Cant tell ya why exactly.  Just a bit of a wistful realization I guess.

I’m proud of them.  They know patience, self control, compassion, kindness, love… and they also show an amazing array of friendship between them that I hope lasts a lifetime.

I know – I am a bit rambling here…  forgive me.  I am not overly clear-headed today.  But I wanted to capture the moment.  So often I wonder if the kids are even hearing a word I say… and today I realized that it really doesn’t matter.  What I’d hoped they’d learn before they left my house – well they have.  I just have to keep reinforcing it and make sure it stays in their hearts for a long while to come.  Who knows, maybe God can even take my crappy pain filled days and use it for good – to help teach my children a life lesson they needed to know.  Maybe He can take and use the experiences they have now for when they are grown adults…  Because if anyone can take muck and make it beautiful, it’s God.

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