8.15.2012

Back Home

I'm happy to report that we are back home.  Seriously, brain surgery then home 2 days later.  Lucy, my mom and I arrived home around 12:45 yesterday.  After I got Lucy settled in her spot on the red couch, I put Jack down for a nap then tried to unpack a few things before leaving to pick up Ella from school.   I was able to take Ella to tumbling which always makes both of us very happy.  She was so surprised when I showed up at school.  The look on her face made me so happy.

This was not the happy face, but I liked it anyway

But Jack, that was a different story.  He wanted nothing to do with me.  He totally ignored me for a long time.


Funny conversation between Erik and I tonight:
Me: "Hey.  Glad your home.  How was work?"
Erik: "It was fine.  Lots going on."

That's it.  That was the conversation.  Why was it funny?  Because I just brought our daughter home from an emergency stay in the hospital.  A stay that included brain surgery and a day in the PICU.  Erik comes home and we pick up living right where we left off.  Who does that?

I'm back to sleeping with Lucy curled up beside me.  After her last craniotomy she stayed with me for almost 3 weeks.  I had just put her back in her bed (with her sister close beside) and now this!  It will be a while until I will let her leave my side again.  I just love living in fear that she is going to have a seizure or worse.....while she is asleep (insert sarcasm.)

The stress of the last 20 months has hit me like a bomb.  I'm not doing well right now.  I have definitely entered the anger phase of mourning.  Honestly, I'm very numb.  The past 3 days seem like a blur.  It's almost as if I live totally anticipating the next event that I wasn't even taken off guard when it happened.  If I would have had the opportunity, I'm quite sure I could have punched one or more holes in the wall.  Which wall?  Oh, any of them.  All of them.  I wouldn't be picky.

Sometimes I sit and think about what has happened, how our lives have changed, how my children will never be the same and I literally seethe with fury.  I want to scream, cuss, jump up and down and throw things.  I would be worried, but I'm pretty sure this is normal.  I'll have to ask my sister.  She's the counselor.  Or, come to think of it, my sister in law is one too.  Maybe they will tell me I'm OK, or not.  I don't really care one way or the other.

I've got so much healing to do but its hard to find the right time to start that little task when "we" keep getting blind sided.  The hits seem relentless.  I just want my baby to be able to go to school.  Is that too much to ask?

I sure don't sound like Super Mom right now do I?  Well, I've never claimed that title.  I know the truth and I'm OK with it.  God can handle my anger, my many doubts, my insecurities, my fears.  He can handle me being so upset with Him that I can't even pray right now.  I've been hurt and I've been let down.  I am demanding answers that I may never get.

I have discovered a book called "The Ragamuffin Gospel" and I can't wait to get my hands on it.  Last night, through my tired and tearful eyes, I have read and re-read so many of the amazing quotes from this book.  I'm quite sure that this book will not be for everyone, but for a hurting Christian I think it will be very comforting and therapeutic.


The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

"When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer.
To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God's grace means. 
My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” 
― Brennan ManningThe Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

That entire quote sums up my life, especially right now.  I'm an utter mess but completely aware of a greater love that I could never comprehend.  I am thankful for God's mercies, even if they do seem so far away right now.  I know, that even if I can't fully accept it, His hands holding me tight are the only things keeping me from completely falling apart.

49 comments:

  1. Amen girl, you say it so well. I felt exactly the same way when my husband was sick. Just be for now, another season will come I promise.

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  2. Just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you! You have every right to feel what you are feeling. May you feel Him standing beside you as you go through this! He loves you and will keep guiding you. Praying for Lucy too! And the rest of your beautiful family! :)

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  3. Grateful that you and Lucy are back at home with your family. Praying for peace for you as you get back into the swing of things at home and with life. You do have every right to be furious. Your life has been forever changed. I admire you for all you do each day. Love you all, Pat Williams, a grandmother in Tuscaloosa

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  4. God bless you Kate! Thank you for your honesty and your ability to admit to your real feelings. I am so glad you don't think you have to keep putting up a front of being a "super" Mom or "super" Christian because there really is no such thing. You allow others to feel what they feel and not feel guilty about it. Going to look for that book, think I would love it! Prayers continuing for you all!!

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  5. God bless you Kate! Thank you for your honesty and your ability to admit to your real feelings. I am so glad you don't think you have to put up a front of being a "super" Mom or "super" Christian because there really is no such thing. You allow others to feel what they feel and not feel guilty about it. Going to look for that book, think I would love it! Prayers continuing for you all!!

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  6. Praying for all of you. And I haven't been through anything like what you're going through but I can imagine I would be furious too so don't apologize for it. I'm thankful you have people to talk to. Just know that you are living through circumstances that most people can't comprehend and don't apologize for your feelings. I know it may not feel like it right now but I have faith that God is carrying your whole family right now.

    And I think there is a quote somewhere about "Prayer is what others do for you when you can't for yourself" so know that there are a whole bunch of people praying for you and Lucy and the rest of your family. We'll help carry you right now.

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  7. Kate, I have been exactly where you are right now. Let me assure you that our God, with His precious Son and the Holy Spirit can lovingly and willingly handle our anger. The other night, I was at a meeting. We were to tell about a time when we were angry with God. Some at my table could not imagine being angry with God. Not me! I had been there, done that! When we are so hurt and angry and confused that we don't feel like we can pray, that's ok too. There are so many others who are interceding for you. Just know that you and your entire family are loved and greatly cared about. Sometimes its alright to just "be" and not do anything. Your faith will remain strong even though at the moment you might not see how. Another day will come and all will be well with your soul.

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  8. Kate, I just wanted you to know that I am lifting you up in prayer today.

    I am a therapist, and since I don't really know you, I'm completely unbiased! I can assure you that what you are feeling is very normal! If you didn't have anger or grief and mourn what your family has lost, I'd wonder if denial was more your problem! It's okay, and even healthy, to grieve the changes your family has had to face and the loss of dreams and yes, even what you used to know as "normal". Grief isn't just for a loss of a loved one, but for the loss of the way things used to be...the loss of the life we loved just the way it was. Go easy on yourself and give it time. Anger, confusion and even being a bundle of conflicting feelings is normal, which says YOU are normal :) You will work through this in time. Love and prayers to you and your precious family.

    Audriana
    http://audrianafreberg.blogspot.com/

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  9. It's okay to be angry. You guys have been through so much and you are grieving the loss of "normal" and everything that goes along with that along with having a sick little girl. There are few people that will admit that life isn't always sunshine and flowers or that life is hard. God CAN handle our anger! He loves us and accepts us exactly where we are. Praying for you and your family.

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  10. I can so relate to being so angry with God that you can't even pray, and with demanding answers that you may never get. I can also relate with knowing, that even though you are angry with God, He is still the only one getting you through the pain and He is faithful and will never leave your side. It's such a strange place to be...so angry with God and yet relying on him to get you through. It's so hard knowing you need to rely on God, and yet feeling let down and betrayed by Him. I'm so grateful that our God is willing and able to handle ALL of our conflicting emotions. Continuing to pray for Lucy and your family.

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  11. Kate, I can't begin to imagine what you have been through but I have a feeling of anger as well. Anger at God that he must have one heck of a good reason for not allowing me to expereince the joys of motherhood. Every time I turn around in this adoption process it seems doors keep closing. I am close to giving the whole process up and calling it a day! Enough of my griping, what do I have to really complain about. Hang in there, things will imporve for you. Let dear Lucy get back to school and you'll see. It sounds like you aren't the only one in the family struggling at the moment. You have gotten through so much you WILL get through this.

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  12. OK I never comment but need to say that as far as I'm concerned you totally are Supermom. I mean seriously YOU and your husband nursed that girl back from her darkest hours a few weeks ago, holding her in your arms 24/7! You can't get better care than that from a parent! As awful as this illness is at least she has you for parents. And you are right to be angry and feel any way you want to feel because it is so unfair to see your precious baby have to endure this illness. I'm angry and I've never even met Lucy so I can only imagine how you must feel. Hang in there, prayers for your Lucy. I am thankful that there are parents like you in the world, you guys are amazing. Hugs.

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  13. Have you considered joining an ongoing support group of moms of children with cancer lead by a psychologist? That might help with some of the [legitimate] anger you are feeling right now.

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  14. Praying that God would meet your needs as you walk through this most difficult journey as a parent! So thankful that God loves you and cares about you and your family! Thanks for sharing your heart. Will keep praying from Florida!

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  15. hug, hug and onto tomorrow....

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  16. I love that book. My pastor quotes it often in church. Praying for you. And yes, it's okay to be angry. Part of the healing process.

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  17. Kate, I wanted you to know that I am sincerely praying for you today.

    I am a therapist and I can tell you that what you're feeling is completely 100% normal in every way! It would actually be more concerning if you didn't feel any anger and frustration or weren't able to acknowledge that. It's okay to grieve the changes in your life and be angry about what this journey has cost your family. Your are having to accept a whole new way of life, at least for now, and anger is a normal part of coming to that acceptance. Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling, and know that you are perfectly normal :)

    Prayers going up for you and your sweet family tonight.

    Audriana
    http://audrianafreberg.blogspot.com

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  18. Supermoms are allowed to be tired and angry and to punch walls. You are doing an amazing job. It's ok if you don't want to pray right now, there are lots of people with you and Lucys name on their lips.

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  19. Tomorrow is a new day, fresh start...smile a lot and love those babies! God bless...

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  20. I continue to pray for you and your family. Sometimes in the middle of what I'm doing, I feel the need to pray, so I do. I pray for no more hurdles in Lucy's healing and that she can be that happy, carefree child again you so desperately desire.

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  21. I continue to pray for you and your family. Sometimes in the middle of what I'm
    doing, I feel the need to pray, so I do. I pray for no more hurdles in Lucy's
    healing and that she can be that happy, carefree child again you so desperately
    desire.

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  22. Kate- so glad you and Lucy are home again. It's so good to know you are able to get your feelings all out. You are very honest and I know it is better out than in.Even in all of this it is wonderful to know God's promise-to never leave us or forsake us- even in all uncertainties. My heart weeps for you in my helplessness. Praying tomorrow's blessings will see you through another day.

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  23. Kate, there are so many of us praying for you, Erik, the kids, and your extended family that we can cover for you when you feel you have nothing left in you <3 I am humbled by your willingness to share your sorrows, joys, prayers and frustrations with all of us. I endured those feelings for only a day when my infant son died, but you have endured heartache and joy, over and over for a long period of time. You are strong and your faith is sustaining you...you are loved!

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  24. Thank you for that very last part of your post. My family is going through a medical event right now that we can't seem to handle, and the last part of your post helped me so much.

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  25. Thanks Renee. I needed that encouragement tonight. Much love!!
    Kate

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  26. I think of you often, pray for you always.
    My daughter was in an accident tonight ... in a new car we bought her only a few weeks ago. Shes only 16. But she's fine, that car can be replaced.
    Reality's hitting me hard tonight. My husband's away on business for a week. Tonight I feel resentment. I know there is much to be thankful for.
    It's no surprise I checked in on you tonight. You're inspiring. At my low point. During your own.
    I just want to thank you. You're a good example for those who surround you. :)
    Your sweet Lucy is never far from our thoughts ... always in our prayers. Hoping and praying you have a restful night. :)

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  27. Girl, you have every right to throw a fit! I applaud you for doing so. That is the normal thing to do. When I read that you can't even pray now.. I saw you in the spirit realm laying on the floor sobbing. Then this umbrella of prayer covered you. That is why we were created; to lean on each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, stand in the gap for one another. This blog family of yours loves you and stands with you. Praying for you harder than ever! May God just wrap His comforting arms around you tonight. Pouring peace over you while you snuggle that little angel tonight.

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  28. Kate, I, too, am a counselor. YOU ARE AS NORMAL AS ANY HUMAN BEING CAN BE. Your family is certainly living out Heb. 12:1. When you are down, tell yourself what incredible confidence God has in you that he allows you to carry the load you have carried the past 20 months. Then "Catch the Devil Red Handed" (title of an old book but certainly good advice for Christians) as he tries to get you to think otherwise.

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  29. I'm sure it is normal and you are doing an amazing job. :)

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  30. Kate, too many Christians wear 'the mask of perfection.' This is disastrous, not only to the whole body of Christ, but to themselves. It is 'taking off the mask' to realize what we really are in our flesh. This not only keeps us aware of how much need we have for Christ but it also constantly reminds us of just how very much He has done for us and loves us. Proud of you for not being a mask wearer. "In our weakness He is made strong." Please let us know what you think of the book as you delve into it. So happy you are home!!!

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  31. Sending special prayers up for you, Kate. You are human, and your feelings are real. Please take care and know prayers are coming from Elgin, IL.

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  32. Dear Sweet Kate, when we find we are at a place when we can't pray, that is when intercessary prayers from prayers warriors are the most powerful......Let us do the praying when you can't. God knows your heart and understands.

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  33. Glad to hear you're home. Praying for you all :) xxx

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  34. I agree you are Supermom! I'm not a counselor but I really think what you're going through is not unusual. I think sometimes God welcomes our doubts, our anger, our fear. It gives him another chance to prove one more time that he is the great and powerful God we know he is. I'm praying for you and believe you are truly amazing in my eyes and God's.

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  35. I think you are totally normal!!! don't worry about not being able to pray, I think that is normal too. and you can be sure that rest of us are praying for you!! I honestly don't know how you have kept it "together" this long. God has something big planned for your kids. and you and Eric are amazing. I know all of this seems so fluffy. I don't know what your going thru, nor do I want to. All I have is words on a screen. but if it helps, even for a milisecond, know that you and Eric and ALL three of your childrens names are lifted up in prayer, when you are too angry, and heartbroken to pray, the rest of us are holding your family even higher.

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  36. Kate, I love your honesty. As Christians we all have these times of doubt and anger but we don't share them. I believe everyone of us has them. I am continuing to pray for you. Like you said, our God can handle our doubts, fears, anger, and worries.

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  37. Kate, it thrilled my soul to see that you're going to read Ragamuffin Gospel. I've had the book for years, and it's dog-eared and shabby looking. It's real and it's honest and one of the best things that's happened to print.
    Go ahead, by they way.. I was also glad to read of your anger. GET MAD! I'll hold you in prayer.
    Grace, peace and normalcy,
    Pat

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  38. Kate, I read your blog all the time. I'm fighting Ewings sarcoma which you may know is a pediatric cancer. I'm also a working mom of 2 little girls. I have to tell you your dinner conversation with Erik seems very normal to me. I can come home from 8 hours of chemo, make dinner (but not eat) and we carry on a conversation very similar to that. I don't know if that makes it normal or not - I've ceased to try define normal in the last 9 months - doesn't seem to be much point to it. So anyway I could go on forever but it may help you to know others are fighting similar but different battles. For what it's worth, we all fight on our own way and that's okay. My blog is purerealfresh.blogspot.com if you're interested.

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  39. Kate-
    I have NO IDEA and I will NOT pretend TOO but, I can interceed and pray for U when u are not able to pray for yourself !!

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  40. Many of us have had the same feelings for a lot less. Let it out. God can handle it. You will love The Ragamuffin Gospel. Will continue to pray.

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  41. First and foremost, you are human!! Through all of your trials and tribulations of the last few years, you have been THE rock! And every now and then, a rock crumbles a little - especially when it is tossed around, ran over, thrown up to the highest and lowest peaks of the vally. Sweetie, you are truly super strong and having a weak moment or day or week, etc. God does understand. I cannot comprehend the heartbreak and then the miracles you have endured with Lucy, the ups and downs.. your life has been a total rollercoaster with her. Then you have two other precious children that you have to feel guilty about not being there for their everyday lives. You have a lot to digest, mull through, try to make sense of this and continue to be the best Mom, and yes, you are the best Mom those three children could ever have. Take the opportunity of this blog to vent, unload and continue to share your life with us. Believe it, we do share in your pain and happiness (but only a small portion compared to what you have) Lots of love ande big hugs!

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  42. Lifting you up to God!! Praying for His presence to wrap around you and your family.
    <><

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  43. Kate......I have a totally different set of problems, but I'm right there with you in regards to your feelings of hopelessness and helplessness; feelings of abandonment and betrayal; questioning but still believing; and wondering "why". I feel for you sweet girl. Rest assured, you are not alone in these feelings and in the feelings of guilt and anger and yet so much needing to know He hasn't turned His back on you, leaving you to fend for yourself, testing you to see how well you do, .....needing to know He's listening and leading you somewhere purposeful and "good". The overwhelming need to get there soon hangs around your shoulders and gets heavier every day. He said He would never give us more than we could handle....yet we wonder....because we feel almost tapped out. All we can do is hang on....keep putting one foot in front of the other....we're on the road to "somewhere". I hope we get there soon. ........... I'll be looking for that book you mentioned. Thanks.

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  44. I know it is a great source of comfort to know His hands are holding you tight, and I also suspect coupled with that knowledge is the fact that you love your children and husband more than anything on earth.....so together these two strength sources are things that help to keep you from falling apart. You have a remarkable husband as well as extended family. Their love for you and your children are abiding presences that you are blessed with. There are those times when you know that you just can't go on, but somehow something happens within you and outside of you that grants you a reprieve from those feelings. You WIll Make It Through This!!! Don't dump guilty feelings on top of your trauma. You have no need to do that. However you feel at any given time is how you feel that those times...it is OK to have them.
    Press on....you are doing great!!!!

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  45. I'd say you're experiencing very normal & expected emotions & feelings. I'd be concerned if you weren't feeling all these things! I appreciate your honesty. That makes you a super mom in my book...honesty, realness.

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  46. Brennan Manning is one of my favorite authors. You would love his book "the furious longing of God' It is one of those books that you must read every few months. It is so good! Continuing to pray for little Lucy - what a testimony of our Lord!


    My sister Cari had another bone marrow biopsy today and a few tests next week and then hopefully we can get a plan of action going. She is hurting and I am ready to see her healing take place!

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  47. I am a huge Brennan Manning fan and I'm a complete fan of honesty and transparency. The moment you feel like you have to be something or someone else for your readers is the moment you have given us too much of a voice in your head. You write for you and for Lucy and we can like it or not and read or choose not to. Don't change who you are or what works for you and your family. <3 I am sure you have received tons of information and a slew of resources over the course of cancer treatment, etc... but I wondered if you had heard of sibkids. It might be a great resource for Ella.

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