If I had written this in April, this might be more appropriate, but considering we still have some rain in the forecast this first week of May, I think I can get away with that title. I have been trying to blog for weeks about spring, the wonderful weather, the lovely flowers and the feeling of new life. And yet, I have been stalled for quite some time. I hope to blog about all these wonderful things soon, but today, I have a weight on my chest. And for a writer, the best way to get a weight off ones chest is to write about it. I won’t preface this much, except to say, if you’re looking for a light hearted post, there are many on my blog and this one isn’t it.
Today, every breath comes out on a tremble. My heart and chest are heavy. Last night my little girl had a nightmare. We prayed together and I left her in her bed. About five minutes after I climbed back into mine, I heard wailing again. She was too afraid to go back to sleep, for fear the nightmare would return. Fortunately, we have a futon which has already been made up due to my husband being sick. As he is improving, he was asleep in our bed and I was able to tuck my little girl in beside me. As we lay there and I sang to her to calm her, she asked me, “Mommy, can’t I have a black screen?” I asked her what she meant and she said, “My dreams start out nice but then they can change into nightmares!” I bit my tongue to keep from telling her that the curse of being creative (which she is, extremely so) is that, we can’t avoid dreaming. Instead I tried to plant lovely dreams in her mind as my mom used to when I was a little girl.
Today though, more awake and able to really think through the last month, I was able to think through what she said. And I think I’d like that black screen. In the day. You see, it has felt a lot like lovely dreams turned to nightmares the last month.
I don’t know where it all started. Perhaps when my husband took ill and began a long (and not yet conquered) battle with insomnia. This lead to a weakened immune system and for that past few weeks he has battled coughing, more insomnia and (though we won’t know until his chest x-ray is done) he may have pneumonia. I have felt a weight of helplessness settle on my shoulders as I lay awake at night, listening to his frustration. Nights of no sleep mean days of trying to recover, though medicine the doctors provide, and sleep. My husband is a hard worker and hates to remain idle, even when sick. It frustrates him so much to fall behind in work, and of course, being the main provider financially, it stresses him out. Stress means less ability to sleep, and thus the circle seemed unbreakable. Since he started a puffer and has been taking Melatonin before bed every night, I’m starting to see a break in the clouds. I haven’t spoken to my husband today to verify this, but I think he may finally have slept through the night last night.
Not long ago (all in this same month’s time) I received a phone call informing me that my brother, who has Down’s Syndrome, had suffered a mild heart attack. He is only 37 and in fairly good shape, but due to that extra chromosome, he was born with a heart defect. This means a weaker heart and so, while alarming, the heart attack didn’t come as much of a shock. The last few weeks he has been to see a slew of doctors and yesterday he went to his cardiologist to decide the next step. Angiogram. That single word makes it heard to breathe. Knowing that my big brother, who I grew up with, almost like twins, is in distress enough to need an angiogram is stressful. Knowing that the doctors suspect a blockage, makes me dizzy. My parents are taking care of him as best they can while we await the date for the angiogram. There is talk of surgery to finally replace the faulty heart valve he was born with. Like I said, weights on my chest. The kind that can make me feel like I’m drowning.
(Just a side note here: I have had to take a few breaths and a break or two to deal with the sudden dizziness of just telling you all about this. It will be really good to get this off my chest but even recounting it is difficult. I love to write romance where everything comes out all right in the end. Since real life doesn’t always, it can be very difficult to write about.)
Then, last Thursday I received another phone call informing me that my 90 year old grandmother had taken a fall and has double pneumonia. Shortly after that I was told that she had refused food and water and was becoming weaker. The next phone call from my mother on Sunday let me know how dire her situation is”If you get a chance, go see her and say goodbye.” I saw her yesterday morning and she was a shell of her former self. My sister and I sat and talked to her and prayed for peace for her. She seemed to be struggling to talk. Both my sister and I wondered why she was hanging on. Last night my uncle, who lives in Alberta, flew in to see her. This afternoon (May 5) I received the message that she is safely home with her saviour. I am so glad I said goodbye yesterday and now I know why she hung on. Her three children were able to say goodbye. I am holding off on posting this until all my family can be told. Now we will all grieve her passing but not as those who have no hope. She’s in Heaven and we’re all going to see her again. That is such a comfort. And knowing she’s going to have a body free of the arthritis and diabetes she struggled with most of her life and a mind free of the dementia she had suffered from in the last few years.
I don’t know how anyone without a certainty of Heaven can deal with the loss of a loved one in this life. I truly can’t. I am going to miss my grandmother dearly but I know she is not suffering anymore and I’m going to see her again. And not just her, but my other grandma and grandpa for sure. I am excited for her to meet the child I miscarried in 2011 and that she gets to see old friends after many years.
So, this hasn’t been the easiest month, but I have been told many times by my loved ones that God never gives us more than we can handle. I am choosing to trust, in this dark period of my life, that God will help me and my family through this time and that great good will come out of it all. “For I know tae plans I have for you. Plans for good and not for evil,’ says the Lord.”‘ I choose to trust those words from the bestselling Book of all time.
Finally, I would like thank those who have been praying for my family this past month and beyond. You are God’s tools that lend us the strength we greatly need. And to all my loyal readers, thank you for your support and patience as I haven’t been posting as much. I hope to get my next book into your hands soon.
Until next time. Keep dreaming and never give up.
Love, Amy McGuire