First and foremost, I have to thank my family. My dedicated and beautiful wife, My boys and my daughter. Without them, I would have never survived. Their unfailing love, caring, patience and strength helped me survive. Thank you all for being my family and loving me so much.
Now for the grit!
I wrote and then deleted an article that made me sound ungrateful and cold. I talked a lot about surviving Cancer and how hard it has been to live through that survival. How much I think survival can suck!
I know. It sounds ungrateful. Or maybe you think I don’t care that I survived and I’m beating the odds?
Wow, it’s been a ride. The pain, the failing… The disability and the war to survive. The exhaustion of survival. The long lonely hours that pass in the night when you are by yourself and the ones you love are asleep next to you.
You cry silently hoping they don’t wake. If they did, they would hold you and clean you and get you water and rub your sore parts and avoid the ones they know they can NEVER EVER, it seems, touch again.
You think about all the things that are wrong with you, with your life now. Your college degree rots on the wall, or now, as it sits in a plastic tub somewhere in the house that is no longer the house that you bought. That house was lost because the bank payment was too high and you couldn’t afford the payment because cancer made you get fired from your job. So much more about the house problems. Rentals, moving. Not being able to help move. No longer lifting boxes. Losing possessions because they were, “left behind” or “forgotten” at the “other” house.
You feel completely and utterly sorry for yourself!
How responsible you feel for the failure to feed your family. Take care of them. You watch everyone work so hard and you feel left in the dust and forgotten by a lot of people.
Except for the important ones, right? Even some of them step away…
In the beginning, I dedicated my life to items, I think. How can I get the diamond ring for my wife? How can I get the new bikes for my kids? Will I ever get that boat? We need a dependable car to get the older kids! (Children from a previous relationship). A very important one though, a vehicle.
Then my life got sick with Cancer and disaster. Almost like my family line was/is cursed with some kind of failure spell or karma. I dedicated my anxiety to still obtaining things. Items…
They were important items though. How am I/we feeding the kids this week? How will the bills get paid? How, how, how… Worry, stress, darkness.
My wife was the center of everything, (She still is). Extra income, taking care of me. Taking care of the kids. Laundry, homework. Dealing with schools, bills, doctor’s appointments. Housework, the daily grind of everything that needed to be done! She was taking care of her mother also. It seemed like all she did was take care of other people. Everyone but herself of course.
Life got difficult for us both the last decade. Bad neighborhoods, bills, survival. Dental issues. More health issues for me, for her. At points, I thought I would lose her. Then I would lose the kids. How could I take care of them without her? Is that a selfish thought? How would “I” survive without my wife? I don’t care if it is selfish. She is everything to me, including those points of physical survival. I would be lost and emotionally devastated without her. She is my everything… My pretty girl.
It all comes down to basic survival. My faith has been shattered and rebuilt. Her smile and few words to me are, “Everything will be okay.” UHHHG, HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT!?? We have THIS, We have THAT! WHAT? HOW? Are the caps annoying?
Even just as I write this. Less than 30 days ago on my birthday. Our car was repossessed. It happens when the bill doesn’t get paid apparently. *laughs*
We are alive though. I have my priorities straight now. It took a decade to make me realize. All material things are useless. Sure, it is helpful to be able to drive to the store and not be trapped in a house. Have the things society says you need to have. Have the things you can’t live without (Points to oxygen machine).
I have faith, a lot of that in my wife and children. They are a gift from God to me. I am beating the beast and surviving the odds. I can still walk, even after being told it was unlikely. Kids are fed. It’s okay we go without a lot of things. They are only things.
Survival is exhausting.