After pulling numerous handcrafted invitations from my kindergartener’s backpack, I got my planner out from the desk drawer. My planner is my lifeline, acting as a crutch during times of crisis and keeping all of the world’s chaos in a well-designed space.
I hadn’t been using it lately. I packed it to Disneyland, but never once referenced it during the wild flurries of activity.
You see, Jake has been doing significantly better over the past few weeks. So much better, in fact, he has been solely responsible for his own care. And because of this, I have checked out. At first I felt guilty as he did the dishes and laundry while I napped or simply didn’t do those things. It’s not that I felt guilty for enjoying myself, it’s that I felt guilty for being a perfectly healthy person that’s too lazy to do the things the stage 4 cancer patient is doing.
So anyways, I took my planner out and penned in a few dates and activities. Then I do what I normally do, which is over plan. Which is why this past week I had to cross out a lot of cancelled plans. Because, you see, on paper I should be able to do all these things. Why shouldn’t I be at art night supporting the elementary school? We don’t have any appointments, Jake is feeling well and it’s just an hour and a half in the evening.
Or why wouldn’t we sign the girls up for the awesome 3000 race they so enjoyed doing last year? We don’t have any plans that Saturday.
Which all sounds fine and dandy, until the day of art night. Where I dreaded going to that elementary school for one more event.
Or when I went to register the girls for the Awesome 3000 race and realized we were too late to register. My immediate feeling was relief. So much relief that I had an excuse to get out of it.
I can’t explain what’s going on. Nor do I want to.
I want to not have to plan for the worst. I don’t want to have to ask for help, then constantly wonder if I’m being polite enough when accepting said help. I don’t want to look into selling my home and what the rental housing market looks like in Portland. I don’t want to seek out and find support groups for our situation.
I’ve been to hell and back, and the other side isn’t what I expected it to be. It’s better. Jake is still here and healthier than before. Not only did I not lose my husband, I got my husband back, and with more time than we had thought.
After being told he had months to live, if that long, I kicked it into high gear and took care of business. I made sure his estranged mom came to visit. I made sure his favorite grandma came too. I got our family to Disneyland.
And now, here we are. Our parents aren’t living with us, we can manage our life by ourselves and things finally feel like they aren’t being shaken and tossed around by cancer.
And now, it’s time to just be. To listen to the words I like to say to Gwyneth, to appreciate what’s in front of us and not worry about what’s happening in the future.