Giving Rise to the Occasion

I’m so thankful for the long weekend.  We could all just be lazy.

No doctors appointments. No games.  No pt.  No demands.

Sometimes I find that I have a hard time identifying exactly how I feel.  Something I learned from my counseling is that anger is a secondary emotion.  You have to set aside the anger and figure out what the real emotion is that your feeling.  Having shut my emotions of for almost a decade, I have a hard time identifying with emotions I don’t know or understand.

Since my last blog post I’ve taken time to try to figure out why I was so angry and upset.  I know that anger is secondary so I had to try to figure out what was really bothering me.

Usefulness.

I feel like cancer has stripped me of my usefulness.  Not to just my family, but in my work and even friends.  Laying back here in my bed I’ve been watching for weeks how my family has been able to readjust and essentially go through everyday life without me.  The laundry gets done.  Cooking is done.  Dishes done.  Bathrooms are clean.  Everything I’d normally do for my family is done.  I should take pride in knowing that my children are not your typical child of this generation.  They have risen to the occasion and are helping Dad with daily chores.  But deep down inside I felt like: Wow, they really don’t need me.  I could die tomorrow and I know that they’d be ok because they can get what needs to be done…done.

I know that’s an extreme view, but that’s exactly how I felt.  No one needs me.  Life can go on…..it doesn’t matter if I’m here or not.

After typing my last post my son asked me for help with his homework.  I was still steaming from my post so I took his work book and looked it over.  I hobbled to the living room and helped jump-start his brain into remembering what sentence fragments, incomplete sentences, and simple predicates were.  I was so mad I passed by realizing that my family is only adjusting to the entire situation.  Doing what needs to be done because it has to be done.  I’m sure my 13-year-old didn’t want to do laundry this weekend… But she did it because she loves her mamma and because she knew she needed to step up.

My anger steamed through the weekend.  Like a freight train out of control waiting to derail.  Yesterday morning my train derailed and blew up.  We had planned to get up early in the morning to go to Colorado Springs Balloon Classic.  I’ve been wanting to go to Telluride, Colorado’s since we moved here last year.  I actually think longer than that.  I’ve always wanted to go to Albuquerque, NM to see thousands of balloons launch, but this would be a great event to attend.

The night before I told Dan that people were posting on the Gazette’s facebook page that parking was a nightmare.  Didn’t put much thought into it until we got there the next morning.  We assumed that we left my handicap parking thing in the Blazer so we drove around along side streets trying to find parking.  really there was no place to just drop me off because the park is huge.   My anger boiled over.  Here I was finally getting to go do something awesome, at least watch something amazing, and because I was a stupid gimp….

We started for home.  There was just no way I could walk that far…Dan would have to fireman carry me back.

My anger boiled over to tears.  Dan and I even exchanged words with each other.  I wasn’t mad at him, just upset because I’m tired of feeling like a useless blob of goo.   Just as we got off the interstate to head home….guess what I found between our seats….. Yep, the handicap parking thing.  Dan crossed four lanes and zoomed back onto the interstate.  Me made it just in time to see them all launch.

It was remarkable.  We all talked about how do they work, and pointed out our favs.  We even saw the one we see frequently near our house in the mornings.  The big excitement was watching smoky the bear take off. They even had a balloon with a hummingbird on it.  It was neat to see the different shapes and sizes of the balloons.

Just as the last ones took off I turned to Dan and told him we better go home.  I don’t know if it was standing on my feet or what, but I was screaming in pain.  We got home and Dan made us a yummy breakfast.  I took some zofram and drifted off to sleep.  Several times I woke up to take more zofram and percocet.  Unfortunately it wasn’t until the evening when I got the pain under control.  One of the times, right before I fell asleep I was thinking about the balloons.  About how they’d take off quickly and rise up to the sky.  For a few moments they’d drop down towards the earth before making their final rise up to the sky……….

Last night after the groggy feeling of taking all that percocet lifted and I thought about those balloons.  Life is reminiscent of those balloons.  We are all of different color, shape, and size.  We all rise up and sometimes we fall a bit before making that rise to the stars.  At the moment I’m in the slow little dip towards the earth.

I’m not after riches or gold.  I’m a product of my father.  I like to know that I’m using my talents and brains to the best possible use.  When that usefulness fades….its difficult to feel like anything matters.  I do’t want to leave this world without having known I gave my best in everything ‘ve done.  It’s why I decided to go to college while my children were young.  It’s why I waited to have any real jobs till they went to school during the day.  My place was at home raising them.   Teaching them how to do the basics at home.  In time, when opportunity presented I put myself in a job that had potential growth.   No one could have predicted what was to come.

My test is not surviving cancer.  My test is surviving myself.  It’s not about letting others help me….I rather like being taken care of.  It’s about letting pride in a job well done seep in and acceptance that I have done a great job.  I was preparing my kids for life on their own, who knew they’d need those skills for now?  One breath at a time, one positive moment at a time I can beat my inner demons.

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