Grieving. Coping. Searching for My Voice.
Who knew writing about life and feelings could be so difficult? Especially for someone who loves to share her thoughts and strong opinions – generally unsolicited!
I shared in my last Blathering that I was trying to prepare this weak and weary body for an incredibly meaningful trip – my Mother’s memorial.
While travel may not seem like a big deal to most humans, for the chronically ill it can be a rather huge undertaking. Definitely true for those of us mostly bedridden and horizontally sentenced due to demanding and unrelenting illness.
This Lymie hasn’t traveled any significant distance in years much less by plane. The harsh reality, I had not been upright enough to leave the house but once in the past four months. Nonetheless, I remained hopeful and determined to get myself together, packed, and make my flights. Extending that hopefulness to hold up through the scheduled days of additional travel and activities.
I’m not going to lie, I was nervous and an emotional mess. This is my Mother’s memorial we’re talking about. A great deal of prayer and positive self talk was happening while I was laid up in bed, willing myself to be vertical and strong.
Mind over matter, right?!
To say I was looking forward to being together with my family to honor our Lovely Matriarch would be an understatement.
A gathering had been planned for months to lay my Beloved Mother’s ashes in their final resting place. Our family plot is in a small town near our old homestead in the beautiful countryside of southwest Missouri. With family together, we were to have an intimate celebration of Momma’s life; stories, tears, and laughter to be shared. A sense of closure, especially for my Dad, and for all of our family.
Adrenaline had been flowing through my veins the days leading up to our departure, allowing me to power through the first day of the trip. As a blessing, and a bit shocking, I even felt somewhat human! Making an early morning flight for me was huge in and of itself. Prayer (and adrenaline) is a wonderful thing.
Thrilled and thankful to actually be upright and able to travel. I was ecstatic! What a treat to be sitting on a plane with my hubby and my 91 year old father, who by the way proudly wore his WWII, Korean, and Vietnam War – Retired USAF cap. This consequently gained him “thank you for your years of service” admiration, a few hugs, and even a bottle of champagne from a flight attendant. Score!
Note to self: travel with Dad more often. Oh, how I’d love to.
My thankfulness continued, as the three of us joined up with my niece and nephew at a rendezvous point for the first stage of the trip. We all hugged, laughed, had Cracker Barrel for dinner, because who doesn’t love Cracker Barrel? It’s as American as baseball and apple pie!
We settled in for the night, with high hopes for the remainder of the trip.
Unfortunately, we all know what can happen when an adrenaline high runs out.
After convincing my husband not to call for an ambulance, we did what we have done so many times before – we dealt. And prayed.
A veteran at dealing with these crashes and major flares, I had a necessary game plan complete with an arsenal of meds and potions. We were missing a couple significant fighters that I purposely didn’t pack. Those particular meds knock me out – sometimes for days. I didn’t have days to spare on this jammed packed trip. Plus, I truly hoped I wouldn’t need them.
Omission persuaded by denial. Major lapse in judgment.
To say that night was hellacious would be accurate. High fever, chills so extreme my body was shaking uncontrollably, chest pain and pressure, the worst nausea you can imagine, shooting pain and tremors, panic attacks added in for fun…to share only a few of the highlights.
Definition of true love: your more than compassionate and caring husband carries you in to the bathroom and holds you, because you’re shaking so severely and are too weak to hold yourself up. Then carries you back to bed.
Yeah. It was a rough and long night.
What added to this challenging and miserable crash was the reality setting in that I was not going to be able to travel any further. I had been in this state before. My body was shutting down. I had pushed myself too far in trying to be “normal” and make this trip happen.
It was all too much.
Add in the emotional disappointment of failing to be there to honor my Mother. Ugh!
My heart was breaking all over again.
I desperately wanted and needed to be there with my family. I needed this closure. I needed to be back “home” again – to revisit where I grew up; where my adoring Mother – by her example over the years – helped to mold me into the woman I am today.
Our old homestead holds precious memories for me – and I needed to be back there…to help me say goodbye…
These illnesses inside of my body robbed me of the moments I was so desperately seeking to share with my family.
My body failed me.
I failed to be there for my Dad and all of my family.
Worst of all – I felt as though I failed my Mother.
So, yes, I’ve been grieving. Not wallowing. Coping.
I was and have been profoundly sad and disappointed my body only allowed me to travel part way. But I am also incredibly thankful to our friends who ended up with a sickly house guest unexpectedly for a week. A blessing indeed. Well, for me anyway – ha!
I am thankful to my family for sharing photos, videos, and stories of their time together. Oh, to have been able to join in karaoke night at the American Legion. Momma would have been proud. She was watching over you and signing right along.
This is my family folks. Classic but never classy! (Family motto.😂)
Adding to my list of gratefulness during that difficult week of being so sick, away from home, and not at my Mother’s memorial – I was blessed with the gift of being able to see my grandkiddos. All four of them came over to where I was staying to help celebrate my 50th birthday.
Oh yeah, a milestone birthday graced this mess of a week. Whoo hoo!! (sarcasm)
But how great was it that I could share this time with our awesomely adorable and loving grandkiddos? Seriously! They showered me with balloons, flowers, homemade cards, and awesome gifts. I now know what Shopkins are.
Seeing our grandkiddos brought great joy to my aching heart. For this I am forever grateful. Precious moments I don’t get to have very often, thanks no less to these illnesses that rule my body.
I hope one day they will understand why grandma Terry is not around and always sick.
Better yet, I hope to not always be sick!
After a trying week health-wise followed by challenging travel, Hubby and I made our way back home to the desert. The next several weeks were consumed with continued grieving, and well, coping – it’s a constant.
I’ve been in a solid downward cycle that has kept me in bed most of my days and involuntarily locked to my comfy recliner most nights; stuck in what seems like a never ending Lyme and Babesia flare. Reprieve from this continuous state of flu-like symptoms, extreme body temperature fluctuations, and cycles of pure misery would be nice to say the least. It’s beyond exhausting and maddening.
Many tears have been shed. Prayer is my saving grace.
Over these past several weeks I’ve wanted to write, to reach out, to be there for others. I have been seeking and searching for my voice. In my silence and absence, I hope you will always know that I am thinking of each of you who are fighting your own battles. Please continue to fight fiercely, and remember you are never traveling this journey alone!
Thank you for following along as I rambled on with yet another personal and intimate posting. One of these days, I’ll get back to writing with a more upbeat and humorous flare. For the moment, coping, getting through the days as they come, and remaining hopeful is my focus.
Ending my thoughts on a definite positive note, I have some exciting news to share regarding a new upcoming treatment. I will be writing about this soon, so please stay tuned! If you do not already subscribe to my Blatherings, I hope you will consider doing so. I will be taking you along with me as I embark on a new path to healing this sickly body. It is time for healing!
Until my next Blathering, may whatever season you are facing provide you happy and healthy days ahead.
Blessings and good vibes – always!
Terry💚The Blathering Lymie