Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I can. I will. I am.

It’s the prefect storm.

The anniversary of my husband’s death.

The flu.  Achy body, runny/itchy nose, cough, sneezes and fever.

And my period starts.

I got up today and practically slapped myself when I looked in the mirror.  “Man up, Meri!”

I slithered around the house like Bugs Bunny on Ether.

I had to go to work, and take care of the family.  There was no room for pansy in my day.  I showered, dressed and took the day by the horns.

Okay, not really by the horns.  But I tried really hard not to look as pathetic as I felt.

By the time I got to the doctor's office I was ready to work.  I began setting up the trays for the day when I noticed I began to move slower and slower.  (The ether was kicking in?)  I was sweating profusely.   I’m pretty sure it was 1/2 the doctor turning up the thermostat because he was cold, 1/4 my polyester scrubs, and the last 1/4 my illness.  Whatever the cocktail, I kept making excuses to walk in the front of his office to get air.

Finally done, and I run to get the boys.  I kept my sunglasses on so I wouldn’t scare people, and smiled like any alive person would.  Slowly moving through the motions, (see ether video above,) and driving extra carefully so my children’s lives wouldn’t be put in jeopardy. 

I was fully aware that I was a woman on the edge.  My toes were hanging precariously over, and the wind was pretty strong.  I think a leaf could have gently brushed me and that would have been the end of my standing on solid ground. 

So I did the smart thing and took the 15 mile detour home to avoid the three lane closures the city council saw fit to impliment.  It was quiet, and calm which allowed the kids to pretend they have a mom who is totally normal and together rather than one full of rage about inept drivers and obviously mentally impaired city council members.

I walked in the door and turned to the boys.

“Here’s the deal.  Your mother is sick.  And completely exhausted.  And has started her point.”  (That is what they call my period, and I talk about myself in the third person when even I'm scared of me. )  “She is going to lay down for an hour and take a nap.  You are going to do all your homework.  ALL of it.”

They nodded in unison like the perfect children they are, and I headed straight for the couch.

Ben later described my sleep something like this:

“You looked like you were a dead zombie mom.”


The night went pretty smoothly as my mother in law cooked dinner and my oldest drove the 11 year old to scouts for me.

9:00pm rolled around and I called the boys in for family prayer.

B came in and flung himself on the couch dramatically. 

“I can’t find the math homework I did yesterday.  I just can’t!”

“And your telling me this at bedtime and not hours before, because???”

“I thought I could find it.”

Which snowballed into, “Oh, and I have all these very important forms and permission slips for you to sign and fill out right now.”

“And your telling me this at bedtime and not hours before, because???”

“Because you were sleeping all day.”

He said that.  He really really did.  I swear it.

“Sleeping for one hour, is not ALL DAY, son.”

Then the youngest says, “Oh, I forgot, I have to make a reading log.  That’s going to take me awhile.”

But you all would be proud.  I kept it together pretty well.  Sure, there might have been some injuries from the darts coming out of my eyes, but that is neither here nor there.

When everything was accounted for and backpacks were ready for the day ahead my 15 year old says, “I’m going to take a shower.  Don’t get mad.  I forgot to earlier.”

And I didn’t get mad.  I just nodded and felt the fireworks go off in my brain…which probably explains the huge headache I have…

But here’s the clincher.  Diabetes had to jump in too.  I mean, It’s not called Our Diabetic Life for nothing, right?

A couple forgotten papers?  A little homework and a shower done after bedtime?  PASHAW!  That is nothing people.  Of course diabetes had to plop his big butt down next to me.

After I declared everyone needs to be in bed within five seconds, B comes out and says, “Ummm…mom.  I’m just low.  I’m just going to take care of it really fast, OK?”

And then he grabs something and runs to bed. 

(Maybe I’m underestimating those darts, he looked pretty terrified.)

He must have passed L in the hallway.

L stuck his head out around the corner.  I’m sure he was gaging how grotesque a figure I had morphed into.  I could see the fear circling his head, so I let him off the hook.

“What is the problem, sweetheart?”

“Ok.  Well.  I forgot to tell you.  Um….”

And then he walks to me and WHISPERS, “I only have one unit left, ok?” Laying his pump on the couch beside me and slowly backing away as if the bomb was going to go off at any moment.  “I’ll be in bed.  Call me when you’re ready to put the new one in.”

It was 10:05pm when everyone was in bed.  A recheck of B showed he needed another snack and then I sat down here, at the computer, only after my son yelled from his bedroom, "And mom?  Tomorrow's picture day!"

It is 10:23pm now. 

Yes, I pretty much just threw up my frustration all over my keyboard.

And yes, I'm overwhelmed over stupid stuff.  I know all the things I typed above are par for the course, and totally part of a normal day in anyone's life...but when you're in "the edge" state of mind?  It's like climbing giant crags all day.  I needed a release and unfortunately for you, this post is it.

I have gobs of friends texting me, asking me to help.  I have a mother in law and sister in law ready to jump in when I need.  I have help available to me.

But there is nothing in the entire universe that can replace a husband taking care of you.  Tucking you in at night and saying, “No worries babe, I got this.”

Well, that’s what my husband used to do anyway.  Really, he tucked me in.  Really, he called me babe.

A friend of mine who has cancer sent me an email this week.  He said if it's any comfort, when he passes away he wants his wife to be happy and have joy.  Also he wants a life sized statue of himself  to be built in the living room with the words, "you'll never measure up to me" running on a loop, to serve as a reminder to any future spouse that may enter the picture.

I'm not sure I need a statue.  I think this blog will suffice.

So I will take my Nyquil and try to forget about what I don’t have, and try to remember what I do have.

I’ll remember those four boys who despite falling short tonight, are doing their best.

I’ll remember that I survived a hard day, a day that I didn’t want to get out of bed for.

I’ll remember that one day, things will be better.

And I’ll try hard to forget that I can’t do this without Ryan.  Because I can.

I can. 

I can.

I can.

I will.

I am.


  1. Aw, that doesn't sound like a normal day, it sounds like a day any of us would go crazy from, but you survived! High Five!

  2. Thank you, Meri for being venerable with your readers. I'm sure everyone can relate to your experience. I'll have to try talking about myself in the 3rd person sometime- maybe to the ladies I take care of at the group home.

    Believe it or not, when you said you were sick and I already knew the significance of 9/2, it occurred to me that it would add insult to injury if you got your period too. Here's my story. On 8/27 my period started and I said to myself "What the heck? It's only been 23 days since my last one! Why is this happening tonight?" Then I thought "Oh, I'll bet K. (one of my ladies) is getting her period." I know that women who spend a lot of time together tend to get their periods around the same time. K had just been in a MV accident and was bruised and sore. I know that she gets icky cramps. I don't get bad cramps every month, but on 8/27 and 28 I did. I took ibuprofen and it didn't help. I then went home and took Tylenol and tried to distract myself by watching tv while waiting for it to take effect. It took about 45 min. Turns out I was right, K started on 8/29. But she didn't complain of cramps, at least not in my presence.

    Thanks for sharing your ups and downs with your readers. I'm glad you have this outlet!!

  3. Ohhhh Meri! You surely CAN and you DO....I believe you should allow yourself some "CANT" days, just as well! Nothing wrong with taking a "I cant do this TODAY" day....and....

    And then stepping back up to the plate after a break! We ALL need cant days. Especially super Meri!! A mental health day. Without them....we will be eternally drained! ((HUGS))

    1. I agree, Kelly! Meri- We all need a break now and then. Some days we can and some we just CAN'T!! CAN'T is different than won't or I don't want to, but only you know which is which!! Oh, BTW, Meri, I'd get a flu shot if I were you. I don't know if you get them or not. This bout won't protect you from another strain of influenza! I get one because I'm a T2D. The doctor doesn't even ask me if I want one or not she just says I need one!!

  4. <3
    I can't believe PICTURE DAY plopped ITS big butt down next to you too.

    Toward the end of her life, my friend Kirsten told her husband she wanted him to be happy, but that she would HAUNT him if he remarried. He got married probably within two years of her death. I guess she should have asked for one of those "you'll never measure up" statues!

    You fit so much fun and beauty into the agony of life. I love it. I hope you're feeling better soon.

  5. and picture day!
    Oh, my! Meri you are incredible. To hear all that and then be able to sit and type about it, you are an amazingly patient, loving, kind mother. The way you handle it all with such love and grace is such a wonderful example to me. I know you can do this. You do and you will keep doing it. Bravo! And I hope you are feeling much, much better :)


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