This life is such a give and take of ups and downs.
I had an absolutely beautiful teaching day, even with adversity.
Once again, my assistant was pulled to sub. Which means the day I come back after chemo, I’m by myself all day long with 23 kindergarten students. We have such a sub shortage, and it’s ridiculous. But…
I’ve learned how to breathe through stress and stay calm, so yesterday morning I fed fourteen children breakfast with milks and cereals and spork packages to open, took 23 lunch orders, checked folders for notes, hugged and hugged a crier until she stopped missing mommy while other children filed in the room, took attendance, and helped children make the letter b during morning time…all in twenty minutes. I had soft folk music playing which helps set the tone. Then I painted everyone’s left hand and we made ships out of handprints for Christopher Columbus day, learned a song, made a green ripped paper and glue letter “g”, read the three billy goats Gruff and acted it out, discussed the number five, worked on concepts of print, read a book together, and ate snack in the garden.
I think the wig helps too, as they look at me like I’m magical. It also helps that they all believe I can fly at night.
Running a kindergarten classroom is exhausting, let alone while going through chemo. Take away the much needed extra set of hands, and it’s even more work. But we made it through again, and I thank God for a job that I love so much and children who have worked their way into my heart yet again.
However, as calm and patient as I stay, it depleted the energy bucket.
Which means that while my students get the best of me, my children get exhausted chemo mom who feels nauseous and sick by the end of the day.
I went to Morgan’s field hockey game but had to leave because I…was… just… done. Turns out I missed her making two goals and her team winning.
I also missed Maddie running with her cross country team at sunken meadow. She got a PR by two minutes and ran a five k in 20:39. I missed that milestone. Thank God her coach takes pictures.
Quinn is now being dropped off every day by bus at my mom and dads so he isn’t alone after school. My parents dropped him off and he told me all about his field trip. I didnt chaperone, because I have to save my days for cancer. I missed this trip, but I had several people send me pictures.
I was laying on the couch, bald as a newborn chicken, nauseous, with a headache, and started my own pity party. My dad picked up my girls when they finished their long day, and I tried to muster up excitement when they came home. I couldn’t even get up off the couch to get them their dinner. But they have become self sufficient, and managed to cut their own chicken pot pie slices. (And oh my word, my friend sarah makes the best hands down pie everrrrrr.)
Rob spent the evening at the yankee game with a dear friend. He needed a night away, and getting a night away was good for him. I feel like I’m missing a part of me when he is gone, but he needs to self charge too. He has been handling this all alone, and being with his friend was good for him.
I got a message from the woman I met at the cancer center last week who I gave all of my tips to help her with chemo right before I went up for chemo. She found me on Facebook, and it turns out we have several friends in common. She said I was an angel… but last night she was mine. I needed to hear some good things because the pity party was strong.
I broke down and took some anti nausea meds and headache meds before bed… and which means I’m up at 3:00 am again.
That’s ok, I’ve got lots of things to pray for anyway.
I’m excited about raising money for my oncologist. Being able to help others when going through a hard time gives your life meaning. I spoke to the hospital again yesterday, and checks will be made out to the stony brook research foundation with Dr Alison Stopeck on the memo line so they know to funnel it to her. They are also contacting a publisher to see about me writing a children’s book.
It sounds crazy… adding one more thing to my plate….but if it’s meant to be, God will give me what I need to get it done.
I’m forgiving myself for my pity party yesterday, and instead thanking God I was here to see and hear about my children’s day. I visited my friend Leila’s page and saw her husband put up a post in memory of her and in honor of metastic day. I scrolled through her feed and watched videos of her with her “critter” Milo, and was so damn sad she is gone. Then I went to Alycia’s page, then Lisa’s. Their children are moving through the grief of losing their moms this year with grace, grit, and courage. I hope they know that at 3 am, there is a woman who loved their mom sending prayers for protection and love to cover them as they navigate this new world without their amazing moms.
Grief is so hard.
We don’t ever get over losing ones we love.
We just move through the fog. Some days it’s so thick we can barely see or take a deep breath, and some days it’s thinner and we can move with more grace and ease. But our loved ones are always with us in the fog, in the blur, whispering to keep going as they cover us with love.
And that’s all there is.
I’m so proud of those who can continue to put one foot in front of the other, when hearts are so broken I can feel the actual pain coming off of their spirit. For some reason, a tragedy has fallen upon their life, and yet they keep going. Some people find a way to even make beauty and good while in the dark night of the soul. It may seem like an eternity that we are apart from our loved ones, but it’s actually the blink of an eye. When we are reunited, all of the pain is forgotten, and there is just love.
Which is why I’m trying to spread as much love as I can while here in this side of the veil. We are all so much more connected than you know, and by healing and loving ourselves first, we can then heal the world.
Deep thoughts at 3:00 am, I know.
But it’s true.
Today will be another busy day, and I’m hoping the nausea tapers off. My taste buds are gone, and it makes me sad. But I’m grateful I can still eat on my own, and egg salad has become my friend.
May today’s balance between work and home be easier. May more love be spread and the fog of grief so many are working through be a thin veil today… so thin you can feel the love of your heart beating as one with the one you miss.
In Jesus’s name, amen.