I wasted the joy of yesterday, I thought over and over again last Monday.
The day prior snow and ice contributed to canceled plans with a friend. And then at home we opened a letter which was both confusing and urgent. There was nothing we could do about the letter on a Sunday.
Yesterday was an opportunity to rest, to enjoy peaceful times, but that was not something I could manage to do.
I felt grumpy, sad, and one of my favorite go-to friend encouragement phrases “it’s all temporary” sent me to shirt soaking tears.
Because this is not temporary. Hubby and I have entered a new place. In this lifetime ALS will not end. Getting better is not likely.
For about two weeks leading up to Wasted Joy Day I came home from work and found my way to bed as early as possible. I longed for my comforter by 7-8pm nightly.
Often my mind wandered to the “thousand little things”. That is the phrase I internalize regarding ways our lives have changed and the manner in which the changes snuck up on us. Denial over time begat surprise. Now there are a “thousand little things” fully on my plate that showed up slowly as droplets of quicksand. Typing this out loud is not to take away from the different version of quicksand my Hubby faces daily. I try to consider his perspective too.
Thursday night Hubby and I had one of those stupid marital arguments that really isn’t about the words we said. We disagreed over the spacing of furniture in relation to the walls. For me, my stance was about not wanting to patch or paint another wall in the home we are trying to sell. He stumbles. Things knock over sometimes.
At one point I emphatically say, “You are assuming the variable Speed is a constant and it is not. If you want me to bring up the formula for Velocity right now I will.”
He said, “Go ahead.”
And I did.
And it was every bit that stupid. I’d gone rogue in the right and left brain all at the same time.
A few days passed. Then I found the key to unlock my next level of empathy. I shared with a friend who also works in mental health that I sense I am grieving again, but I’m not sure about what. It feels like I’ve gone through several canal locks to level up to the next piece of grief and then the next and the next. Meanwhile, I am ever telling myself to be thankful since things could be worse. Be grateful, Self. C’mon!
“It’s almost like I am grieving hope,” I say. Then gasp. I know that is exactly it.
I am grieving that after years of thinking he would be ok if he got in better shape or got a better job or did something anything to help advance himself or us as a unit, that things would be better. 26 years worth of belief and hope is g-o-n-e. This is a brand new chapter. Old physical and financial hopes have ended.
I sit with the new reality.
Once the specific grief item is identified, I feel better.
I say goodbye to past ways of thinking and consider there will be fresh things to hope.
The Speed to find our new rhythm of life is also not a constant variable.
I surrender old hopes and expectations day by day.
One Sunday later the sun is out and Hubby makes a random funny comment about avocado. I can’t be sure how many weeks it has been since I genuinely smile and laugh. A new seed of hope exists. We’ll nurture it and wait for it to sprout.
Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.