Friday, February 5, 2016

Mama Told Me There Would Be Days Like This

There is a bird that sings right outside our bedroom window just before sunrise. The song it sings is a loud and beautiful one. It has almost been a consistent wake up call for the past week or so. The birds in our side yard keep me entertained as well.

I am not going to lie but yesterday was a tough day. Drew raised PT up another level, which is fine by me but with my endurance encumbered, it can be difficult work resulting in my knee and foot having a bit of a flare up pain wise. Yesterday especially, I felt my knee give way a couple of times. They are letting me put more weight on my right leg and achieving that milestone is so welcomed. This whole hip recovery thing has caused a new normal that neither Roy nor I totally understand and it is a new path for both of us. One of the things he has always liked about me is my independent spirit. We observed while we dated and were first married that the whole dependent thing in some of our friends is what divided them and eventually they divorced. I told Roy that whole I don't know what to do thing while cute when first dating becomes a whole millstone around the neck thing several years down the road when the guy is tired of making each and every decision. I think Roy saw this first hand with his mother and while my mom had been totally capable and at one time had great self esteem, my father wore her down till her whole life wrapped up in and around his and she was afraid to make a move without his approval. So Roy found this attribute attractive of being independent yet knowing I could come to him. Well, here we are thirty eight years into the marriage, going on 39, and the past eight years have held lots of me being dependent on him. First with my heart issues and the resulting domino effect with my health and now after coming back and living life pre-heart virus, the whole hip replacement thing has caused me a greater dependence than even with my heart. So last night in our new normal we encountered a blip on the radar screen we didn't see coming. Several weeks ago I thought I saw a discrepancy with Mission Hospital and Blue Cross from my ER visit in December, I mentioned it to Roy, but he couldn't find what I was talking about. Then last night as we went through the mail, there was a bill from Mission and it reminded me again of the discrepancy, so we looked once again at the papers we had and then out of the blue, Roy was obviously unhappy with me over something. I will tell you this, all this hub bub made me cry, I just lost it because I could not understand why all of the sudden he was so upset and I didn't know what I had done or not done. I think this whole situation took both of us by surprise and so like we have learned to do over the years we began dismantling the pieces of the conversation to see where we diverged. My take was he had brought home a frustration from the office and was acting out the frustration on me. His take was I always paid the bills, why all of the sudden did I want him to get involved and make calls or do research. I didn't really think of hospital and insurance stuff as bills but more like a contract and there isn't anyone better at reading contracts than Roy. He thought I was being passive/aggressive and I thought he was over reacting. Then Roy said something profound, that the new normal contained three types of me and he was confused on where I was on that timeline. There is the independent, not afraid to drive by myself to NC, me; then there is Lafayette Nancy, couldn't do one thing for myself, totally dependent on him and the kindness of strangers; and then there is Katy Nancy, struggling to heal yet knowing especially after seeing Dr Smith, the limitations on forward progress are there for a reason. There is a fine line between progress and setbacks if one isn't careful. Truthfully, he is ready for independent me ( I am ready for that too) and we both know that it is tough on him having to be at the office and then come home straight into a caregiver situation. He has little margin or time for himself. There is always something that needs to be done and looking at insurance stuff was not on his list last night. We were both quick to apologize. Then we celebrated the strides that have been made the past two weeks and how slowly but surely things he has had to help me with has become less and less (thinking back to our first night home.)  That is something we do, celebrate the good, we remember the progress and then we both pledge to be like that verse in Amos, how can two walk together unless they be agreed and I will add it is great to be agreed because the walker can cause strife in the stride. We spent the rest of the evening there on the couch, he reading a mystery and me, well I was watching the conclusion of the Bernie Madoff story.

You might be thinking why did you share all of this Nancy? I will tell you why, to give hope. You see we don't fit in the box that most would like you to fit in. Roy is a great leader but he is not all macho about it. I have a streak of independence but I don't do things contrary to Roy's wishes. We don't have children. I am not a girly girl in the church sense of what a woman is supposed to be like and I question a lot of things have I pretty much let you know what I think or where you stand with me. My greatest joy is not making a casserole and Roy's greatest joy isn't building something. Roy's desire is to walk in love and please God. We didn't figure out how to "discuss" things or solve problems at some church marriage conference, we asked the Lord to show us our willful ways and how we might best do good to one another. There is nothing wrong with getting help from conferences at churches but when you don't fit the stereotype in the first place it might not be all that helpful.

This morning as I have eased into the day Roy and I have talked several times and emailed. We have moved on, forgiving and walking forward being agreed. I am reminded of John 5, do you want to get well. Yeppers!  Don't give excuses of why you can't, look to Jesus and then start searching for that mat you can pick up and move right along, nothing to see here.

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