Lost and found

Tomorrow is sushi night.  Actually it’s supposed to be sushi & beer night, but due to an unfortunate beer incident this past weekend (da** you casino comps!!!), it’ll most likely be sushi & ice tea night.  Anyhoo, once a month prior to a church committee meeting I get tanked on wasabi and booze, if you’d like to join me tomorrow email me for the details.

I mentioned that today was a big day, here’s why–at this moment Tammy is at Children’s Hospital with Hope, learning how to give the HGH shot.  The meds came last week, along with the injection pen, a whole bunch of needles, a travel bag, a backpack, a dvd, a bunch of paperwork, and a postage-paid hazmat disposal box.  So today is quite literally the first day of the rest of our lives.  I don’t know how I expected to feel, but I’m not excited.  I know I’ll get used to giving the shot and all the “parts” that now seem so overwhelming I’ll be able to do in my sleep within a few weeks.  It’s moments like these though that remind me how far I am from acceptance.

Tomorrow Tammy goes back to work and I’ll be on my own with the girls.  Although I am in much better shape now than when Tammy stopped working a couple of months ago I am still pretty terrified of the next few weeks.  Grace is going to have a very hard time adjusting I think and is going to miss Tammy a lot, those two have been almost inseparable playmates for the last few months.  It’s going to be very hard on Tammy too, she puts way too much pressure on herself to be all things to all people.  I’ve spent most of our life together trying to make her more of an underachiever but haven’t made nearly enough progress for her own good.  We’re all going to have to be very understanding and patient with each other over the next couple of months.

In an effort to psych myself up for this week I have been trying to convince myself of how far I’ve come in five months–but this is in no way a solicitation for accolades.  When Hope was about a month old I started sleeping a few nights a week on the couch.  The slightest sound from her crib would wake me if the every-two-hour-alarm for feeding and pumping didn’t beat her to it.   Eventually I’d be able to sleep through all of that, but in the beginning I needed to be in another room if I wanted any chance of more than 90 consecutive minutes of sleep.  As tired as I was though, after a few nights on the couch I was actually sleeping worse — or not at all.  What I found in the silence was the ability to think a complete thought, something that had been evading me for awhile, and it kept me up for hours.  I wish that I could say I thought a lot in those hours but my mind was so muddled and clumsy at the time that it just took that long to complete a couple of thoughts start to finish.

My first breakthrough was a self-evaluation, an answer to the persistent questions “how do you feel?” “how are you?”, etc….  

Lost and broken.

Today is not much different.  Maybe a little less broken, but definitely more lost — or vice versa, I’m not sure.  Sometimes I still feel like I am walking around in someone else’s body, staring at a stranger in the mirror, and missing someone that I really liked but took for granted.  Now I’m running around like a chicken sans cabeza trying to put the house in some kind of order so that tomorrow I can wake up with a literal clean slate, ready to face “the new normal.”  (I still hate that expression.)  

The old me did the grocery shopping on Sunday, paid in cash, and never bought too much.  The old me did laundry on Tuesdays, all of it neatly folded and put away, sheets changed, even Tammy’s closet stayed organized.  Old me made dinner for my family, at least four times a week, healthy, well-planned meals with just the right amount of leftovers.  Old me made sure the house was tidy and organized, counters and sinks were clean, and Grace’s signs of life were cleared from common living areas a few times a day and certainly after bedtime.  Old me was active at church.  Old me exercised pretty regularly and kept the family budget very, very carefully.  Most importantly, old me could do all of this and entertain and handle Grace.

New me sucks.  It’s got to improve though because I won’t let Tammy come home to a dump and chicken nuggets every night.  Of course I say this as I look at nearly every article of clothing we own piled high on a bed with no sheets, with no idea what is in the refrigerator or pantry besides breastmilk and reject nipples, and wearing shorts that no longer fit — and not in a good way.

Oh yeah, and Grace scares the crap out of me.   

On the other hand, there is something kind of liberating about being lost and broken.  To borrow a cliche from every sports movie ever, you’ve got to break them them down so you can build them back up.  And from a faith perspective, I’ve got a little more insight into the upside of being meek and brokenhearted.  

I just wish Jesus did laundry.

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