Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Running in fog but through the wind

Yesterday was one of the windiest days and one of the clearest in many months.  It has been a ride the past 6 weeks post UCSF, especially the past 5 that Makenzie has been back in school and we have all been back to our new normal lives.  She is doing incredible, which brings a huge sense of peace, but also scare.  The nerves of not knowing if she will go back to the hospital are trying, but also gradually going to the side when allowed. 

Last week I had a list of things to get done with re-launching my business and the fitness challenge coming up, but Emerson was very punky and needed to be home getting better.  She had a cold that is pretty brutal.  It's not a big deal though compared to anything else and we just moved along and went with how she felt. So I dropped my "to do list" and cuddled a lot.  She would cough through the night, whine out and immediately we'd jump to get her.  When snuggling in our bed she would pull us right close, so tight that we are cheek to cheek all night, and then would cough all night.  Lovely visual, eh? Let me tell you it is a gift to be a Mom, but moments like that of coughs in your face as you calm your kiddo let you know it is a nonstop "gift" of patience and calm since you know you're next in line for the cold. 

Emerson being an RSV-pertusis- pneumonia kid has us worried when she catches a cold since she can go from 0 to 60 in a few hours.  I took her to the doctor's on Tuesday to take a peak and see. It was the best MD appointment we've had in a very long ears or throat infections and Makenzie read to her the entire visit.  Gradually she got better and then I got it.  No big deal though, I run through it.  I know it can be much worse and outside of my running gloves being washed after each runny nose induced run, it's all good.   But why was it I still was getting flustered and feeling foggy?  Why, some mornings after teaching or training, would I feel a punch to my gut and some nerves being stirred?  I was doing everything right I thought.  We were all getting a routine, Jack and I were communicating about schedules, and talking a lot about our own balance within the family.  E had no ear or throat infections and loves school and M was doing incredible in school making it 'till 1:30 most days already.  Yet I couldn't get the weight off my shoulders to feel "light". 

Then yesterday I had a revelation when running with Emerson. I booked it to pick her up at preschool since I was almost late, going against an intense wind.  She wanted to picnic after school so I brought her lunch even remembering her favorite yogurt.  We enjoyed lunch with some friends and I had a nice time watching as she interacted with her buddy S.  She was talking about her "friends" and smiling a lot.  When the wind almost blew us away, we decided to run "home", but I knew I had to get some miles in and we'd be running a long way home.  E was singing to me and talking to her doll, Baby Sita, for a while and suddenly stopped.  I peaked in and she was conked out, looking so sweet and yummy all bundled up protected from the wind.  I continued on the beach path.  When looking out across the Bay to San Francisco the crisp beauty took me away.  The city popped out like on a postcard. 

In all this windy clarity it hit me....I have been given the time to process what happened with Makenzie and to "move on" and be grateful she made it.  But I fear that if I move to far forward I am setting myself up for disappointment and scare if she suddenly has to go back to UCSF.  I have been working on creating balance again, a sense of structure and schedule for not only Makenzie but for all of us.  My business is set for training between 4:45-7:45 am, so I don't miss time with the girls or Jack and can work with my clients and boot camps.  Emerson has Preschool twice each week, Makenzie is doing better each day and gaining even more courage.  Jack is loving his job and feels good, even tough he works late because he is happy with what he is doing.  All of this is incredible...and feeling clean and bright.  It feels good and blissful in many ways, but it is starting to feel like when we moved into our house and were starting to feel settled last September.  It was the time right when Makenzie got sick and our lives were changed. I think that is what scares me. 

Yesterday morning a friend from Makenzie's school asked me if we knew the cause for what happened. She asked me with a fearful laugh adding, "Do you know so we can all make sure to not do it?".  I didn't take it as rude, I took it as her being nervous about it happening again and concerned if it could happen to her daughter.  We've been asked the question regularly by friends and acquaintances and dealt with it each time with similar answers, such as "We have no idea, she is an anomoly". But  I go back and repeat every event leading up to Makenzie getting sick; thinking if there was any moment we could have prevented what happened.  If there was anything we could have done to avoid her experiencing all the pain, scares and scars.  But as we've been told by the doctor's, there isn't any rhyme or reason why and if it will happen again.  Still, I ask myself and have to find courage and peace to face the answer of no answer.

When I stopped at the beach to look at the City, I realized I am scared BUT craving balance because it means we will be getting more and more back to "normal".  But we'll never be "normal" again, and knowing anything can change in an instant, is scary.  We just have to LIVE and know it's OK to be scared about the unanswered questions.  It is not being pessimistic as someone said to me, as I am a glass "half full" type of person, BUT I don't have to be brave all the time and am allowed to be scared of being "normal" again. Normal is when our world fell apart...and we had to just go with it and not resist but be patient and pray.   I feel clearer with the ability of knowing that it's ok to grieve as I heal since the more we get back to normal, the harder it will be if anything happens again.  But being back in a normal routine balances out my inner peace, and normalcy is ok. It doesn't mean a rug will be pulled out from under us again, it means we can just "live" each day.  It means I can keep running and not have to stop for long periods of time. But if I do, I know how to pick up and keep going again and again.

1 comment:

  1. I can so relate, Erin. January 30th was 1 year since daddy died. I couldn't bring myself to stop moving and doing that day, because I was afraid I'd be overwhelmed with grief if I did. The next day I found myself laughing and smiling about something and suddenly felt super guilty. How can I be happy when it's only been one year. Then I panicked, because all of a sudden I realize that when I closed my eyes and thought of dad, what came to mind was the photo I've been looking at and talking to for the past year--my favorite one of me around age 15, sitting on his lap. All of a sudden I couldn't just bring "him" to my mind without thinking of how he was in the nursing home. It was horrible, and I started to cry. I wanted to run back in the house and look through all the photo albums going back to when I was a baby, so I could see daddy healthy and happy and laughing.

    Then I got so angry at life for putting him through everything he went through in 2009...the roller coaster ride from hell...just like you went through: where you think you're past the worst and can finally relax, only to have something even worse happen just days or weeks later. We'd gear up for the worst, hoping for the best, and he'd get past it and we'd relax...only to have something worse happen days or weeks later. Then the worst was hearing the best news--that the cancer was in remission! He was down 65 pounds, healthier and stronger than before it all started, now apparently with the rest of his life before him...only to get the final, surprise diagnosis that meant the end.

    I say this not to bring doom and gloom, but to say that I understand completely the emotional roller coaster you're experiencing...wanting so badly to focus on the future, yet still scared of the past creeping up on you. The Serenity Prayer said over and over helped me get past the fear and back into faith when the feelings like that would hit me. Try repeating it as you run. And know that Just For Today, all is well. You are blessed, as is Makenzie, Emerson and Jack. You've been through hell and came out the other side. Embrace the sun on your face, the wind at your back, and the friends by your side. "With God behind us and His arms beneath us, we can face whatever lies in front of us." I love you, Terri


I am probably out running, but I thank you for taking the time to share. I look forward to your additional input as this blog grows and evolves.
Erin Kreitz Shirey