I woke up, surprised the kids let me sleep in- I felt rested after tossing and turning these past few nights. I have been trying to plan how this will unfold with the kids home not having school today and me getting the call. How exactly will I handle it while they scurried around my feet- playing, fighting, asking for this and that? I wasn’t quite sure. I didn’t really have a plan, nothing seemed clear or concrete to me. I just knew I would get the call today. It’s the only thing I felt sure about.
The only thing.
I came downstairs to the mess of my kids who had been up for hours, and at that very moment the phone rang. I stared at it. I knew…
I couldn’t pick it up.
I watched as it rang and rang… I froze.
I couldn’t do it.
Cade started playing the clarinet and Cass blaring Miley’s latest while singing at the top of her lungs. The squeaking of the instrument interrupted by my daughter’s command to “STOP IT CADE!!!” And the “Wrecking Ball” madness ensued. Then the squeaking again and the singing louder and then “MOM!!! HELP ME! WHY DOES IT KEEP SQUEAKING LIKE THAT!!” As Cade started to cry… and Cass continued to fight to end the battle of the wits victoriously, I gently took Cade to the other room and showed him how to hold his tiny fingers over the holes, and place his mouth just right onto the mouthpiece. Blowing … squeaking… “MOM!!” as he starts to meltdown with frustration.
I continue to assist the ever so stubborn inpatient demands of my son, while redirecting Cassidy to respect her brother and take turns with the air we all get equal rights to in this house. When Cade was done trying, he pursued Cassidy with a tenacity only little brothers can have… as they pecked at each other’s nerves over and over again fighting over what song to listen to next.
I made my coffee and walked through the routine of making breakfast and serving… cleaning… checking emails… all the while bubbling inside with angst I couldn’t articulate just yet. I needed to feel calm before I even touched that phone. I needed something to come into me that told me I can do this. I can face this. I needed time to prepare for what I thought I had been preparing for all along… but you never really are prepared- no matter how much you try.
I had two hours before I needed to be at my sisters to spend the day with my mother who is in town on a planned visit. Two hours to pull myself together, get all the food together for the meal tonight and shower and- find out.
The next hour came and went. I laughed and sang and played with my kids while ‘getting things done’ around the kitchen. I basked in the moments of innocence almost with a stubborn resistance of ignoring that phone. Dammit. I don’t want that in this loud morning of motherhood goodness. I just want my kids fighting, playing, singing, and needing me. The well known pulling and pushing and tugging through the relentless ebb and flow of motherhood, is either welcomed with patience or frustration. Today it was patience. I embraced it. I used it to keep me sane and safe.
I scrolled through the endless blogs I should be reading and can’t- as my heart grew heavier with disappointment. I just can’t- I can’t focus on that- I can’t. I impulsively messaged my one friend- the one I texted at the ultra sound. She seemed to play a critical role in my quiet internal strife from the beginning… she was my safe place to go. There were too many people waiting around here- worrying- wondering. She was far away and yet, so close. Oh so close.
As my strength grew and my clarity focused in on how I will approach this call, I decided I would go upstairs and lock myself in the bedroom. If malignant, I would then call Derek to come home from work. I would then pull it together to function without letting the kids see until he got home. I would hide if I had to. I couldn’t let them see me fall apart. How on earth would they ever be able to let go of that memory?
My mind wandered back and forth for another hour. Drenched in the mystery of not knowing and the angst of allowing myself to surrender to His Plan. I prayed a lot. Messy broken words and thoughts mumbled and disjointed at best. I knew God had this. Either way it was to go- was His Way. I just didn’t want to face it. I wish I could say I did- that I was strong and faithful in knowing that whatever His Plan, I would be okay. But I suppose that’s the difference between divinity and humanity.
Still not showered, with the kids constantly going, I finally succumbed to what had to be. I must check the voice mail messages. I must. Now. It’s getting too late, and what if she said to call her back and the office was now closed until Monday? Oh God, I can’t… I must.
I took the phone and ran to the bathroom… not at all the plan I had, and yet- nothing ever really is. I pressed the voice mail on my phone and heard my doctors voice…
“Hello Christine. We have the results from the biopsy and the tumor is benign. As we discussed at your appointment, we still need to remove the tumor because it will grow. As we also discussed, surgery will be extensive and you can call anytime to follow up with how you may want to go about this.”
I didn’t fall to my knees and cry out to my Heavenly Father.
I didn’t start sobbing with the release of rejoicing joy.
You just never know how you will respond to things…
Probably the first deep breaths I have been able to breathe in the last week…
After all the short pants and gasps and forced and controlled rhythms to steady my heart.
I was free to breathe.
After that beautiful breath, I opened the bathroom door to my children, my world, my life, my purpose… His Plan.
Apparently, God’s not done with me here.