Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ears, Noses, Throats, and Strength

I took Tucker to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist last week. The poor kid has something going on in there that makes him have to breathe through his mouth at all times, perpetuates a constant runny nose, makes him snore, and doesn't allow him to chew with his mouth closed (since he can't close his mouth and breathe simultaneously).

We need to get to the bottom of this. Off to a specialist.

As we sat with the nurse before the doctor came in, she asked us all the typical questions that accompany such a visit.

Many of them involve family history.

Has anyone in your family experienced sleep apnea?

Has anyone had chronic tonsil infections?

Has anyone had tonsils/adenoids removed?

Has anyone...

Has anyone...

Has anyone...

So many of these were true of Robb.

And I found myself saying, "His dad did... Well, his dad was... His dad had..."

His dad. And past tense.

All of this makes it sound alarmingly like I am single by choice, like 'his dad' wasn't my husband, like we were perhaps abandoned by a man who didn't care.

And I am committed to honoring my husband's name for the rest of my days. The words may be hard to say, but I will not welcome assumptions.

"I'm sorry - I need to tell you this before we go any further. My husband died two days before Christmas. Tucker is built just like his daddy, and many of these questions pertain to my husband. I'm answering as well as I can, but some of them... well, I just don't know all the answers. I wish he were here to answer with me."

She put down her pen.

"Oh... oh, my. He died? Just recently? As in, this past Christmas?"

"Yes. As in, five months ago."

Her face went white. Her eyes filled with tears.

She said, "I'm sorry... I just don't know what to say. I don't know what to do with this. You are so, so... so strong."

I don't really know what to say when people comment on my strength. I don't feel very strong; I simply feel present. I don't feel like I can handle this, but I don't feel like I have a choice.

My children need me. I have no choice but to be strong.

But here sat this nurse, making eye contact with a woman who was vertical, dressed, speaking on behalf of her children and deceased husband, making conversation, and not moled away in her home.

And I imagine that in that instant, she thought of her husband, her children, what on earth she would do if she were in my shoes... and then she thought I was a picture of strength.

Maybe I am. But only by the grace of God.

Really, I have a little boy with some breathing issues, and I need answers. I need help. And I have to do what I have to do.

The same thought process leads me to call a plumber, pump my gas, register for PreK and Kindergarten, put the laundry away, and put cereal on the table every morning.

Because I just have to do what I have to do.

And for the boys who need me, I'll do everything. And anything.


Dawn said...

I know you constantly hear how strong you are and may doubt those words at time. I think you have shown, however, that you are that picture of strength. Even the mundane things such as cereal on the table image of strength. Your mind and soul need the down time to give you that strength for your boys. It's amazing how god puts situation such as the ENTs office to show you, "Tricia you're so strong!" always praying!

my3boys said...

It's hard to explain, Tricia. Maybe you don't feel strong. But those of us who say our "ain't-it-awfuls" about daily life, see your strength and maybe buck-up a little. You inspire us to be better because of the way you are, "vertical, dressed, speaking on behalf of her children and deceased husband, making conversation, and not moled away in her home." Does that make sense. You don't feel it, but we do.

Candice said...

I KNOW you are strong.. Some day you will too.

Candice From Utah :)

Debbe Glenn/ Gigi said...

It is the strength of God that allows you to function...you acknowledge that it is not your own fortitude. As Christians, we KNOW this concept is true and some of us have experienced the marvel of it, but it is always amazing to SEE God's Grace in action. Thank YOU for sharing the details of this journey.

Karla said...

I am a mother of twin 5 year-old boys, both with special needs. Their daddy just passed away May 12 and I am so totally in shock. I have read some of your blog and will continue. I know your pain and I have just begun. It was 2 weeks ago I burried my husband. I have friends that told me about you and I appreciate what you are doing. Maybe I can learn some things from you. I have people tell me how strong I am and I feel the same way you do. I will pray for you!! Karla V.

gluten free girl in a pasta world said...

You ARE strong! And so thoughtful of others. I am inspired by you. I am guessing that's not what you want to hear, but you are walking out your faith and I appreciate you sharing it with us.

Noel said...

I hated being called brave. To me brave was a choice, and I didn't get to choose. As I look back at the beginning now, though, I realize how brave I really was, and how much courage and strength it took just to choose to live. You are strong, girl. You'll see it eventually. Until then, just keep doing what you have to do.

Terry said...

dear tricia...i have just been reading to my husband your posts, and as i was reading this one, it made me think of the day that grace's husband went to heaven [during the early morning] and i will never forget it when grace said. "oh i have to take justin[ one and a half years old] to the doctors today to get his arm cast taken off..of course she had to do it another day,
it was all so sad but she did carry on and raise the four little children that she had!
we thought she was strong but little did i know how her heart was breaking!.

this makes me think of another sad thing..you had your wall of blue, those caring paramedics, your heroes butwhen grace was told by a nurse at the hospital that eric had passed away, this is how the nurse phrased it, "he's gone and you will just have to face it!"
that nurse was very cruel if you ask me, eh?
the lady interviewing you had a kind and soft heart!