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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fear

Last week, a friend posed this question, "What would you do if you weren't scared?"

I loved that one person named all their "fears" which were actually a list of their accomplishments over the last several decades.  As in, they had not let fear stop them from doing anything.  Sometimes, they said, you just have to do the hard things, and know that God will be on the other side of which ever door you open.

Herb's been sick.  Again.  Whatever he's got keeps morphing in to new symptoms and between several doctor visits and lab work, they're still not sure what's holding him down.  He's missed a few days of work, and the days he does work have ended with him sleeping on the couch five minute after dinner, if he makes it that long.  He's not sick enough to warrant a hospital stay, but not well enough to function normally.

Today, day ten of my beloved's sickness, my attitude sucked.  I was tired of playing nurse and single mom.  Fed up with entertaining, starved for adult conversation.  Physically, it's not taxing, but emotionally and mentally, I was completely in the gutter.

But after thinking about the Facebook post about fear, I put my finger on it.  Herb being sick brings me fear.  That doesn't feel good.

10 years ago I snubbed my nose at fear pursued a relationship with a man who had been sick his whole life and would be sick many more times over the rest of his life.  I will never ever regret that decision.  Herb was created for me, and I for him, of that I am certain.

It's just that when he's healthy, especially when it stretches on for years at a time and we go on to start building a family, and plan to keep moving forward in that direction, I begin to completely take for granted the fact that he'd ever been sick.

I'll never forget during our wedding vows, literally choking/sobbing out the words "in sickness and in health," because I KNEW that was our reality.  I knew this was a path we would be walking.  And I am still grateful to be walking it with him.

Now that I have a son of my own, I think about what it must have been like to be Herb's mom and relinquish control of his well being to another woman.  Would I care for him the same we she could have?  Will I catch symptoms?  Will I follow up with doctors?  Will I advocate for his care?  Oh, how I am trying my best.

But today, fear brought me down.  And instead of it making me more compassionate, it made me a jerk.  An impatient, selfish, lazy, emotional diva.

But today I found encouragement.  I remembered the village standing around us.  I was comforted by an empathetic voice as tears rolled down my face as I grilled hot dogs.  I took in deep breaths of crisp fall air while a sweet little boy hugged me, helped me clean up the yard, and lavish me with compliments about my kindness.  I opened this blogging window and began to pour out my feelings, reaffirmed in my life's choices and inspired to try harder.  I found quiet and peace when the sick one and the little one were asleep before 8 pm and I got a little bit of "me" time.

Tomorrow will be better.  Tomorrow I will live my life worth the calling I have received.  I will be more focused, I will be more graceful.  Tomorrow I will remind myself that fear does not win.  Instead of fear, I chose love.  I did it ten years ago, and I promise I will do it again every day for the rest of my life when it comes to that man who made me his wife.

(As I was writing this, I realized I blogged an almost identical post a few years ago.  Can we say hot button?)

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