I know I am not unique in this, but some days are just so hard.
I've had a string of hard days here lately, and I can't lie, it's all weighing heavily on me.
Actually, it's been a long summer. I've been sick off and on, run down, worn out. There have been many doctors appointments and more tests than I think is fair.
Yes, I said it, it's all completely unfair. I know, oh, I know that no one ever said life would be fair, yadda-yadda-yadda. I don't really care. I still think it's completely unfair.
That aside, let me tell you how my Tuesday went. My 14 year old, as she was getting ready for school "Mom, you text or message me if you need anything today, okay?"
My 14 year old. A child (who would be mortified to know I called her a child, but she is) who should be light-hearted and thinking about school and all the things high schoolers think about, asking me to let her know if I needed anything.
Pardon me for a moment while I say, this is so fucked up.
You see this weekend was an awful couple of days for me. A migraine, followed by a day of not being able to stand up without getting dizzy, followed by a general not feeling well, followed by the most excruciatingly painful migraine I've had ever in my life. I mean, we were about to go to the ER when the meds kicked in or the headache passed (just as suddenly as it arrived).
And you know who was here most of the time helping me through it? My 14 year old.
This is about the point that I start to feel a bit ragey inside and really, really start to think that this is all incredibly unfair.
But we muster through it. Her and I talk. I tell her this is unfair, that I think this has changed her. She comments that everyone has hard times and that everything in her life has shaped her, not just this. She says it's fine and deflects to talk about how I'm doing.
Because my 14 year old is wise beyond her years.
She mothers me. She figuratively holds my hand. She stays nearby, on the watch, trying to predict if I will need something: food, water, a bucket, medicine. She calls her father (my husband) to let him know what is going on. She tells her brother to keep it down and to not bother me.
These are the things I should be doing for her if she gets sick.
But no, in this house, often she is picking up slack for me and helping me.
And it sucks so very, very much.
I say things like, I hope this makes her more empathetic as an adult; a caring, understanding person; that somehow this will make her a better person. Which is silly because she is already a better person. But she is also still 14. And I hate that she takes on this responsibility. Just once I'd like her to throw a fit, to get a "NO! I don't want to vacuum! You do it!"
I'm sure that sounds weird, but it's what a 14 year old is supposed to do. But she doesn't. She knows. She knows that I need the help. She knows I'm not making her do stuff just to make her do stuff. She, as I've said before is wise beyond her years. She always has been - even as a young child we often said this about her. I know she is still her, her essence. But I know that my cancer and subsequent sickness has shaped her.
Because some days are hard. They are so hard for me. And I know they are hard for my family. I don't live in a bubble. Things that happen to me do not stay just with me. It ripples out. I see it and hear it from my husband, from my parents, from friends. There is worry there. It still exists.
Everyone knows I'm "okay" but they are also aware that I'm not. They are aware of the hard days, the bad days, the sad days. They love me through them and support me the best they can. And I'm so incredibly grateful for that.
But some days are hard. And there is no getting around it. They are just hard.
I press on. We all press on. We cling to the days that are not hard, or are not as hard.
Because it's not fair. But it's life. We can't pick the hand we are dealt, only play what we are given. So we do the best we can each and every day.
Some days that means the 14 year old asks me to text her if I need anything. Thankfully, most days it means I ask her to text me if she needs anything.