Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Filling the Tank.

A friend just posted that you know it's true love when you open your computer and your husband has cleaned the screen. Yes.

I have flowers sitting on our table. Phil is not the most romantic man in the world- but he also married a practical woman who spent the first 8 years of marriage convincing him jewelry and flowers were not something he needed to buy me. I would let him know when I wanted something. The other training- do not buy me flowers- specifically roses-on Valentine's Day or Mother's Day. It's not a practical expenditure. Sure I appreciate the gesture- but Roses at a discounted price at another time are even more beautiful. I also would tell him- in my family- my exposure to flowers was at funerals. The smell of flowers reminds me of funerals.  When Safeway opened down the street and this latest haul of cancering began- he started bringing home flowers every time he would stop in for the odd item we needed- like dinner.  I would joke it was because I wouldn't be able to smell the roses at my funeral. But he would say- someday they won't remind you of funerals. We now have peeps at the floral department. Very useful for girls' performances and prom corsage needs. And every time he brings me flowers- I appreciate how they now remind me of this new normal in a tough time, bright splashes of color that no longer remind me of funerals, they remind me of a really good guy who loves me.

Busy. That is the word I seem to just say over and over. How are you? Busy. How are the kids? Busy. How's Phil? Busy.

It's true and doesn't elicit the sad response to what really is going on in our lives. I don't lie. My filter is hopelessly broken- so really don't ask me about something unless you want to know what I think. I am exhausted emotionally and social events are draining a lot of times because I have to be cautious about letting my non filtered mouth run- because although I can say what I think at all times- it is not always necessary or prudent or helpful. or kind.

Weekends of "catching up" are a distant memory. If Phil is "off" for a weekend- it's a combination of exhaution and trying to triage what absolutely needs to be done and work phone calls. Adulting sucks.   I have gotten to the point I feel horrible that after a drill weekend of working, he has to come into chemo with me. It makes me sad.  Sure it's making the best of the situation and we get to spend hours together. And I cannot dwell on wishing the situation were better because that doesn't help, but at some point it is really tiring to always make something less than ideal into something better. But then again- isn't that our point here on earth. To leave things better than when we got here. So I continuously remind myself there are so many who have it worse than us and make the absolute best out of it. And hope those who are #blessed realize it because at times like these- the white noise of normal how lucky am I to have nothing going on and spend all day frolicking and enjoying life to the fullest- stings. When others want to have social events or need to get together to fulfill their facebook posts of how busy life is- while tasking others to make it happen- kinda makes me loopy.  I know it's a me issue. I am perfectly capable of saying no. Especially since I was taught to be independent and take care of me- I cannot rely on the fairy tale someone to swoop in and save me. If I want something done- I have to do it- if you ask for help- you can offer guidance but you accept the way it is done ----or do it yourself.  I like to circumvent the headache and just do it. Part of the problem is we let our tanks get empty.

When I was learning to drive, My dad used to say- never let the tank get below half. That way you just don't have to worry about running out of gas. We were Honda people- and Honda's are known for their wonky gas gauges. Mostly I think teens suck at proactively doing things like filling up tanks and he was using a novel approach...There's a gas station on every corner- no reason to end up on empty. Now he drove extensively for work and many times I got to travel with him and the lesson was even more important as you watched the road signs telling you how far to the next fill up.

We've let our tanks get empty. Phil is tired. I am tired. The kids are tired. We are busy. Busy living. Busy working. Busy being. Because cancer is looming and there is the constant threat of- one day we will not be able to do and for right now we CAN. But it is also like going on a week long party in Vegas- at some point you need to crash. Do you just go until you crash? Because when you are stuck not feeling well- you spend a lot of time missing normal.  And we have been really lucky to have a good spell of Mallory busy "normal". Which I think by any other definition is called chaos. So at what point do you say ok big ass cancer shadow- lay off so we can get on with getting on. Or you do it despite the shadow. And spread your own light.

I drive and I drive and I drive. To and from appointments,  school, to and from ballet, to and from soccer, voice lessons, Costco, driving practice with the teens. Always routing and planning to be efficient- for sanity's sake, for gas's sake. And I always keep an eye on the gas gauge- because Hondas are a little bad about their less than gradual decline and tend to bounce all over.  And so many days I think ok- today when I'm by the shoppette or costco- it's time to fill up.  I will get in the car and the tank is full. I smile and darn near cry because that is one less thing to do. It truly is the little things that add up. Maybe my full gas tank won't profoundly effect the world- but it changes the trajection of that trip.  It reminds me that there is a wonderful person looking out for me and doing what he can to make my life easier. And in that few extra minutes- maybe I can stop and smell the roses and put a little extra in my tank.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Lily Kay Monkey

Lily Kay Monkey
November 2008 Photographed by Shelley Detton (7 Layer Studio)