Monday, June 22, 2015

Behind the Smiles

Ugh. This week has already been tough. 

If you scan through any of my social media feeds {or the past blog posts here}, you'll most likely find the positives, the smiles, and  the gratitude. You'll also find a dash of authenticity and reality thrown in there, too. Part of what I wanted to do in the very beginning of my journey with Jace was be real. I wanted to be able to give you the day-to-day Tisha - not the one people call heroic, or brave, or an example. I may be all of that, but at the end of the day I'm really just me, daughter of the most high, and thankfully so because I could do it no other way. 

Some weeks are easier than others, but NONE of the weeks are easy. 

As you've probably gathered from the last year, holidays are bittersweet. Mother's Day and Father's Day, in particular. I do a lot of avoiding of social media and and television. There are some spaces that are still healing and as thankful as I am to be a mom to these amazing kids and have an amazing husband who is one of the best dads, we both agree that these days are often still filled with pain and reminders of what we didn't have or have lost. 

I miss my dad. I miss the random and unplanned talks we would have late at night. I miss him teasing me or hugging me. I miss him looking at me and being able to tell me all kinds of memories from my childhood. I miss him talking to me on the phone and remembering what he had for dinner or what he did the day before. Someday I may miss that he even remembers me. 

On the flip side, the day is also painful for my girls who always spend it with their dad. This year their visit was filled with mostly anxiety which made me a lot more anxious about the day. It was a hard day for us all because everything seemed off-balance. 

THEN.....

because chemo is a few days away, Jace has a hard time sleeping. He anticipates the port needle going in and the "sleepy room" (aka spinal) and the pentam booth. Last month was a hard one with him because he was more angry about it all. Every night since has been harder when it's time to take his chemo pills. He doesn't understand why taking them is important, he doesn't understand why he can't eat or drink before or after them. He cries because he asks when he gets his port out and even though we share with him that it will happen, he cries because he just can't fathom that far into the future. 

He's more weepy and clingy to one or all of us. Little things set his emotions into a tailspin and it's exhausting for us all, including him. 

This cycle is the cycle we are on every month. Just when he is feeling a little better, those nasty steroids kick in and make him feel crazy again. 

Which also makes US feel crazy because knowing when it's the steroids and knowing when it's just him being a boy is HARD. 

Behind the smiles you see from us are both, is a strength that only comes from God. Those smiles don't show you how tired we are of this journey and how our emotions are still cRaZy most days because of so much going on {work, work, bills, and "stuff"}. 

Those smiles were tears just a few hours before or later. 



It's summer and I STILL don't feel like I can keep up. That is a feeling I've never had before because I've not had to work as much and it's kind of making me insane. I thrive on prioritizing time alone, time to read, time to breathe, time away but when I don't get it for whatever reason, I'm always thrown off. 

I try to remember that this is a journey, not a destination. But some days behind that smile, I'm still looking for a finish line, a break, a breather. And, honestly, there isn't one. Life goes on. My girls are growing up, my dad is growing old, end of chemo is getting closer, but none of that is an end. 

It's a beginning, a new season, if you will and that's probably why we continue to smile and find the little joys in the hard days. 


"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
{Ecclesiastes 3:1}