This has been a tough month for Steve – especially in the the past week. Some sort of virus, combined with his already-fragile condition made for a dicey few days for all of us. I can’t quite explain what this season is like as we live in this land filled with constant uncertainty. Friends and family wonder: should we come? And I know that simple question is loaded with more complex questions they don’t want to ask. But I have no answers – at least nothing concrete enough for airline reservations. If the question is: “How long do we have with Steve?” the only solid answer I can find is: not long enough.
As the week played out, I asked Steve how he felt inside his mind. He always says his spirit is strong, but I wondered what was percolating up in his brain. He surprised me by saying he feels he has so many thoughts that he can’t get out. I hadn’t really considered that. He can no longer type and his speech is so limited and his breathing so taxing, that he uses words very sparingly. But it turns out, he is constantly thinking and re-thinking and he needed to get some of those thoughts out. We set aside some time for him to talk and me to type. It was a laborious process as he stopped every few minutes to suction and regain his strength – he lasted an hour and was exhausted at the end, but I’m so glad we did it. Hearing what is living inside his heart was wonderful and gut wrenching and difficult, but I have a better handle on how to pray for him now and two pages of Steve-words that I will treasure forever.
For me personally, May has been my most difficult month on record. I realized in the first week that the sentences in my head were all starting out with “I need…” or “I wish…” I need a break. I wish life was easier. I need to pay bills. I wish things were like they used to be. You get the idea. I started working hard to replace the first two words of every thought with “I have” or “I’m glad that…” I have a great family and beautiful friends. I’m glad that I have the money to pay the bills. I have the best caregivers for Steve so I can have a break during the days. No joke, it’s a lot of work to make the switch and it’s not a very lot of fun. But it’s so, so worth it. It keeps me out of the ditch in a million ways and sets my heart on the things that are most important. Because the unfailing truth that guides my life and guards my sanity is this: The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything. All that I am, dream, believe, hope and need is wrapped up tightly in that one sentence which has now become my May mantra. Feel free to borrow it if your month is less marvelous than you had hoped.
I know I haven’t said it enough recently, but we really love you and are so grateful for your support and prayers and friendship. We read every comment and are thankful for every one.