I recently spent some time with a wonderful young person who is madly in love with her current beau. She is only 19 and thinks the two of them should wed. I listen to her arguments and think, “Wow! That was me 20 years ago!” So maybe this has been done before, but I would like to now dispel a few myths about marriage. Do not mistake my statements for synicism. I love marriage and cannot see myself as a single person trying to make my way through life alone. However, I really do wish someone would have been able to tell me these things and I could have really heard them.
Myth #1 – You have your best friend beside you to be there for you through thick and through thin.
Reality: You have your best friend beside you….except when they are working…or you’re working…or you’re sick and they can’t handle it….or you’re sick and have to go to the doctor….or they are exhausted and pass out on you on the only night you have with them.
Myth #2 – You’ll raise your children together taking turns taking care of them in a kind and loving way.
Reality: You….and your child (or children) will barely survive the first year of their lives. You will really feel as though you are existing in a world of crying, screaming, poop and vomit. As they grow older, those things will slowly diminish and then reappear during their teenage years….if you’re lucky.
Myth #3 – You decide not to have kids to have that amazing double income no kids, carefree life with your true love. You see yourselves going out to parties in fabulous clothes and dancing and dining with the “beautiful people.”
Reality: The jobs you will find to support that kind of lifestyle often suck up all of your time and energy. You end up grabbing take out on the way home, skipping the gym, picking up drinks and passing out in the living room in your work clothes. When you do have time to go out, you’ll feel so pressured to “have a good time”, you end up drinking too much and passing out in your clothes in your living room in your party clothes…..hmmm….sound familiar.
Well, I could go on, but it seems my next reality is calling. It’s nice to think I have all night to drone on and on about the realities of marriage…but my three year old is fighting with her sister and I now have to go play referee. So not what I pictured.
Oh well. Good night all. Sleep well!
Just a few thoughts & lessons I’ve learned.
1. Just because we’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean we have to do it that way anymore.
2. People can, do and MUST change in order to adapt to new circumstances.
3. Sometimes saying No is the nicest thing you can do for someone….including yourself.
4. In the middle of a crisis is not the time to make major life decisions.
5. You should never “lend” money. If someone asks you for some and you want to give it…GIVE it & never expect any back. If they repay you, great…otherwise…just let it go.
6. If you don’t have the money to give, don’t feel guilty about saying no. (I’m still working on that one.)
7. Remember to give yourself time to relax….Even the Lord took the 7th day off.
8. Don’t be friends with your kids…be their parent.
9. Read the instructions first….saves you some major problems. (Another one I’m still working on.)
10. And the last one for today is…do something nice for someone else everyday! (It’s the most satisfying thing you can do.)
So I started this blog to share my journey as I searched for a better way to live my life. Something more balanced and focused on my true priorities. Now, I write to help me through the grieving process. As many of you already know, I’ve recently lost my father….my Daddy.
He got cancer in his brain and on his spine in 1992. I know because it was the year I graduated high school. I was devastated. The cancer was aggressive, but treatable….but the treatment should have killed him. Well, I guess it did, just not back then. They beat the cancer, but the treatment increased his odds of having Parkinson’s by something like 60%….and in 2007, that became a reality.
I got to start losing him again. The cancer had taken so much…his strength, his determination. Now, Parkinson’s was taking his pride, his self-worth….at times…his sanity. I watched with utter helplessness as he slipped away from us. At first it was barely noticeable, then it was scary. The stories he made up. The fears. The falls.
So one would think that when I got the call that mom had taken him in with no pulse, there would be a sense of relief, if only for his sake. I guess there was. At first I didn’t even cry thinking he would finally feel like himself again, but then…
A day or two later, my heart broke. The reality that my sweet Daddy, the kindest man I’d ever known would never say my name again in this lifetime. I would never hear his laugh again or see his silly smile. For all the horrible things Parkinson’s had done to him…it had not taken his sense of humor. He loved to laugh. He loved to tease and watch others react to his “out of the blue” comments that took everyone by surprise. Those memories make me smile. The fact that I cannot enjoy them with him again makes me cry.
It has now only been two weeks and I’ve discovered quite a lot about grief. It subsides briefly, then sneaks back up on you like a sickness. It makes your bones ache, your eyes twitch, your body tremor. I wake up in the middle of the night only to relive the funeral over and over. One minute I cannot stand being alone. The next I want to hide from the world. On one hand I feel like one of my very reasons for living has been snatched away from me. On the other, I thank the Lord for taking him before the Parkinson’s got worse and destroyed both my parents.
Where will this thing called grief take me next? Yesterday, I hid from it with sweet family. Today I got so busy it never found me. A dear friend let me hide in her company…but now…now…I cry.