Ever so often I’m transformed. I’ve never been a simple guy. I don’t have simple dreams and goals. Sometimes I wish I could let myself off the hook a little bit and accept whatever life offers me. It’s both a blessing and curse that I can’t do that. If you’ve kept up with my families situation you know I’ve been “doing the best I can” for awhile now. The last thing I need are pats on the back. I don’t like being patronized – and the fact that I’m writing this means that I’m having issues of my own.
Life can throw you some crazy curveballs. You wouldn’t believe me if I revealed all of the ones I’ve faced. God’s given me alot of gifts…and so I must bear the burden of dealing with occasional troubles. God gave me a wife who is stronger than any person I’ve ever known. And I’ve know alot of strong people. I think about the insignificant things I’ve done as they relate to strength … nearly starving to death, heart problems as a teenager due to said starvation, emotional distress imposed upon myself related to goals I set, running a marathon without training for it, riding my bike 100 miles up very serious mountains having never ridden farther than 70 flat miles, my first crack at the Olympic distance triathlon being at the world championships, etc. Point is…I’m capable of some things; and I know I’ve done many of these things in my life giving only about 75% of what I could have given. Despite things I’ve done – even added together they don’t measure up to what my wife is doing now. She’s been bed ridden for 3 months now in order to protect our unborn twins. She’s away from our 4 year old daughter, Izzy, who adores her. How has Karen reacted to all of this? With a smile for anyone who enters her hospital room. She’s more concerned with the nurses feelings than her own. You might think “I could do that” or “anyone would do that.” Fact is, not everyone can do it. The nurses say that most women demand to be sent home within the first week. People are selfish … and most people are weak. I know you’re thinking “c’mon, you’re not talking about me or people I know.” Don’t be so sure. You don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re faced with the challenge. You might run for cover when the shells start flying..or you might stand and fight. You might climb the mountain or you might never try. You might lay in bed for 3 months or you might sign consent forms refusing care and release yourself from the hospital. My wife is not weak. I suppose that’s why God her to me. She’s stronger than me. It’s good that I have someone like that because my arrogance is off the charts – I recognize that. I know Karen is stronger than me because I’m losing my strength. I try to stay “nice”, but I’d be a liar if I didnt admit that I’m harboring alot of anger these days. It’s the “why Karen…again, and not someone else” anger and occasionally the “don’t patronize me – because you have no idea how hard this is” anger. So in that sense, I’m a bit weak myself. Odds are I won’t bite anyone’s head off, because another of the gifts that God gave me was a kind spirit.
This is just a public admission that I’m struggling right now. I wonder sometimes what an easy life would be like. If you have one – congratulations. Count your blessings. I’ve learned to draw strength from adversity in my life. I’ve never been through a valley that didn’t have a mountain top awaiting me later. I know the day I meet Max and Kate will be a mountain top. Say a prayer for us all. If I drift long enough I’ll be home.