Posted by: alegra22 | January 23, 2012

alive

There has been a furry heat lining the inside of my skull, throat, and lungs. It wraps around my bones, leaving my muscles tired. It is familiar and frustrating but mostly, I’m grateful that each time it occurs, it is a little less than it once was. After a week of getting on track with my writing, my exercise, and a declaration to blog twice a week, everything was shoved to the corner for a week of rest. “Go to the room,” Dan would say, pointing. “Put something heavy up against the door, put in your earplugs, and sleep.”

And I would. I would do it because I’d just gulped a 16 ounce energy drink and all my body wanted to do was let gravity push it down, down, down into the bed. All my foggy-thick mind wanted to do was dream. I would say, “Thank you. Really, babe, thanks. I’m sorry.”

And then I’d move down the hallway, away from the Mommy’s, the sunlight, the plants to be potted, the thesis to be written, the fence to be stained, and I’d climb up on the bed and meditate on God until sleep rolled over me, sudden, complete, only to roll away again, revealing my dreams.

Even when I rest, I don’t rest entirely. I dream about the underside of things. I climb to the top of a ship and look down at the shadows of sharks and leviathans moving silently. I pull my arms through dark waters to avoid a plague of locusts in Egypt. I learn to fly and narrowly miss a crash.

I would wake up to the sound of splashing outside in the pool. Sunlight warming my skin. My nerves, raw and tangled. To the coffee, the tea, the whatever, anything to try to push back the heat crowding my body, the fever that was thickening, as it does in cycles, and has done, for years.

Dan took the children back to Hamilton for the weekend so I could rest and get work done on my thesis. I spent the first day sleeping. The second day fighting anxiety at the way my body does this to me. The third day, thanking God for the way these waves of illness wash over me less and less as I learn about what to put in, what to keep out, of my body.  My mind.

Now, tonight, I climb on the elliptical and open my book. I move blood through my muscles, words through my bones. It is close to 11 p.m. Dan moves in the body of a woman on Skyrim. He is that kind of man. It doesn’t bother him to carry my handbag, or to play the High Elf female character I created. He is almost inhumanly strong but its not the first impression you get from him. The first impression is that he is gentle. That he has integrity. At least that was my first impression.

As I keep my legs moving, the fever pushing out of my skin, I look to Joaquin sleeping on the couch, and I say to Dan, “It’s just such an honor to be the parents to these three amazing human beings.”

I battle against every moment that is stolen away by my fatigue. I hate that sometimes I’m responsible for it because I resist being ‘that woman’ who can’t eat the things everyone else can eat, that I can’t do the things everyone else can do.

What I am learning, slowly, is that integrity is found in honesty. It is found in acceptance.
My friend Darryl reminded me tonight of my promise to blog every Tuesday and Friday, even if the only thing on my mind is this, the boring story of the way my body sometimes scares me and the energy I often expend trying to cover this up and pretend it isn’t who I am.

So here I am, being honest, limitations and all.

It is now nearly midnight. I will post this and then move on to scribbling notes on my thesis, following through on my commitment to do a little bit of the important things each day. To build on this.

As I read my daughter a story tonight, her fingers resting on my hand, her head pushed into mine, I thought of how I’d read my firstborn, Sol, the same story over six years ago, and if I’m honest, could feel nothing more than the surface knowledge that I needed to keep going, to do the right things for this precious responsibility placed in my care. I was so exhausted, it was an act of pure will.

Tonight, as I curled my body around Zaviera and began to pray, as I felt her body soften, and then twitch, I felt the waves of my fatigue surge and pull away from my body, again and again, and I gave thanks for the simple fact that I am alive, that we are alive, gathered here together, and that between all of us, there is love.

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Responses

  1. Amen my sister!

    I am so glad you have been able to find enough energy to blog again.You have helped me so much with my troubled times and I only find it fit that I help you keep your things rolling too.

    You already know how much God has given you and your family. As you keep your faith strong, which we both know can be very difficult at times for many reasons, God will repay your faith. It never seems that way at first, and even as I type this I have to constantly remind myself too.

    Your children keep you grounded to this world. Dan keeps you grounded to this universe. Their presence and their touch are confirmation of your love and faith. They remind you that you are alive. That you are more alive than you give yourself credit for.

    We are defined by the people we keep company with. If this is the truth you can found yourself as a person of integrity too. As you have said many times, your bouts of sickness just remind you of your humanness and how you are capable of taking care of yourself BUT find it easier with you know who!

    Much love to you my sister. Sleep well and God bless.

  2. Darryl,
    Your honesty and friendship has been so healing to me, on such a deep level, I’ll probably only be able to express it when we’re on the other side of this life, greeting one another in what one of my dear friend’s likes to describe as the ‘after party.’
    Thank you for striving, for exposing, for loving, for being you.
    Arohanui, kia kaha, mucho amor, and…hey, when are you coming over here for another game of Apples to Apples?
    😉

  3. Beautiful. I know somehow soon you will find the energy and motivation to get through all of this. You have Dan at your back helping you out and watching over you. If there’s anything I’ve learned about myself, it’s that the more I have to get done, the less energy I have (just thinking of it all). It’s like the weight of all of these to-do’s just sits on me, killing the motivation and sucking the life out of me! And consider the content of your writing/thesis, it’s deep stuff that will pull you under pretty easily. Put the energy drinks on reserve, turn up the 80’s music, and do some cleaning inside your house, eat lots of veggies, fruits, and drink plenty of water. We are the same with clearing away our immediate space, it really clears away a lot of weight inside of us so we can get back on track!! : )


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