sometimes the days are deep

Rachel won an award last week at school - 
for staying awake/adjusting to full days at school... yes, we were proud of our girl!

* * *
These last few weeks have been more challenging for our family.  Rachel and Janneke are fighting a virus and dealing with some other issues related to their disabled development.  They've missed school and their regular routine.  When they are not well, it seems the whole family is affected.  Very frustrating.

Yet, it's almost equally frustrating (embarrassing?) how I can feel so overwhelmed by their illness at the beginning of the virus - and then feel confident and secure as they slowly heal.  Oh, to be even-keeled.

I have been internalizing the stress of these last few weeks, and subsequently hurt my back doing, well, nothing.  No heroic story to even exaggerate.  Sigh.  Normally, I am not the one with back issues in our home, but these past seven days, I was the one wearing the ice belt and standing at the supper table. (Was is the key word - the back is a lot better now.)

It's in these seasons of illness when I become vulnerable to my inadequacies and feel bothered by...

My (dis)ability to become so consumed by the circumstance when Rachel and Janneke are ill; I have difficulty thinking beyond their symptoms and feel helpless that they cannot verbalize their pain.

My (dis)ability to think that I can make logical and rational decisions when sleep deprived - that I can offer sound advice about the Great White Trillium or the spelling list for Lesson 3 (Em and Soph's homework).

My (dis)ability to think that there's a doctor out there who knows exactly what is wrong with the girls and can give me the right medicine or therapy that will help them -and quickly.

My (dis)ability to wish we could choose our problems rather than learn to accept and live with the life we've been given.

My (dis)ability that in being the best advocate for my girls as their mother, I am also sometimes too close that I cannot step back and see the BIG picture.

My (dis)ability to become disconnected from friends or family because I think they don't understand or I'm envious of them.

My (dis)ability to forget that all of us shoulder certain burdens that shadow our choices and circumstances... not always visible but still present.

* * *

Sometimes it's a simple phrase that snaps me out of my frustration and self-pity - when a friend says "I'm sorry the ocean is roaring right now."

I'm a person who thinks in pictures and that mental image of the dark and swelling depths of an ocean surprisingly brought comfort.   It was as if my worries and anxieties were acknowledged - not fixed, just validated.

So, I ride the waves and hope that either God calms me or calms the waters.

* * *

In the meantime, we are preparing to visit a specialist at Mac who asked if he could meet them.  Rumour has it, he likes kids who don't fit into a neat and tidy diagnosis.  Maybe he'll be our new best friend?

Here are a couple of photos from the last bit of time:

Emily helping Ralph with the last bit of painting in the mudroom.

Some great friends from Grade 5 who baked and crafted to raise money for the Niagara Children's Centre - much thanks from Ella, Rachel, and Janneke.

We also had a chance to meet new cousin and nephew Callum - 
from my side of the family with Laura and Rhodes (thankfully before the girls became sick).

Tonight, the girls are resting better than earlier this week.  For that, I am very thankful.

Peace for your weekend.