head above water
it's one of the worst cliches
and yet it's so apt
I don't like to think too far into the future. Ironic that this is coming from someone who loves to watch and read and write sc-fi. The circumstances that my family is in, though, makes it very difficult to look ahead. I learned during my last pregnancy to only look ahead minute-by-minute. Back then I couldn't even do day-by-day. It was terrifying and surreal to sit in a bed dripping weird substances like a poorly designed time bomb.
At that time, I spent every ounce of my being wishing and praying and mantra-ing and doing whatever else I needed to do so that I could psychically feel connected to what was happening to myself. I wanted to know that, whatever the outcome, I had done my very best to give mind-over-matter a whirl. I focused all of my energy on my sheer force of will to makes things OK.
And you know what?
It fucking worked!
I give you guys a lot of credit, too. Friends, family, friends of friends, friends of family, other community members, strangers, there were so many people out there creating a kind of cushion for me and my family.
Then Isaac was born. He was tiny, but OK, and I thought, "Hot damn, we did it!" I still couldn't really relax with 8 weeks of NICU ahead of us, but I felt like the worst was behind us. Something amazing, singular, once in a lifetime had happened to help me sustain that pregnancy. I felt powerful and awed and humbled and exhausted.
Then all of a sudden, Ike was 5.5 months old and the second-by-second, minute-by-minute, sheer force of will type strength was needed again. I didn't know if I could do it. I felt like I'd used up my once in a lifetime stores of energy. I didn't know if I had it in me to do it again. I really didn't. It was harder, scarier. But harder and scarier in different ways.
Again, everyone swarmed to help us. Even more so than before. My whole family was buoyed on a wave of generosity and love. We somehow made it through. We came home to a whole new way of life, and again, we were asked to push through, soldier on, make it to the next day and the next, shoving through obstacles and frightening moments that could pop up out of nowhere, at any time.
Again, I thought, how am I going to do this? I don't have the strength for this. I don't know what to do.
But I didn't have to know what to do, because at that time we just had to do it. There was no choice. We just did it. I just did it. We barreled through the days and nights and the hardships and the terrifying moments and I kept saying – as I did it – I don't know how I'm going to do it.
I can feel it now, you guys, the time is upon us yet again. The time to wonder where the strength is. Where is the courage? Was there ever any courage, really? The time to worry second-by-second and minute-by-minute is almost here. And I don't know if I can do it. I don't know if there is anything I can scrape together to get me through.
I spend my days making phone calls and setting up travel arrangements and talking to doctors and nurses and insurance people and medical supply people and then when I have a minute to sit down and think, it all hits me. The time is coming. It is barreling down on us like a train or a 18-wheeler or something else big and fast and heavy and unstoppable.
I don't know if I have the strength to make it to June. I don't know if I have the strength to make it THROUGH June. I don't know if the sheer-force-of-will coffers have anything left inside of them. It has been a hard couple of years. Really, really hard. And here we again – at the cusp of something new or terrible or terribly new or newly terrible. Or maybe it will be hard, or difficult, or difficultly hard or hardly difficult.
It's like something sitting on my chest. Maybe that train is on my chest. Or the 18-wheeler. Or a skyscraper. And I've already pushed it off of me so many times, but now it's back. How will I be able to push it off again?
It's terrifying and exhausting to think about.
And it's coming up so soon.