Thursday, November 3, 2011

I have been blessed...

I started to write this post last week, and never got around to finishing it. The title was different, and the whole tone of it - it was a little more playful, with an undercurrent theme that mirrored Tigger's theme from the classic Pooh cartoons (for those of you familiar with Pooh's adventures... and aren't we all??) - was meant to be a light-hearted-yet-deep reflection of the wonderful thing about blessings in life.

And I have. Truly, in so many ways, my life and my family, are lucky. As I (finally) sit down to type this, though, I just don't quite have the same levity as I did a week or so ago when I started composing this in my head. I was going to recite the list of changes that have happened over the past two months (comps, graduation, etc, etc...). Instead, I'm quiet; the Warm One is battling a fierce cold, the Littles are runny-nosed and cranky, and I've passed my boards exam. I am, officially and with no holds barred, a certified nurse-midwife.

The colds will clear up, and the Kleenexes and textbooks (and highlighters and scattered notepages) that have overtaken our home will eventually be cleared away as well. Some will be recycled, or tossed; others may be stored in the office "just in case" - who knows if I'll need that text again, or maybe I'll decide to 'recycle' it to an incoming student?

The other blessings in my life are just as clear: my family, who have been so close and willing to step in whenever needed during this journey. The Midwife, even when things became rocky, was a blessing in disguise; I learned things, personally and as a midwife, that I needed to know, from her. From D, and from all of the women and families along the way. From so many close, wonderful friends - some nearby, and some far away... women who I may never have met in person, and yet who I can (and have) shared so many of my deepest fears and funniest moments; these are my sisters and peers, both fellow students and mothers.

And, of course, the Warm One and the Littles (one of my proudest moments so far? When the Bigger Little 'corrected' the younger, who had thought that "Dimbo's" - Dumbo - mommy was being 'naughty' in the movie. The elder of my daughters explained that Dumbo's mother was upset that the other elephants were being mean to the baby elephant and making fun and picking on him because of his ears; that sometimes mommies had to stand up for their babies. It was a touching conversation for a mother to overhear between a 5 and a 3...)


Some blessings are a little harder to understand... in the months since my last post, my family has been stretched apart, and pulled together in an even stronger way. My grandfather, the "boss" of the family, was diagnosed with an aggressive leukemia just before Labor Day, underwent one round of chemotherapy, and has become progressively weaker since then. After a bout with a massive infection and complications due to the infection and its treatment, hospice - and the care that goes along with it - nurses are a daily reminder of the change. It's so hard to see the difference between the strong, capable man that taught me how to bait a fish hook and tossed hay bales into a barn loft, and the saddened man that cancer has made my grandpa. The thought of saying goodbye - along with the pain of seeing my grandfather this way, as well as how it hurts my grandmother - is only soothed by the idea that the time we are gifted by this allows for storytelling, memories, "I love you's".... my family has been together much more in these past few weeks than in the past years (we've always been close), although I don't know if this outweighs the pain that my grandparents are feeling. At this point, all we can do is "Let go and Let God..."