Saturday, May 5, 2007

Tough Day

There's just no sugar coating it, yesterday was tough. I didn't help the cause when I started my day by calling Social Security to inform them of Lillian's death. It's one of those things I'd been procrastinating but I finally decided to just do it. After 10 minutes with the automated system during which I managed to give them Lillian's social security number but my name and birth date, I was finally connected to a human. After that it just took a minute to complete the call but the question "date of death" reminded me that it was exactly one month ago that we were holding her for the last time. That pretty much put a dark cloud over the day. So I put on my "cancer sucks" t-shirt and headed to work.

Fortunately or unfortunately, work was very busy. It was one of those crazy days where there is no time for even food or bathroom breaks. (I'm convinced that iv's and Foley catheter's are not far off from being marketed as convenient products for workaholics.) As I'm knee deep in a project, my phone rang with an internal number. I answered it only to have an awkward conversation with someone from benefits. She was reminding me of Lillian's life insurance policy. Ugh. Try to re-focus on work after that conversation!

After shutting down my computer at 7:30pm still feeling like the project was not where it needed to be, I arrived home to find her death certificate on the counter. Aaaaahhhhhh!

Just when I think I'm doing good, I eject the cd in the car and find one of Lillian's cd's. Those are the unexpected things that are...well...expected. But death certificates and life insurance and social security, those are just painful paperwork reminders. Unfortunately death is not just an emotional experience, it is accompanied by countless decisions and logistics.

On top of all of this, I really feel like I've lost my edge at work. In order to make room for all of the medical information, I think my brain shoved the work-related information to the back. And now that I need it, my brain is having trouble moving the work stuff back to the front. So everything is taking longer which is NOT helpful when you're under the gun on a project. I can only hope that eventually my brain gets things sorted out and I feel somewhat competent again.

Well, I warned you that you would be playing my therapist as I stumble through this. So here I am, warts and all. Yesterday was tough. Those days will happen. But today, I am choosing my attitude. I'm grateful for the pain because it's a reflection of my love for my daughter. I'm grateful for being given a daughter to love. I'm grateful for a job that challenges me and provides for my family. I'm grateful for my husband who wades through this with me and truly understands how I feel. I'm grateful for friends and family who encourage me through bad days and good. Tonight I will head to church with a raw heart filled simultaneously with pain and gratitude. And I will praise God for all of these blessings and the perspective that they bring to my life.

8 comments:

Anonymous May 5, 2007 at 6:53 PM  

Lori, It took me a while to get on The Next Chapter and I read all the postings you have entered. Bless your heart for being so honest and human. Your writings are so powerful for you write from your heart and with such honesty. Once I was once told that we have so many questions and very little answers, but the magic of time helps us heal. With love, Kathy H.

Anonymous May 6, 2007 at 9:11 AM  

Lori and Jeff,

The strength of your continued faith supports you, but it also inspires the rest of us. It helps us put daily annoyances into perspective. The work you have returned to will be a blessing as you take on its challenges. Please continue sharing with us. You are always in our hearts!

Love, Paula F.

Anonymous May 6, 2007 at 9:17 AM  

Lori,

Please remember you are not alone. I know you are smart & resourceful, but just reach out and ask for help or ask for a "sounding board" whenever you need it. I am here to help you as I know you will help me.

Mary

Anonymous May 6, 2007 at 5:59 PM  

Lori,
Bill and I think and pray for yoy both many times each day.You are one amazing woman and thank you for your grace and courage. I just know Lillian is looking down and smiling with that angelic smile we all knew and loved so much.She will never be forgotten .We love you both. God love and bless you and shower you with strength and courage.
All my love,
Deborah

Newsom's May 7, 2007 at 9:24 AM  

Hi Lori,

You are in my thoughts all the time. I don't expect that you are superwoman but you do seem to have some super powers. I am honored to share in your day...days full kryptonite. ps-I can't spell!

Lillian is always on our mind. Christina has been drawing pictures of Lillian by a lake skipping rocks. :)

Anonymous May 8, 2007 at 11:26 AM  

Hi Lori,
Today being my first "full" day home in a while, I feel somewhat scattered. Yet I didn't want to postpone checking in with you and saying "hello". I love your words, they are truly a gift from God.

Thank you.

"For what?" you might ask. For so many things - for coming to meet us, for the great gifts, for your time - but mostly.... for being there.

Though our friendship is new, I feel as though the Lord has brought us together at the perfect time, and for that I am thankful.

There are those that understand the pain of cancer all too well, and there are those that understand my faith... yet you are with the few who understand both.

Your words are encouraging and I plan on checking back often. God is good, and is using you in the lives of many.

Until next time,
Sending BIG hugs! ~Celeste

Anonymous May 10, 2007 at 5:26 PM  

Lori,

You did have a tough day indeed. Hopefully you will have fewer days that difficult as time goes on. Love can be a painful thing and getting over such a huge lose will take time and I'm sure you will never be completly over it. Lilly was a special little girl and the two of you made her short life so special. You are in our prayers. Jean M.

Anonymous May 11, 2007 at 5:35 AM  

When I read an entry like this one I think of my favorite verse. Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Certain things will never be easy, but you can do ALL things though Him. He will carry you both through the tough times and during the other times you can walk hand in hand. My mom and I often talk about how God will not give us more than we can handle, but sometimes we wonder if he has the wrong address :) She felt this way with a 1 year old & 2 year old when my brother had his accident and she had to leave us with her mother for months. I am sure most of us have felt this way at some time and I am guessing you have also felt this way at times. Fortunately God knows what he is doing even if we wonder at times. Okay, enough rambling. You are still in our thoughts and prayers.
Beth & Family

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