Separation. Sanj and I are officially separated. Who would have thought? He has the boys and I have moved indefinitely to Maryland with my mom. Sigh. Life is so unpredictable. After surviving and thriving the breakdown last year, life seemed to be settling into a rhythm that felt good. Of course, life has a way of throwing that curve ball and sending a storm into that rhythm.
My mom, if you know her, has always been an active person who did not know the meaning of staying still. When she had visited in the years past, my kids were happy because they knew Ammama (grandma) is going to live in the kitchen and all the yumminess that only she can dish out will be happening. They know that she will do laundry and all sorts of what nots that their mom did not ever seem to get to keep up with. She was someone that could clean a fridge like no other. She can do the endless laundry and act like she was in heaven. Ok, obviously I did not get that gene as I hate housework!!!
In the last year or two, my mom became sick. It took awhile to get the proper diagnosis but eventually tests showed that my mom’s lungs have totally hardened and oxygen can not move into her blood stream- pulmonary fibrosis is the disease. She is on O2 100% of the time. She is living the last bit of her time and needs 24 hours care. My brother who lives near her has been carrying the load. Yet as her needs increased to needing someone 24/7, my amazing husband suggested that maybe I need to “move” to my mom’s to offer her that care. I was flying back and forth every few weeks but… things changed.
So we are separated and life as we have known has taken a turn in a way that we never would have even thought of. Sanj is a single parent playing the role of mom and dad to the boys. He works the 8 plus hours a day and then comes home and does the next shift of cooking, supper, homework, cleaning, bedtime, prep for the next day among the usually 1001 other things. I’ve turning into a “nurse” of sorts and have been doing things that I never thought I would do as someone that is not trained in the medical field or ever had any interest.
Life as we know is being redefined. My mom’s life is in the end stages and while we do not know the exact time that God will take her, I do feel that He has called me to do this. I believe that He has asked Sanj to do this as I would never have thought this as an option. It was Sanj that suggested this as something we needed to do. (I am SURE neither of us thought or had any clue what this really meant).
Over the years I have struggled with the commandment that God commands us to honor our father and mother. He wanted us to know the significant of this command as He included it in the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:12). As I read about this particular verse there are many places in the Bible that command us to do so. The one that touched my heart was when Jesus was about to be crucified, who looked at John and asked him to take care of His mother. And John took her home. I love that in that last hour, knowing what was coming, He thought of His mom.
I have written often enough of my childhood, growing up in an abusive household and the woes of this life. God helped me come to terms with my dad and when he passed I had peace. Actually I had total peace. I am so grateful to God for this gift. I learned over the last little bit how God asks us to honour someone that is not living as God instructed.
My mom is someone God has asked me to honour. Part of honouring my mom has been to take care of her in various ways. She was able to leave my abusive dad because we offered her an out. She lived with us for the first 5 years of Sammy’s life. Over that time, I believe sharing my family with her, my children’s first years of life and making memories with them was honouring my mom. I think honouring can have many different meaning to each of us.
This last stage of her life, God has called my family to join me in honouring my mom. I never thought this would be her ending. I guess I assumed that after the hard life she lead, that her exit from this earth would be a simple one. My dad, I realized and have come to terms with was just a bad man. Simple words that describe him perfectly. His end was a simple one. He likely had a heart attack and was dead. No real drama or pain … just seemed to exit this world in a way that had no drama.
My mom has fibrosis of the lungs. She has never smoked or drank in her life. If you talk to anyone familiar with this disease, you will hear this is one of the worst ways to die as one will likely suffocate to their death. I have been struggling with God about why this is her end. It is heartbreaking to watch my mom struggle to breath after movement. It’s hard to watch her body betray her. It is hard to understand why she could not have a peaceful exit from this world.
Sanj has often said that maybe even though she is suffering and struggling, she will leave this earth never questioning her children’s love. Truth be told, I would rather have sent her flowers and a card! Sanj points out that my dad had a very contentious relationship with us over the years and in the end, he died alone.
It has been the hardest thing to leave my family. I find myself more often than not, crying myself to sleep with such mixed emotions. Before this became a permanent indefinite separation, when I was home, I felt so strongly that I needed to be here with my mom. And yet, here, in my new temporary home, I can not even find the words to express the emptiness of being separated from my husband and my boys. It has been a huge shift for lack of a better word in our lives.
Yet I do know that when God calls, I need to listen or else I may be swallowed up by a big fish and truth be told, the ocean is a huge fear factor in my world. When God calls me to do this, when He called my family to do this, there was no other option. I cannot lie, every part of my being begged God to show me another way. How was I to leave my family and enter a zone that was so unknown to me- dealing with stuff that a medical profession needs a degree to do? How was I going to say goodbye in definitely to the most important people to me?
My first few days, I was petrified of finding my mom dead. She was worried about me, knowing that this was not in my world ever! Sanj and my brothers were concerned. Yet it is very amazing that when God asks you to do something how He gives you that extra strength. What I mean is that I know when my mom passes and if I am the one to find her, I will be ok. I know that next few weeks are going to get harder and harder and add an extra harder also because Sanj is not physically here and yet I have a sense of calm that is covering me.
We are heading into week 4 of our family being apart. It has been a lot longer since I have seen my Jordan. This is such an indefinite thing. My heart has complete faith in God and yet the old me is fighting a temper tantrum. I guess I didn’t really believe it was going to be this long. I guess I thought I was stronger than this. I guess I have been through tough stuff that this seemed doable. Yet, this … this separation has left a huge void – hole- hollowness- that even candy and my go to carbs are not helping except to make my sugars scream at me.
My dear friend, Penny, packed me a bunch of little gifts to open while away… (I love presents) and in each one was a little promise from God.
Isaiah 38;7 The Lord will do what He has promised.
Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Mark 11:24 Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them.
I’m really posting this for me today. I’m reminding myself that while I/we are riding out this storm, God is on this ride with me/us. Guess this is where faith comes in. This is where I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I hope if you are in the midst of a storm, hurricane, tornado that you feel God. Yet if there are times you are not, please know that He IS there. Maybe we can’t feel Him beside us because He is carrying us.
I like to remind myself I am His favourite so I know He will carry me through. 🙂