Monday, April 25, 2011

Why I am Thankful for Leukemia: Time

I suppose it might be difficult to imagine, but I've learned to not only accept that leukemia happened to our family, but to embrace it. Dare I say that I've even learned to be thankful for it? Before leukemia, I was a different person. I guess we all were. But we have each been changed forever as a result of all that we've been through. Even the dynamics of our family have changed and we function better together these days.
So, how can I let myself say that I'm grateful for the nasty disease that could have easily taken my son's life? It's hard to believe, myself, actually but when I reflect back upon the past 9 months I can see so clearly how God was using it to benefit, mold, and change our family and the people in it. The following is one post in a series of blogs that I'm writing called "Why I am Thankful for Leukemia".

Time

One of the first things I realized after we started this journey was how much time we spent going... and going... and going. I was forced to slow down. To come to a screeching halt even. When we weren't at the hospital, we were at home. At first this sudden abrupt change in our lifestyle made me feel depressed. After all, I was used to being on the go all of the time. Despite how stressful it was to me, I would keep the kids moving around out in public and I was always planning a field trip or participating in a program. Those things added up. I was tired. They were tired. An important part of our "homeschool" experience was missing... the "home" part.
While Hunter and his dad were in the hospital for transplant, I began to plan for our future. What would 2011 look like for us? How would things change? When I was forced to plan our days around the home, I started to see so clearly how much we'd been missing out on by staying busy. There was so much right here in and around our own home to discover and enjoy together.

Now we are beginning to go out some since we are past 100 days after transplant and Hunter's line has been removed. But our "going" feels intentional. Less like rushing around for the sake of staying "busy" and more like going out for a specific purpose because we can and because the weather is nice and we all want to be together. I've also noticed that I have been adding the outings to our day when they feel like they would enhance our lives and would work naturally with the flow as opposed to dragging the kids out when they are having a perfectly happy time at home.

Looking back, I'm not really sure exactly why I felt the need to always be on the go so much. Perhaps I was fulfilling some deep-rooted psychological or emotional need. Or maybe I was just simply scared of slowing down because I didn't know what I would do with the kids and with myself once I did. I have been known to not do well with "down" time. The quiet has been my worst enemy during less stable times in my history. One thing is for sure though... my intention is to never go back to that space in my life... or in my psyche. I have found that I quite enjoy the quiet these days. I'm not scared to be alone with myself anymore. This is a fabulous sign of healing for me.

We are really enjoying our home these days. We spend time outside, soaking up nature in our own yard. We read a ton of books. We play games. We do art. We listen to music. We watch television and movies. We play with toys. And I've even started checking items off of a long list of things I have always meant to do but never got around to it. One of my next projects is to use up all of the things in my craft closet and then blog about it. A year ago I would not have had the time to even think of taking something like that on!

Time is a commodity, I have learned. We are only given a certain amount of it. And it is up to us to decide how to spend it. I believe that leukemia has taught me how to spend my time a bit more wisely.

1 comment:

  1. I think horrible things like Leukemia often bring some blessings. And some of them might not be noticed until years later. For example, there might be people that become very important to your family through the years. You'll look back and realize if it wasn't for Leukemia, we might not have ever met them.

    As for staying home...we do that a lot. It's ironic that you wrote this post because I would look at your homeschooling blog and sometimes feel inadequate because you were so busy and out all the time!

    When Jack was much younger, we went out pretty much everyday, and tried to stay away from home as much as possible. I think maybe then we got burned out.

    Anyway, I hope you have many wonderful days...whether they take place inside your house or outside.

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