Happy Autumn. This day (2 days ago, when I began writing this post) is one of my top 5 favorite days of the year. For me, this day represents transition to the colder, darker months. Fall is all the cozies: the knitting, the movie watching, the reading, drinking all the coffee with all the pumpkiny flavors, my birthday, my wedding anniversary, crispy cold air, and the gorgeous foliage. I am in love with the promises this season makes.
So clearly, a curve ball has been thrown in our direction and life as we know has twisted in an unusual way. Zak's heart condition is real and with further testing and investigation, we have found even more stuff going on that is completely unrelated to his original issue. This new development will require surgery, what kind we won't know until we have 3 opinions from 3 doctors. I'm thankful we have a family member who's job is to do research for the country's top heart docs. Imagine that. It is because of him that Zak's case is being reviewed by some of the best cardiologists and surgeons in the country. I'm trying to wrap my head around that while simultaneously falling to my knees in gratitude because of it.
I tell people that we have the gifts of time and modern medicine on our side. It's not a huge window of time. We need to be acting swiftly and proactively, which we are. This is a tangible truth that keeps me grounded and centered.
It has always been a mystery to me how people live through big things. We are not suffering through a terminal illness or facing any grave danger. What Z has going on is actually pretty common and very treatable. But it is big. At least for me it feels that way. Since hearing the doctor say the diagnosis, I have felt like time stopped but the world keeps moving. My kid still has to go to school, I still pack her a lunch, I continue to cook dinner for the 4 of us, we all still need to shower, dress, and face our days. Zak is still working because his job is not physically taxing on the body. I go to work, I function, I breathe, but it all feels like a fantasy in the face of what the next couple of months might look like for us.
I believe I might have tapped into how people get through tougher times. (I just read that back and it sounds like I've hit on life's biggest mystery . . . eyeroll). And believe me, I have lived through some rough and grimy shit in my life so this is what I know purely from observing myself in those situations: you just move through it. That's it. One foot in front of the other. You may have to pep talk yourself into getting out of bed in the morning, but you do and you shower and you make it through the day and you may forget to eat but you make up for it because everyone else is hungry so food happens and the dishes get cleared and then you may knit an few rows of that hat that's been taking forever to finish while you watch a show and then finally it's time for your head to hit the pillow at a reasonable hour and boom, it's time to do that all over again. That is what living through it looks like.
Once you are on the outside of that kind of living, you see the amount of strength you had to tap into just to get through that day. That strength is the fuel.
It is invisible and unfathomable, but it is always there in reserve for times like these.
I want to share with you what's been saving me. I can't help but to feel selfish in saying that because this is not happening to my body . . . it's his story, his health, his body, his decisions. Because it is him, it so directly and deeply affects me. I sway between warrior strength and paralyzing fear all god damn day. It has been one extreme or the next with my emotions. Thankfully yesterday (or, 2 days ago when I began writing this post) I tapped into a happy medium space that looked like surrendering any perceived notion of control in this situation and singing that song "this little light of mine, i'm gonna let it shine" over and over and over again.
We are in Autumn, which means we are in the West on the medicine wheel. The element of the West is water. It's all emotion. I am a double Scorpio with a Pisces moon. My chart reads all fucking water, everywhere. I am currents, ripples, lapping, ravaging, swells of steady flowing water. I embody, I fill, I overflow. There is never drought within me. Never.
We will absolutely get through this. I know it. When I was 18, a wise woman told me I was an old soul who could see things. While I thought it was "cool", I truly had no clue what she was talking about. << aren't we so awkward at 18? >> I know that I have surrendered this to my God and he has his plan for Zak and our family. Alongside of my spiritual beliefs, I can see that we will be ok at the end of all of this. And because that is a long way from today, I'm gonna let that thought go.
Today ... Zak feels good. He never had any symptoms to begin with: no chest pain, shortness of breath, nothing. He's happy, he's smiling, he's working. That means he's masking a lot of stuff so that we won't know how he suffers, but I know ... Boy you can't hide from me. I see you.
Back to what has been saving me: This season I'm doing a grief intensive with Pixie. You know how we hold onto grief? This season is about honoring our grief. Eating the foods of the season. Nesting. Re-Watching all 4 seasons of Vikings with Angie and some other shows too! Photography. Leaves. Coffee. Seasonal Altars in almost every room. A book my daughter gave me (I love that she's a big reader!) and even though it's YA, I will treasure reading it because she said it was in her top 3 at the moment.
And my listeners. You know who you are. Thank you for hearing me and holding my story, my tears, my laughter, my hysterics, my everything. You have saved me when it was too big for me to carry alone. I'm playing this role of "strong wife, strong mom" so that we can get through it. Thank you for letting me fall the fuck apart on you. Truly. Because that release has created space for clearer thoughts to come through.
And that is it, for now on this subject. We are going to be fine. I just ask that if you share a comment, please don't tell me the story of someone you know who survived heart surgery and is fine. I'm so glad it turned out good for them -- I'm just not in a place to hear it -- and it is not what we are going through here. Thank you for that.
I've been blogging my stuff for years. This blog (if you don't know the url or me) is a little bit harder to find and I don't even care about that. This is how I share. It may look different than how others process and that's what makes all of our flavors so interesting, right?
More soon. xx