I’ve been a mom for 13 years now and you can imagine how many times I have heard the phrase, “It’s my turn!” being spoken. Not by me, mind you, but by my children and by my children’s friends. It gets to be like a skipped record that never stops. Well, I finally decided that this time, it’s MY turn.
I have survived the loss of my mother and in my opinion, kept it together. The last few years of her life was not easy. During the most stressful and traumatic times of her health issues, I was working a full-time job and pregnant with my fourth child. I was 40 years old and although it might not have looked very graceful, I kept it together.
Two years later, my 11-year-old daughter had to have brain surgery to remove a tumor. During that time, the future of my job was questionable and our financial situation was not the best, but I kept it together.
These past few years, I have had a handful of friends pass away unexpectedly. I have lost a job that I had worked at for fifteen years. I have entered into a new world of substitute teaching and being a stay at home mom. Even then, I have kept it all together.
So it occurred to me tonight, that the way I have behaved the last two weeks is justifiable. Because, it’s my turn! Everyone else seems to get a turn, so this time, it’s my turn.
It’s my turn to be sick and stay in bed as much as I need to. Even if it means the rest of the family has to fend for themselves. Yes, I have slacked on the upkeep of the housework. But there are many capable hands that can wash a spoon or dig through the pile of clean clothes to find their own underwear. Because it’s my turn to not be the hub of this household, just for once.
It’s my turn to wait for family members to call me with information about my dad’s health. Instead of being the lead on all the new information and being the first to call or post Facebook updates asking for prayers for my family. Even if I feel guilty doing it, it’s my turn to share or copy my siblings Facebook messages about my dad, because I’m not able to convey the news as well as they can right now.
It’s my turn to not go the extra mile and physically dress some of my children who are too tired to get out of bed for school. Even if that means my children might show up an hour late for school. It’s my turn to sleep most of the day, due to the emotional stress of my life at this moment. Because sometimes you just have to shut down.
To my family and friends, it probably seems a little strange to see me react this way to my Dad’s health issues. It’s not that I am not worried and scared, because I am. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not whining because I feel like no one is helping me. On the contrary, I am stating all of the things that I feel guilty for doing right now. (Or NOT doing right now) My family and friends have stepped up to the plate and been there for me, without complaining.
I guess, without even realizing it, I decided it was my turn to not be in charge. Instead, it was my turn to just be. A Facebook friend posted this picture on her wall the other day and it speaks volumes of how I am feeling right now.
I strongly believe that we are in each other’s lives for a reason. That’s why I would like to thank all of my family for allowing me “to just show up” for the moment. Because that is all I am capable of doing right now. I know there will come a time that I will take the lead again. But for now, it’s MY turn to just be.
P.S. My dad is doing much better. He’s more responsive and has been moved out of the ICU and into an acute/long-term facility where he can recoup. Thank you for your prayers during this difficult time.