Okay, so Evaluate Your Life day was actually yesterday, but since today is Brandied Fruit Day, I’m going to back up and do some life evaluating. Brandied Fruit? Seriously. Who would have anything to say about that with the exception of the fruitcake industry?
So. Self-evaluation. Am I happy? Am I satisfied with my appearance? My life goals? What I’ve accomplished thus far? Let’s see.
My major complaint these days is, of course, my son’s life-threatening illness. Just a minor blip on this radar I call life, right? No. It’s debilitating. It’s crippling. When “discussing” life with my spouse, I constantly state “It’s been one thing after another for the past eight years. Major things. Life-altering things. Post-traumatic-stress disorder invoking things.” He’s more of a “there’s evil in the world – and we’re all sinners – so bad things are bound to happen to us.” Like there’s some cosmic pot of crap out there that everyone’s bad deeds go into and then when you hear the clanging bell it means that the pot is going to pour out on whomever tends to be standing in its path – much like the buckets of water that fill to overflowing and then dump out on the kiddos at a water park. But in this scenario, we always seem to be standing right in the path of the overflowing crap. I can agree to some point on this, but COME ON. The amount of major traumatic events that have occurred over the past few years has been astounding. And for me to be able to even sit here and type about it, well, what can I say? I’m still standing? I’m trying to function? I’m not in a straight-jacket? (But I am highly medicated… Yay!)
Let’s review: My cancer diagnosis prompted move to Colorado to live out a life dream of living in the mountains. Married a man who was (not out of the closet) gay. Divorced. Moved back to Ohio. Got a good job using my newly minted MBA. Got pregnant. Got remarried. Had son. Moved into a house. Got laid off from job but got to collect unemployment while caring for newborn. Matt got laid off. Both of us found another job. I got laid off again. Found GREAT job. Got pregnant again. Two months before giving birth to second child, first child was diagnosed with a hideous stage IV cancer. Quit great job due to intensive treatment for toddler AND caring for a newborn. Successful completion of 15-month therapy. Whew. Got to take a breath after that. Matt faces layoff in Columbus, found transfer to Colorado. Move across country – away from hospital and support group – but to a beautiful part of the country. Attempted suicide of my parental unit followed by major stroke of my other parental unit. Matt laid off on the day we received good news about Ben’s scans. Several months unemployed. Finds better job. Matt loses a parent. Travels to Ohio only to watch family squabble resulting in arrest of his brother. No funeral. Back home within 36 hours. Stress from everything takes its toll on us and we struggle as a couple. Issues with extended family members continues to mount, culminating in the relapse of our son’s cancer, which is all too often a fatal diagnosis – since we’ve watched so many of our little friends die from this very disease. That’s f*cked up. (Sorry for the swear.) Oh, and throw in a terrorist living in the apartments behind our house. And that balloon boy incident.
I think what would make this all better would be some botox. And maybe a boob lift. The stress is having a negative effect on my body. If I’m going to have a crazy life, at least I should be able to look good, right? Actually, that reminds me of a promise I made to myself. When Ben was going through treatment the first time, I looked like crap. I was exhausted, not to mention pregnant. My ankles were unrecognizable as a body part, my eyes were chapped from constant crying, the worry ever-present on my face. The parents living in the hospital with their critically ill child had to share a “family shower”. You learn a lot about people when you have to share shower space with them. Ick. Anyway, I didn’t always look “my best”. There was one mother, however, who always looked FABULOUS. She wore cute outfits (opposed to the scrubs and sweatpants that most of us wore while inpatient). Her makeup always looked nice. Her hair was always styled. She was never scruffy or stinky or wrinkled. I called her the “Soap Opera Mom”. You know, because soap opera people wake up in the morning beautifully styled and still toting their highly glossed lips. I don’t know how this woman did it, but I was always envious of how fabulous she looked while facing her child’s critical illness. So, when Ben relapsed, I said to Matt “I’m going to be Soap Opera Mom this time around.” Yeah, I haven’t been keeping my promise. Some days I just roll out of bed and pull my hair back in a pony tail. The only thing that is prepared and ready to go with their bags packed are my eyes. Soap opera mom I’m not.
But I could be if I could just get my hands on some botox. And get rid of that damn cancer that keeps trying to ruin my son’s life.
More as my mental health permits. 🙂