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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Life IS A Trip

Welcome! I’m glad you’re here. You never want to throw a party that no one comes to, you know?

I first want to tell you why I’m here. I’ve crafted a lot in my life, done DIY projects galore, as well.  But, that’s not the only reason that I’m here.  Sure, I’ll share some of those things with you.  Even share the projects of others with you, too. But, I really want to share a journey with you.  The journey that my family has been on for the past year.  

Of course, every day of our lives is a journey.   And, it’s a terrible thing to miss even one second of a day on that journey, but sadly, we do.  We all do. We miss things. Now, I realize that we can’t hold on to each one of those moments in our minds forever.  Things fade over time. But, we should all strive to be present in each of those moments without the intrusion of our busyness.  We need to take a breath, and listen to those around us, see our kids and our husbands, our parents, our brothers and sisters, our friends.  They deserve it don’t you think?

January 2012 started a roller coaster ride unlike any that I have been on in my life.

I remember that our Pastor had just started a new series, “Winners and Losers” (a series about how we judge ourselves and others by the worlds standards). My husband and I looked at one another and said, “Yeah, we were winners in 2011. No major hurdles, no illnesses, no loss. Yea, for us!” BOY, were in for an awakening!

The second week of January my husband left a job that he had been in for 15 years.  With no job to go to next.  Sometimes, workplace politics can really get out of hand, and it certainly did in his situation.  Yes, there were those in the background working against him and they got what they wanted-him gone. We were devastated.  Seriously.  We are a two income family and we needed those two incomes.  Luckily, I have a great job and make good money at it, but it was definitely a blow.  

So, there’s our first re-evaluation.  How do we adjust to one income and how long will this last? Will we make it on one income? What will we have to “sacrifice”? How will the kids handle it?

Little did we know that we would have to stick it out for about 4 months on one income.  It was rough at first.  But, what was even rougher was getting up and going to work every day and leaving my unemployed husband at home.  He identified so much of himself by his job.  Many of us do.  Think of this. What is the second or third question that someone asks when meeting someone new?

Ugh! I hate that question now! From now on when someone asks me, I will respond by saying, “I raise my children, I worship Jesus Christ, I love my family and friends. That’s what I do.” Can you imagine their faces?

Anyway, I wandered.  

We cashed in retirement and paid off credit cards and one car. We sold whatever we could. We made it.  Unbelievably, we made it. And, we were better for it, actually.  The only debt we have now is one car and the house.  We don’t even use credit cards anymore. That is a good feeling.  I highly recommend getting rid of credit cards if at all possible, and it usually is.  

Before the loss of the job, we dreamed of a bigger, fancier house in the country. We wanted room for the kids to run through the woods, and maybe even buy a couple of ATV’s for them to tool around on.

I dreamed of granite counters in a huge gourmet kitchen, with a keeping room just off the breakfast area.  Oh, and a gameroom with a crafting area! Oh, how I drooled over Pinterest!

And, still do, just about other things.

Oh Snap!

(This image is from my Pinterest Board....)

But, now we began talking about this home being our forever home. And, it felt good. This is where my children have been raised. We have had many game nights and movie nights here.  I have painted many walls in this house and loved my family here.  Sure, a new house would be fun, but it would be a ton of work, too! And, this one, even though it’s small, has already been broken in so well.

We began talking about our priorities. Is it money and stuff, or time with our kids? And, that was any easy question to answer.  Of course, when a couple of job offers came along, we wavered.  We ARE human and sometimes those numbers can look so good.

A week after the loss of the job, I got a call from my doctor’s office.  I had been in for a check up and they took a blood sample.  It looked a little funny and they sent me to a specialist.  A gastroenterologist.  As I was driving, the nurse told me that they believed that I had what is called Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC), and needed to follow up the blood work with a liver biopsy.  

Needless to say, I panicked.  Remember, I’m driving at this time.  I asked what the PBC meant, and she told me that I may need to have a liver transplant.  Say, it with me.....O.....M.....G!

A liver transplant. I felt like a bomb had just exploded in the middle of our lives.....again.

My husband was out of town at a job interview, so I called him and hysterically told him what I had just learned.  He was driving, too, so probably not the best move. Then I drove directly to my church and melted into a puddle of tears all over our 26 year old worship leader.  He was awesome. I sat with him and our pastor until my husband got there and then we all cried together.  

I talked to the nurse again, and she told me that I can live a completely normal life and not need a transplant for 20 or 30 years, or never. Or, next year. I felt somewhat better.  

We have cried, we have laughed, we have raged.  There is more to the story.  This is just the first 3 weeks of January 2012.  At this moment though, we didn’t know if we could take anymore.

I have children to love and raise, and experiences to have. And, so I will.  With an amazing love and best friend in my husband, I will. And, so will he.

This is our journey. I will tell more and I hope that you all will join me.


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