You never really know how true those words in your wedding vows really are, until something shakes up your entire world and you have to live those words.
I’m the mom, I’m the wife. I know how to take care of my family. Maybe I’m not the neat freak or the perfect mom who has perfect kids. But I’ve always tried and for almost 15 years, I’ve done a pretty good job. Or so I thought!
Now enters sickness. CANCER. Might as well butter my butt and call me a biscuit. Shock filled our lives. Those vows came screaming in my ear almost immediately. Time to buck up and REALLY take care of your husband.
Things changed, as expected. In these last almost 4 weeks since diagnosis, I haven’t felt that I have done anything more than the normal. I take care of the family as I’ve always done. Still not the perfect home, still not the perfect kids. But it’s normal for us and we’ve been happy for that normalcy. I’ve just added the duty of making sure Miguel takes the right medicines at the right times. I make sure his feet are rubbed with oils if he wants, and nightly, he asks me to diffuse something that smells nice, I happily oblige. I have never thought it would be calming to have a sick husband to take care of. We all know husbands can be babies when sick, right? LOL. Miguel even told me, he was going to be a big baby through this. But to me, he hasn’t been. I’ve scrubbed his back and washed his hair (when he had some!), when he couldn’t take showers. I’ve fed him, bought him tons of things to help with whatever might be bothering him on each different day, I’ve come home with button-down shirts and tons of different drinks for him to get his hydration on :). This is in sickness. This is in love. Jame 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not laking anything.” I almost shocked myself when I realized how easy it was to remember my vows to God, and to Miguel, and to face this new trial with a happy and peaceful heart. This trial is producing so much more than just a healthy, cancer-free body for Miguel. It’s producing a stronger faith. A mature and complete relationship with the one who brought us here. I consider it joy that we are facing this trial.
So, to say all of that, it brings me to last night.
I have felt a little worn down. Just craving some normalcy once again. But then remembered, and was reminded, that the time we’re in now, this trial, is just temporary. And that I have worked this trial on a day-to-day basis so far. Not worrying about what is to come, just taking care of what that day brings me.
Miguel has had a really really hard time sleeping at night the last week or so. It’s almost like the devil knows he’s not resting, and decides to start stirring up weak bones, sore muscles, etc. So when he’s been up all day and we get to the point of thinking that he’ll finally sleep a solid night through, he just doesn’t. Even with an Ambien. Nothing happens. Tossing and turning all night long. So neither of us sleep. It’s been rough. But I was determined to figure out what we could do to get him some sleep.
Last night, he asked for “lavender feet”. I got my lavender (and peace and calming), and went to work, tired but happy to help. Anything to try and get him some rest. I turned the diffuser on with stress away. His body seemed tense and full of anxiety. I shut down the house and crawled into bed while he was in the shower. Thunderstorms on the TV were filling the room loudly. Those alone relaxed me. I sat in bed munching on Cheerios, waiting for him to come crawl into bed. He leaves the shower (now that I think about it, I’m not sure he was taking a shower after all, but I THINK he was LOL — I just heard water!), and comes to bed without saying one word to me. I just watched him, and played my game on my phone and ate my Cheerios. I had a plan of attack, just waiting to put into play.
He almost immediately starts snoring. Which is normal. He’ll be wide awake and then be snoring right away, which makes you think he’s finally sleeping! Only to see him pop up and crawl out of bed minutes later. Which is what’s happened for the last week or so.
But this time, he keeps snoring. So I prop myself up and start praying. Yes, I played my game while praying. I ate my Cheerios while praying. I rebuked Satan, told him to get the heck out of my house, to let go of my husbands body. I begged God to touch Miguel. To empty his anxious mind of restless thoughts. To release those bones of pain and the aches he’d been feeling. I did this over and over again. And the snores were louder and longer. He wasn’t moving. Just sleeping. The loud TV sounds filled the air, keeping me awake, and I allowed them to stay on. I kept on with the prayers for as long as he was snoring and sleeping soundly. I prayed for a deeper sleep for Miguel, so that he would finally be able to get real rest. The longer he slept, the more joy I felt. knowing that he was finally able to get an hour, two hours, etc., of solid sleep for once.
Satan is real though. I would find myself dozing off, but it was a game for him. Miguel would stir if I were to doze off. Satan knew that I was praying and when I ceased, he could mess with the sleeping man I loved. EVERY TIME I dozed off, Miguel would stir and move around. I just knew he’d end up awake if I didn’t start praying again. LOL. So I kept on. It was 4:52 am when I last saw the time, and finally knew he would have good sleep if I rested too. I don’t know how much sleep I got. But I don’t care. Miguel was able to sleep probably 6 hours, maybe. And as soon as he left for chemo with Riley, I crashed. My duty as a wife was done for a second. 10:15am is when I finally got out of bed and I was pleased as punch that Miguel was able to sleep.
I will fight that devil every single night like this if it means Miguel can rest.
I do not write this to toot my own horn. Not at all!! I write this to let you know that PRAYER CHANGES THINGS. In our church service yesterday, our pastor said that sometimes people turn to prayer as a last resort. So I knew what I had to do. It wasn’t that prayer was my last resort after the lavender feet, or after the diffusing of oils. It was that I was waiting until the point of attack when I knew satan would arrive. I was ready. Armed and ready.
Just because you can’t see Him doesn’t mean He’s not there. God is always there. You can talk to him anytime you want. He cares for you. He wanted Miguel to rest just as much as we all did.
This trial must be considered pure joy. I may not always feel peaceful about it. Things may go wrong or I may feel inadequate. But God loves us. He put us here. I will thank Him and push forward. Doing my best and knowing that’s all He asks.
Remember your vows. You never know when they’ll actually mean what they say.
Thanks for listening. Now I must put my mom hat on and go take my kiddo to theater rehearsals. Then it’s laundry and kitchen cleaning time while waiting for Miguel to come home, and then my other part-time job tonight. NORMALCY. Hallelujah! God is good!!