Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Goggles On

The last couple of days have been tough.  I have this sense of urgency to really enjoy life and not miss a moment, which is good.  We should all live like that since none of us know the hour we will leave this earth....

However, each moment of blessing is a battle in my mind.... the constant thoughts of feeling like I'm walking around with a ticking time bomb in my head.  I get sharp pains in the location of where he said my lesion and aneurysm are and I pause... I found myself praying "Please Lord if I'm going to fall dead, don't let it happen when my kids are alone and will find me...." 

That kind of thinking is mixed with the thoughts of the fact that this could be something that I just have for years without complications....  

And then to the spinal cord issues every time my speech slurs or my back goes numb.... what if I can't walk... talk... hold my kids....  I already have trouble with all three.  I haven't been able to wear E in my Ergo in a very long time and most of the day I rely on Desirae to hold him when he needs me.  It's no wonder he's my first baby to refuse to stop nursing at a year....  

So yesterday, we ran away for the day to play together.   I feel like I've been watching from the sidelines for much too long.  I want to be more involved in the things they enjoy. I swam with them and floated around with E on a float.  I used goggles for the first time in years (UM, AWESOME!!!) and the kids rated my handstands... Isaiah said I do them 'very straight' and Desirae said I was 'graceful' - OH MY, I need to get in the water more!! haha.  

But at one point I swam down in the deep end and the pressure in my ears was too much... I wondered if it's just a normal thing that happens with age... or if I should even be doing it.  I just don't know and the questions overwhelm me at times.  

This morning I woke up and Pandora pretty much played Rachel song after Rachel song... all songs from those months when she was with me.  For a minute I wondered if Matt was actually playing the CD we gave out at her shower because I think all the songs were on it.  

And wow, are these a lot of the same feelings.... the wanting to celebrate each moment being overshadowed with possible death... the moments of wanting to push through physical pain in order to enjoy time... the trying to protect my kids from what this means for them... the knowing God is absolutely capable of miraculous healing....  but knowing His plan isn't always healing here on earth... 

You might all remember in August 2010, we got Rachel's diagnosis, buried a good friend of ours at 35 years old that next week, lost my uncle Dale to colon cancer a couple weeks later, then buried Matt's stepmom's dad the next week.  It was one thing after another.

Well, on July 28 this year, my birthday, I got news that my Papa was given a few months to live because they found 3 aggressive cancers in him.  And the day after my news, my sister, who has been very sick for a long time with Crohn's disease, was told she has a mass in her intestines.  

It's been another eventful August.

As I was writing this, Ezra came up to me and handed me Isaiah's goggles.  I swooped him up and played with him for a few minutes... he put them on... and then put them to my face.  So I put them on and he gave me a big smile.  It felt so symbolic after all I just said about being present with them and active in the things they enjoy.  It's so easy to say "wait a minute... I'm typing...I'm cooking... I'm talking... I'm reading... I'm (fill in the blank)..."  but I stopped and played and was given a picture to encourage me to keep putting on my goggles while I can.

As we were playing, I pulled the goggles over my head again and broke them.  I told Isaiah, expecting him to be upset and he said "It's okay, I didn't really need those."  And I was so blessed by his grace.  Ezra went and found another pair and we started playing with those instead.  He was like "OK, minor bump in the road, let's get a new pair!"  That's my boy!

When I buy Isaiah new goggles, I think I might get us all a new pair... a reminder to take time to play together... to get in the water and not sit on the sidelines watching... to show grace when someone does something disappointing... to overcome obstacles.... and to remember when we go deep and the pressure builds and it feels like danger is imminent... all we need to do is look up and keep swimming.  There is no body of water, no storm, no brokenness that God is not bigger than still.

I will allow myself the space to feel what I feel, but I'm going to do it with my goggles on.  


  1. You're so amazing to me. A beautiful, honest, caring, strong, amazing person all the way around. I know you may not always feel all or any of those things but know that you, Rachel, what you share...your heart, your thoughts, your kind soul, your fears even...they all inspire me, and I believe sooo many others, to try to be better people, kinder people, to see the positive that you see, to put our trust in Him as much as you do. I could go on and on. I know that we don't see each other very often and we don't talk on a regular basis, but I love you and I love who you are. You're an awesome mother and it shows in your children. I'm so blessed to have gotten to know you and to call you friend <3

    1. France!! Making me cry.... thank you for your encouragement. Another friend gifted to me through Rachel <3

    2. <3 ...friends for eternity! Someday we'll all dance with Rachel in heaven... you, me, Des, my girls...and Rachel! =) I can see us playing Ring Around The Rosies!

    3. Wow France, you find exactly the right words! I'm thinking the same way but I hardly find the right words for it... Thank you!
      And thank you Stacy! I love you!
      hugs, anja


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes