When the idea of going through treatment again became a reality a few months back, we knew it would be a greater challenge on many fronts--especially knowing that we would not have the privilege of my mother-in-law's help this time around. Though she was invaluable to us last year, we strongly felt that disrupting her life again would not be fair and we would need to pull from our local support to get our family through this season.
I was immediately touched by the friends and family who were quick with the emails, phone calls and texts offering help on any level needed. Like I said in a previous post, there are some people who run into the fire without thinking, and I saw people running in as soon as we pulled the fire alarm.
I could not help but cry for many reasons during those first few weeks, but not all were out of devastation. Sometimes it was out of the spirit of love and generosity that quickly works its way into places where it's needed most. The light immediately began to shine in our darkness. No sooner had the ride begun than I got a text from a friend that said: "My mom said she will come to town to help take care of my boys so that I can help take care of your boys." And of course I cried. And I'm crying now just typing it out. I was seeing moms layered upon each other ready to mother where I couldn't.
I spent most of the first round of treatment asleep. I can vaguely remember waking up to take a nausea pill or munching on a few bites of a plain rice cake before rolling back over and falling asleep. I can remember hearing Kyle get up, but don't remember him shuffling through the kid's morning routine before hustling them out the door to stay with friends for the day. I can remember hearing little voices reenter a quiet house in the evening and bedtime chaos beginning. But I wasn't part of their lives those days. It was the very reason I chose to stay home to raise them, and yet here I was missing those moments--powerless to do anything about it. Without a choice, cancer is forcing regret. All I could do was roll over and be surprised that it was already dark out again. I was too sick to even care about their day.
And that of course, is sad.
But the most touching and emotional part to come out of this gap in motherhood is the moms who are once again circling their wagons around us; who want to step in and sign up to take away some of that burden; who are eager and happy to be mommy-for-a-day because they know it will be one less thing for me to worry about. They know it will help me sleep away my days with peace because I know the boys are being loved and looked after and cared for and fed.
I felt it at the park today, when all around me stood moms who were plotting and planning the relief that will come and how to orchestrate the much needed care we require. I can envision each of them with their own wagon in tow, circling up to protect that which is currently very vulnerable.
Sorry Pop, but sometimes Hillary Clinton is right. It does take a village. At least that's how I feel when I look out at everyone surrounding us right now. The whole village has come to us this time to take away one of the biggest worries and to make it possible for Kyle and I to focus on the task at hand. He can sit there and worry about me as the sickness once again befalls me in my overpriced recliner, and I can sit there and hope I once again make it out of the oncology building without throwing up. And neither of us must sit there and worry about our boys, because the village is taking care of them.