Our dishwasher broke well over a year ago. We’re a family of 10, and even with only 9 of us actually eating solid foods from actual plates (Baby Faith is still exclusively breast-fed), we go through a small mountain of dishes each day. Throw in some baking, and maybe an extra snack, and it’s more of an entire range of mountains, and their foothills.
It’s not a big deal, people have lived for a whole lotta years without automatic dishwashers, but we all know that it doesn’t take us very long to get spoiled by convenience and/or anything that makes our job easier. I really liked that old appliance. We got it not long after moving in here 10 yrs ago. The dishwasher was the first thing to die, like the week after we moved in, which was funny after the washing machine died the week after we moved into our previous home, and we started to feel a bit cursed in the appliance department. The fridge that came with the house made this incredible there’s-a-jet-taking-off-in-your-kitchen sound every time the motor kicked in, to the point where it was startling guests… so when the dishwasher died, we decided to go for broke (ha, not quite literally, but we did finance the appliances, Dave Ramsey would NOT have approved, we know better now, I hope) and we got all new, all matching, all trendy, stainless steel appliances.
Including a really sleek dishwasher.
That died, twice.*
Ian has been the main dishwasher for years, and when the dishwasher broke (again, we can only pour so much money into one old appliance, kwim?), Ian transitioned back to handwashing without complaining. Really. I mean, what kind of kid doesn’t complain about handwashing mountains of dishes?
Our Ian, that’s what kind of kid.
Oh, sure, we’d get a sigh here and there, and I had to
nag remind him to get to it some days when they were piling up and I was getting impatient, but really, he didn’t complain. He just did the job. And when we’d pull a not-really-clean cup out of the cupboard, and point out the less-than-spotless-ness to him, he’d offer up a bit of a sheepish “Ooops, sorry” and he’d rewash it, and get it clean.
Ian isn’t washing any dishes these days.
As I filled the sink with hot soapy water the other night, my tears began to flow uncontrollably. My throat felt so sore as it tightened as I sobbed one of those therapeutic cries, one of those I’ve-been-holding-it-in-too-long cries. I was a blubbering mess.
I cried because I had to do the dishes.
I cried because I had to do them. I had to do them, because he wasn’t here, and it wasn’t because he was away at summer camp like he had planned.
He wasn’t here that night, and he wasn’t here last night, and we really don’t know how many more nights it will be before he will be back home with us, and this is all just breaking my mom-heart.
This. Is. So. Hard.
Two weeks ago, we were nervous about an upcoming surgery. We were still reeling from the discovery that our oldest son had a brain tumor. I mean, who does that happen to?! We were nervous, yes, but we were also optimistic. Now, we’re reeling from the drastic and damaging effects of the surgery, sobered by the struggle he is going through, nervous about the extent to which he will be able to recover. Praying for a full recovery, but knowing that there are no guarantees. Knowing that He not only hears, but answers every prayer, but also knowing that He doesn’t always answer those prayers the way we want Him to.
How can the world as we know it change so quickly?
How can one prepare for something like that?
People have commented on my faith and my strength, and I just keep thinking about how it’s in my weakness that He is made strong, and how true it is that any strength I have, or that it appears that I have, is only Him, only His grace, because it sure isn’t me. Me, I’m weak, oh, so very weak, and I’m pretty sure that if it weren’t for the grace of God that I wouldn’t even be able to hold my head up during this trial, much less stand.
But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter of mine head.
I knew by Sunday afternoon that this was going to be a hard week. Ian seems to have lost his energetic let’s-get-this-rehab-show-on-the-road sparkle. He’s exhuasted, he’s having increased headaches and neck pain, he’s struggling with dizziness, he’s still having vision problems, speech is just plain hard for him, and even eating and drinking seem like chores now.
Yesterday’s lumbar puncture/spinal tap was bumped to today. The precautionary extra CT (that I’m so glad they did) looked good, so at least we know that his headaches aren’t from any ventricular or intra-cranial pressure issues. IT Guy and I have to meet with the radiation team for “the radiation talk” this afternoon- that will be a heavy conversation, one of those this-is-becoming-more-real-every-hour kind of conversations. Then, tomorrow Ian will have “radiation simulation”, where, I guess he’ll get fitted with a special mask of some sort that will keep his head in the same exact place each time. If all is looking good, medically speaking (because none of this actually looks good, kwim?!), he’s probably going to be starting radiation next Monday.
In the meantime, I will be doing as much reading as I can on the natural and nutritional things we can do to be supporting his body through this. Things like supporting the liver and kidneys as they get hit with toxic loads of nasty chemicals. They have an integrative medicine doctor at Children’s, and one of the oncology docs is very interested in integrative medicine and very supportive of parents wanting to support and cleanse the body as naturally as possible through this process. I was super excited to learn that.
Ok, I have 101 things to do in the next few minutes before I run out the door.
Thank again for all of your prayers! Please remember the LP procedure today, we’re praying that it’s CLEAN and that there are no complications with sedation. Thank you!
*after the local homeschoolers came together to bless our socks off by paying for our van repairs last week, my husband wants to be sure that y’all understand that this is not a plea for a new dishwasher! We’d be happy to have the old one back, the tall and lanky one, not even the stainless steel one!