On many levels, the situation for Blaise and me is dark and there are frayed moments that I pinch myself to realize that I am not asleep and wrestling with a nightmare, but wide awake and shaking.
Anxiety was never part of my DNA, though my self-esteem was notably absent throughout my life. Lately though, because of my husband’s disability, my own serious illnesses, and our lack of finances, there lurks a hidden terror within my soul.
I don’t want to be homeless.
But it is a distinct possibility.
When I was in my earlier middle-aged years, I would hear comments such as, “Most people are just a few paychecks away from homelessness.”
Inside, I’d scoff and wonder about their irresponsible attitude with money. After all, we had worked it out. We labored hard, saved, had money in the bank, some investments and a nice nest egg for retirement.
But, remember when people told you that “if you had your health, you had everything?” Remember laughing under your breath because what they said, seemed so insipid? I remember.
Well, news flash! They were right! If you have your health. You do have everything!!
Because, I tell you, eight years ago when my husband was seriously injured in a home improvement store and didn’t know who he was for two weeks, I was freaking out! And when an MRI showed he had a stroke on his spine and several herniated disks in his neck and needed a cervical fusion, the air sucked out of my lungs.
Recovery from the first surgery took six months, and then the fusion failed and he needed another one, and then three years later, needed one more.
I remember trying to sleep at night while Blaise sat in an upright chair in the living room and was screaming with pain. I would pad out in the darkness, sit by his feet and hold his hand–praying that God would relieve his agony. Each surgery was like that.
In between those cervical fusions, he had surgery to implant a pain pump, and was hospitalized for heart arrhythmia issues, enduring three coronary ablations. Then, probably one of the most arduous experiences of his life was going off 10 addictive medications over a chilling weekend, under the unwise advice of his general practitioner. That advice sent him back to the hospital and I thought I was going to lose him for the 4th time.
Through all of this, I was the strong one. The woman of tough Irish stock that handled the bill collectors, the insurance company, the doctor appointments, daily caregiving, transportation, social security, lawyers and all of that while trying to work from home as a writer. It was a role I knew well from the childhood that never was.
It seemed to work out ok, but then the savings, retirement, and everything else ran out. I sold musical instruments, furniture, antiques, my doll collection and just about anything else I could liquidate.
And if that wasn’t enough, I got sick. Very sick, and my work dropped off while I had numerous surgeries, battled to survive Levaquin toxicity, and navigated Celiac disease and Hashimotos Disease. We’ve had empty cupboards, growling stomaches, unpaid bills, depression and the uncertainty of bankruptcy looming over our heads like a vulture waiting for its prey to succumb.
So, a couple of weeks ago, we had hoped there was good news legally, but it didn’t turn out that way. We were lied to, betrayed, and kicked around. It wasn’t supposed to be this way and everyone knew it-especially those we trusted.
We cried for days, and then we remembered that we already gave it to Him long ago. So, why were we taking it back? In the softness of a Sunday morning, we prayed together and I heard Him say, “Carry my Light. Have faith in Me. I have not forgotten you.”
Peace overcame my heart and tattered soul and I believed Him. I still do. I truly believe that He will handle everything and perhaps, He was waiting for us to give it back to Him all along?
And I remember now, “For his anger endures but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5