I’m so thankful for my shared sense of humor with Brad. In the most awkward and maybe stressful situations we find a way to make each other laugh even if it might seem inappropriate to others. When he went in for his colonoscopy it was the first real medical procedure we had been through and we knew at the end of it someone would be telling him he definitely had cancer in his colon.
I took my work bag and had prepared for a long wait and lots of time to get work done while he was getting his procedure done. I ended up feeling like an idiot with way too many big bags hanging off me for tiny tight places so I just took the unnecessary gear back to the van as soon as I could. I also forgot to put on mascara and looked like a crazy person so Brad felt free to remind me of this whenever possible. Since Brad hates doctors, hospitals, needles etc. he is pretty naive to the process so I kept reminding myself that he didn’t really know what to expect. They got him all hooked up and sent me on my way…after he told me I needed mascara one more time.
One bad cup of coffee later they called me back to be with him while he woke up. He was drinking some water through a straw and had his puckered lips stuck way out and looked pretty loopy. He told me how they asked if he wanted water or Sprite and he said, “water and Sprite.” The nurse responded, “water?” “Yes, water and Sprite,” he said again. “Sprite?” she asked. “Yes, Sprite and Water,” he insisted. Omg….he was retelling this and I was like oh boy, he’s being ornery.
The nurse started talking about how she knew a Kim Woods from a previous job and Brad said, “did she go by Diamond?” The nurse and I looked at each other…she said, “um no I don’t think so.” Brad pointed to me and said, “Her stage name is Diamond.” In that moment I knew we would be ok during this process. He would throw curve balls and try to make everyone laugh. He reminded me of my dad in that moment. My dad flirted with nurses and made jokes that were not always taken so well because the particular nurse was all business. I loved that, it made me feel like we could have fun with this in any situation. Multiple nurse encounters that followed were similar. Brad found ways to make them laugh and I inevitably asked them about their education to get ideas for our future nurse Whitney. We talk a lot about how she will love being a nurse and her patients will love her back for the care she will give them. I like to think how comforting her pretty face and sweet disposition will help patients feel at ease and enjoy whatever situation they are in the best they can.
This year has been a true lesson in how to handle stress. It just isn’t worth the energy to let yourself get so wrapped up in the stresses of life or even worse, other people’s drama. My friend Heather wrote this to me soon after I told her our news.
“Gotta get out of God’s circle of responsibility. It’s your responsibility to pray. It’s God’s job to answer. Leave it in His hands.”
I have tried to go back to this whenever things start to get overwhelming. I think this applies to everything that stresses me out. I could worry myself sick over my kids right now and I do a little but I just try to talk to them as I always would normally and stress the importance of staying focused. This is a blip in their lives. If they can keep their world going the way they want it to there will be less stress on them and they can use the rest of their energy to make sure they are contributing to the positive support system we provide their dad. Getting crushed by all of this won’t do anyone any good…in the end we move forward from this space of time and I want them to feel like their trajectory has stayed on course. Kennedy is the best role model for them as she pushed through all the BS she went through and is now living her dream and enjoying the life her mom wanted for her. It is so strange to think of the lessons I was being taught during the 3 years I knew Heather. My only regret is not knowing her longer.
We are keeping on keeping on and looking for ways to keep laughing.