Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ears Pierced, Moving Forward

Greetings friends and family,

In the middle of uncertainty and pain, life goes on.  There is a bizarre scenario playing out around me every day that is so hard to describe.  I wake up to the sounds of Kendra's groans and moans from pain her fractured vertebrae and walk slowly with her to the shower and closet to help her get ready.  The bed time routine and morning wake up routine is quiet, slow, and painful for Kendra and agonizing for me as a husband.  At the same time this is going on, Easton and Layla come bouncing into the room like bunny rabbits hyped up on Red Bull energy drinks.  There are smiles and loud voices and meaningless questions about insects.  Both of these worlds are happening all the time at the same time in the same place:  our house.

Living with a spouse who has cancer is weird because I have moments of deep sadness and compassion because of Kendra's lack of mobility and high level of pain and uncertain future.  I feel like we are digging a deep hole through a mountain without any tools or any idea how to navigate or even if there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Then the kids come in the room and the atmosphere shifts.  I'm not being two-faced or lying to the twins about Kendra, but their lack of understanding of Kendra's condition and their vibrant personalities lead to this light-switch kind of environment where I jump between emotions.  I don't want be overly boisterous around Kendra and I don't want to detract from the wonderful joys of the twins.   This picture of the twins with Kendra is a great visual of what I experience each day as a dad and husband.  All three are happy hearted.  Kendra's happiness comes from a place of hope and assurance that things are going to be OK.  Easton and Layla's happiness comes from being blessed seven-year-olds who get to just be kids no matter what is going on around them.

Ouma and Oupa are life savers.  Our household is functioning and I'm sane.  These two truths are a result of their extremely helpful efforts of running the house and being their loving selves for our family.  Logan and Bree came by a few times for some collective family time.  Every mom wants her kids to be together in the same place at the same time.  This was one of those situations where we are making the best of the difficult situation. This is not how Oupa planned for his spring break to go.  What normally is full of golfing and resting turned into grandparenting and handyman duties.  The 4 Webbs are grateful!

Writing blog posts lately has been a hundred times more challenging because I'm not writing about how I feel, I'm staring blankly at my monitor trying to figure out how I feel and sometimes there is no word or description that fits.  Thankfully there are many aspects of life that are normal as time marches on.  I took the twins ice skating some time ago.  I had a free pass so I laced up the rental skates and cruised around the rink.  This was the first time I've seen Easton skate since starting his lessons because every Wednesday for the past 8 I've been teaching our ministry class at church while he was learning to skate.

His legs are stiff and he still runs and glides instead of pushing of side-to-side, but he's doing extremely well with his level of confidence and bravery.  Layla is a teacher at heart.  Her greatest fulfillment of the day was skating backwards while giving instructions to Easton for how to skate better.

Birthday parties are another aspect of the fatherhood merry-go-round that keeps on turning no matter what is happening in life.  I took Easton to his friend's birthday party.  I sat inside on the couch as he bounced around with his school buddies in a bounce house.  The family cat jumped up in my lap and fell asleep on my lap.  I don't like cats.  I'm allergic to cats.  but this one was kind and just wanted a reprieve from all the boys grabbing it's paws and ears.  I allowed him to rest because I feel a little bit like this tired cat.  I'd love to have a place to get away for a few hours to just rest and do nothing.  Every minute I'm sitting idle is another minute I spend thinking about all the stuff not getting done while I'm sitting there.  I'm not worried or anxious.  I just have a clear picture of what needs to be done.  what should be done.  what could be done.  what I want done.  there's not much time at the end of that list for "do nothing".  As with all things in life, this too shall pass.

Layla took a big step towards her rite of passage into womanhood.  I was privileged to walk her through this ritual known as ear piercing.  I took her to the mall.  She was so excited she didn't even wait for me on the escalator.  she took several steps ahead and I took a picture of her heading towards her destiny as a ear-pierced girl.

She sat in the chair, picked her butterfly earrings and waited patiently for the girls to stab holes in her ear lobes.  They got their tools ready and simultaneously pierced her ears.  "one, two, three... click,click".  Layla's smile turned to concern and then to tears and all out crying.  She thought it would be a little prick and then back to no pain, but the pain continued so she broke down in tears.  She stepped down off the chair and i gave her a long hug with reassuring words.  they gave her a lollipop and from this point forward she got back to her sparkly self.

A few minutes later she was ready to get her first ear-pierced picture inside Claire's where she made the big step.  One of her first comments was, "Cousin Daphne and Trinity will be so excited for me".  I think their pending arrival later this month was a big part of the reason why she wanted to get her ears pierced.  Whatever the reasoning she believed now was the time.  I was happy to experience this with her and celebrate her bravery!

I couldn't say no to her request to share a pretzel and cheese sauce.  and she couldn't say no to the opportunity of giving the dancing pretzel a hug.

Easter weekend was a hoot.  looking forward to getting it posted... See you soon!

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