I am weary

The past few weeks have knocked the wind out of me. I hardly know where to begin, there is so much to say. The biggest news, at least for my family, was that John’s father died. It was not unexpected. It was not fast. It was also not easy.

Just over 2 weeks ago, we got the call that John’s father was not expected to survive the night. As you might imagine, there was much travel, and rearranging of plans. John was able to travel to New York to be with his parents for his father’s last few days. I stayed home with the kids. Things were complicated by Theo having a fever one day, then getting pink eye the next, which meant missed school for him, missed work time for me, and more trauma than I would have expected dealing with the medication. (This was Theo’s first sick visit to the doctor, which itself was remarkable.) Phoebe managed to pick up her first case of poison ivy, a bad one, including welts on her face around both eyes. This led to a doctor’s trip and missed school for her, too. Then there was the funeral. Phoebe ended up missing a whole week of school. This week is her school vacation. And did I mention the stomach bug that hit Phoebe Sunday night?

These were the weeks that I was supposed to be working intensively to make a last push to try to finish my degree. Time is limited before my subject pool, the BU undergrads, is taken away by finals and the end of the term. I have now lost 2 full weeks of work time. The only day that was not taken up by sick kids or travel or memorial services and time with extended family was one that I spent shopping for something to wear to the funeral.

My days are eaten up. My energy is eaten up. My motivation and momentum for my research have all but left the building. I have been trying to push through, in the windows of time that open up here and there.

But next comes a terrorist attack in Boston, and the wind is knocked out of me again. I was not there, but I am shocked and grieving. 3 dead and over 170 injured in a blast at Copley Square, a place I know well. The news that one of the dead was a child of 8 hit hard. The news that another was a BU grad student hit hard again. The realization that my friends and family from far away might be worried about my family hit me again. We could have been there.

I am steady in times of crisis. Strong and reliable, I keep pushing through. I know that I have to keep going until the crisis time is over. But I am strained and drained. I am edgy and touchy. I am slipping.

This is not the worst crisis I can imagine. This is not even the worst crisis I or my family have lived through. I remind myself every day how lucky I am to have John and my children here with me, safe and (largely) healthy. My mother and my sister and her family are safe and well. I have financial stability, a home, and wonderful friends. I am very, very lucky. But I admit that I am tired, and I just wish I could have a few days to catch my breath. At this point, I’d settle for one.

14 thoughts on “I am weary

  1. Oh my goodness. This has been a difficult week in general, let alone with all that you’re dealing with. I’m sorry. Knowing that you are lucky and feeling like you are lucky are two different animals. Good that you acknowledge that, but sad that you must acknowledge it. Such a beautifully written, poignant post. *hugs*

  2. Hi Alejna —

    Sorry to hear about your recent travails. Please make sure you get some rest — and hopefully your spirits will rise back up in due course.

  3. Oh Alejna, this week has been unusually bad, especially for everyone in your part of the country, and it sounds like that crisis came at a time when you had already used up a lot of your capacity to cope. I’m so sorry about your father-in-law and about the kids’ (thankfully minor) health problems. I really hope you can get some rest and some productivity soon. Best wishes.

  4. So. Much. Pressure. So many unexpected difficulties of varying levels of magnitude hitting you at the same time. So many demands on your emotional and physical resources. No wonder you feel drained. Everything is being pulled out of you and nothing is going in. There are times when telling myself how much worse things could be just doesn’t matter. Exhausted is an overused word in our culture, but in your case, it seems to apply. I’m sorry you’ve been hit with so much at once. Hope your burdens lighten and you regain your strength.

  5. Hi Alejna, I’m just catching up on blog reading and came upon this post today. I’m so sorry for all you’ve been going through (sometimes just ONE sick kid can do me in). My deepest condolences to John and your whole family on the loss of his father. Sending some peaceful vibes your way . . .

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