This would have been way easier to do by myself.

Every day, a different friend asks me, “OK,so your kids are thriving, but how are YOU???”  Some days, lots of friends ask me the same question.  So here’s how I am:

I am strong enough to sew a halloween costume for Danny.  Danny wants to be a candy corn. 

I was going to buy him a candy corn costume, but:

Candy Corn Witch Costume

This just wasn’t Danny.   You see what I mean?  So anyway, I’m strong enough to go to the fabric store (as long as I have no other big errands or appointments that day) and get the things we need.

All good so far.  And even better than good is interesting.  Danny is interesting.  Danny needs to make sure his candy corn is a geometrical representation of reality.

So far so good.  I can sit at the kitchen table and do math all day. 

But back to the “how are you?” question:  I am NOT strong or agile enough to get up and down from the floor (and get Danny up and down off the floor) to make the pattern that he NEEDS to have.   I would have just used all that good math and started cutting…. but SOMEBODY really, truly needed a real pattern.  So Monique, Danny’s nurse, did that part.  And Danny struggles so much with cutting, so he was happy to just let me do that.  (Phew.  Independent mama set free at last, fastest most efficient costume cutting EVER.  My Ginghers were smoking. )

And of course Danny had to do the sewing.  He needs hand-over-hand help with everything, and we couldn’t figure out how to get his chair right for the foot pedal, so he decided that the best way was standing in front of me with his bony elbows supporting his body by pressing into my mastectomy scars.  However, in the interest of continuing to have thriving children, I didn’t get cranky and send him to bed with tears of frustration while I quickly sewed his costume.  We persevered, I took some extra morphine, and he learned to use the machine.

I think the highlight of the whole thing was when he had sewn the whole front together, and overcast all the edges, he called my mom to tell her all about it.  “Nana!  I sewed!  Really!  All by myself!  And I learned about the presser foot and the feed dogs and about the bobbin!!!”  I could so easily imagine my mom’s happiness on her end of the conversation, being a professional Bernina sewing quilting wearable art person, you know.

So anyway, that’s how I am.  My strength and endurance are right in between what it takes to make a Halloween costume and what it takes to help a child make his own costume.  And we managed the latter, but I paid the price in terms of pain and exhaustion. 

Oh, one more thing about how I am:  Last week the interventional joint guy who did the radiofrequency procedure on my left hip had a cancellation for tomorrow and asked me if we wanted to move up the appointment to do the other side.  Of course I haven’t totally recovered from my 6 hour infusion session last week (or making the candy corn costume) but we’re going to go ahead and do it.  They told me last time to expect to be not walking on it, not driving and having increased pain for 10 days or so.  I truly don’t remember it being so bad… but maybe it’s like forgetting labor, KWIM?  Of course Dixon is working… but I am thoroughly blessed with so many friends who have taken over all my kids transportation needs (and mine…)  and my freezer, fridge and pantry are full. 

Oh!  And I can knit some … I’ve been wearing the compression sleeve rather than the big bandages for several hours every day just to preserve my mental health 🙂  so I’ve gotten a bag of almost finished projects DONE and DELIVERED – two baby sweaters that just needed buttons, three pair of socks that had been done all the way to the toes, you know, just little stuff….  And as long as I’m faithful with the big bandages most of the time, while I’m on bedrest after tomorrow, I should have plenty of knitting and prayer time to keep me happy.  

One more thing… I asked a very smart friend for a memory verse that might help me with my anxiety about my surgery tomorrow.  I figured if I could hold onto it in my heart, mind and soul, there wouldn’t be room for too much stress.  So she came up with the perfect one for me, and even sent me a video link to share with the kids so that we’re all on the same page all day tomorrow. 

So there you go.  Our memory verses for tomorrow’s procedure.  If you join me in spirit, I know it will go better, it always works that way.  The surgery starts at 8, should be done by 10 or so, and then just a little while in the recovery room.  Dixon’s working this week, so Sara is driving me, Susan is bringing me home after, Michelle is taking care of Danny, George will be at preschool… My goals are to be up and around enough to go to the wonderful Missa Cantata Sam’s serving at on Sunday afternoon, and to be able to sit up in a very comfortable chair in the evening and hand out candy to the zillions of children who will come trick or treating.  I might have to pick just one of those, though… we’ll see.

Thanks for joining me with our verses.   It really helps to know we’re all in this together.

29 thoughts on “This would have been way easier to do by myself.

  1. Hi, I’m new to your blog but not to the struggle. My sister has just a a major recurrence, the fourth of breast cancer first diagnosed in 1997.

    A verse? 2 Timothy 1:7 “God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.”

    God’s blessing be on you and your family and all attending you.

  2. Prayers, Elizabeth, for your procedure. What an awesome verse! Thanks for sharing. I will join you in spirit, holding it in my heart. Do not be anxious…about anything…(catchy tune, too!)

  3. I’m praying for you right now, Elizabeth. Your sacrifice amazes me, and Danny will forever be enriched by it.

    Michelle (michellyn)

  4. Elizabeth,
    I’m writing to verify that Danny’s sewing report to your Mom was an even bigger thrill than you recapped. But I also want to let you and your blog world know how proud we are to have such an exceptional, wonderful, heroic daughter.
    Love from Kalamazoo,

  5. You’re in my prayers today as always, Elizabeth. I’m focusing on that verse with you. Looking forward to a good report.

  6. Praying for you Elizabeth! Praying for your peace as He holds you. Praying for the drs wisdom and hands, praying for Dixon and your children, thanking God for your real life friends who can be the hands and feet of Jesus. Love the post about the costume. Love the Bible verse, gonna have to look them up.

    Blessings, amy now in SD

  7. I’m praying for you. Your story has touched my heart and though pregnancy hormones have helped me along, the throne of God will be wet with my tears on your behalf.

  8. I was introduced to you today, by an awesome amazing woman on Facebook. What an inspiration you are! I loved the verse and the catchy tune, but even more I am inspired by you and your family. You all have my prayers, I was very nervous about my last surgery (seems I might have been right on some level as I ended up hospitalized after the surgery with a bladder infection that had spread to my kidneys), but it all worked out okay and I am better now, a month later. Your blog reminds me of the quote, “I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet.” There is always someone, somewhere who has it just a bit worse than you (or much worse), so it is important not only to love and appreciate our lives, and to share that with everyone in our lives, but also to seek out others who have it worse and be a candle of hope for them. Thank you for allowing me to be a candle of hope in your life! 😀

  9. I have to agree with Nancy, it’s all been said…beautifully.

    Words cannot express what a true inspiration you are, plus you even have such inspiring friends!

    Love and prayers

  10. Hello lovely Elizabeth and family,
    I’m late in reading and replying but I will certainly hold you in prayer all day! (and beyond)
    Phil 4:6-7 was precisely what I needed today as I worry about a certain bunch of maximum security inmates. I will present them with faith, prayer and Thanksgiving to God. Your very wise friend was spot on for the faith verse for you… and even for me!
    I totally admire your ability and willingness to help with the Halloween costume. I’m also astounded at Danny’s math. I hope someone snaps and posts photos of the final candy-corn costume.
    Love, prayer and hugs from RI

  11. Praying for you throughout this journey. You are the most amazing woman I have ever known. Danny (and the rest) are so blessed to call you Mama. Praying for a smooth recover and holding up Phil 4 for you.

  12. Psalm 46:1 God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.

    “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14).

    I love both of these! Will be praying for you and the family.
    My six year old had open heart surgery back in May and I held fast to Philipians 4 as well as these above. He is mighty! He worked an amazing recovery in my son!


    Jen Brown

  13. You are amazing, but just so you know that is not why I admire you. I love you and admire you for who you are even when you’re not amazing. And you don’t have to be amazing all the time. Sometimes life just sucks, and you need to know that it’s OK to say that. I worry that every time people post to tell you how amazing you are that you increasingly feel like maybe you’d be letting us down by being anything less. Like maybe it’s pressure or something. Goodness knows you have enough pressure as it is. We care about you, love you, and want to know how you’re doing, no matter what.

  14. I just got an update on facebook saying you’re through your surgery, so I will be praying for your recovery. I loved reading about the costume. Thanks for sharing this.


  15. Jane, Thank you for your perspective. You are so right:Elizabeth is amazing because of who she is, not what she does. Peace

  16. I missed this post before your surgery, so didn’t know you were going in! I think you’re an amazing, inspiring mama to have helped Danny to learn to sew himself.

  17. Pingback: Luigi did NOT like Halloween « Keep on Spinning

  18. I had forgotten about the candy corn!
    Lest you forget: Philippians 4:8 is part of the history of your blog. (Focus on the good, the pure, the CASHMERE!)

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