As the week wore on, I felt more and more tired and rundown physically, spiritually and emotionally. By the end of the week it was obvious that I was sick with the flu and a chest infection. I could hardly move out of bed on Saturday, which meant the boys had to fend for themselves. They are not angels by any means, but they are pretty good boys, so I knew that they could entertain and feed themselves and hopefully get along long enough to allow me a few hours’ rest.
When I dragged myself out of bed a few hours later, the house looked like a bomb had gone off in it. The boys had been good at occupying themselves and getting along, but it looked like something had exploded in the kitchen, leaving a mess all over the floor, benches, and sink. I was feeling too sick to deal with it though, so I left it, took some pain killers, and went back to bed.
I knew I could have called my home teachers right then and asked them to come around to give me a blessing, but I’m such an independent person that I don’t like bothering people. I could have called my visiting teachers too, and I know my mum would’ve come and stayed if I needed her, but I’ve been used to doing so much on my own, and I like being independent. I knew we had leftovers in the fridge that we could use for dinner that night, so the boys would at least be fed, even if the kitchen was a mess.
If Aaron were alive, I would’ve been posting on Facebook that I had the “man flu,” moaning away to collect all the sympathy that I could and knowing that Aaron would be home helping me with caring for the boys, cooking, and doing housework. But without him here, I didn’t want sympathy and help, even though I probably needed it. Instead, I decided to handle things on my own as much as I could, so I didn’t let many people know I was sick.
By Saturday night, the pain killers had kicked in and I was able to get up and spend some time with the boys. The kitchen was still a mess, so I told the boys that they needed to clean it up. They “cleaned” it to their standard, but it was terrible, so I sat at the bench barking orders to them and talking them through how to clean a kitchen properly. It was then that it hit me just how much I’ve done on my own for too long. It’s often easier to just clean the kitchen myself, because I know if I let the boys do it to their standard I won’t be happy with it, and because I’m tired and grieving, and nagging the boys just takes more energy, which I don’t have much of at the moment.
By Sunday morning I was feeling a little better and decided it was time to call my home teachers. They were of course more than happy to come around and give me a blessing, and they wished that I’d called them the day before.
Harri looked at me while I was crying and asked, “Are you crying because Daddy died?” Kobe said, “Are you sad because of Noah or Daddy, Mummy?” And Jalen came over and asked, “Do you need a hug?” and put his arms around my waist and snuggled into me.
I want to be back to my old life when I was tired from caring for Noah, not tired from being a single mum who is also grieving. I don’t want to be visiting two graves. I want to wake up to seeing Aaron eating his breakfast while reading the sports section of the newspaper, before he leaves early for work. I want to watch the clock and come out when Noah’s bus pulls up outside our house after school, so I can go out and meet him and see what kind of day he had. I want to look forward to four-thirty in the afternoon as it was when Aaron would walk in the door after work, and would drop everything for the boys and would listen to all my stories as I told him about my day—even though he was tired. I want to be able to steal a nap on the couch with Aaron in the afternoons while the boys play around us.
I feel like I’ve lost my zest right now, and I’ve spent the weekend thinking about how life just isn’t fair. I hate feeling like this, but I know it will pass. I’m hoping and praying that as my health improves, my mental, physical, and spiritual energy will also return, and I will be once again ready to take on whatever comes my way.
Photo by Alana Aston Photography