By: Sue Anganes
Friday was the last day of a very busy week. There were doctor’s visits in Boston, physical therapy appointments, schoolwork, a 4:00 am trip to bring my husband to the airport, and the everyday tasks of cooking, laundry, and housekeeping. When Friday rolled around, all I really had to accomplish for the day was schoolwork with my boys. We homeschool and I always have to be flexible with my schedule because both boys work around the physical obstacles of having a rare neurological disease. Some days are better than others.
When I started schoolwork with my youngest on Friday, I knew right away it was not a good day for him. All his energy had been used up from the previous few days with all the appointments and things that had to get done. He was having trouble physically writing, and was clearly having an extremely hard time thinking. Things that would, on a good day, take minutes to accomplish, he was not even able to figure out.
Normally I can face the fact that my boys are not able to do what their older siblings do. Their lives are so much more difficult. On Friday, I just broke. With tears streaming down my face I told my son we could finish his work later. My heart was aching watching him struggle. The tears just wouldn’t stop. The rest of the morning was useless. I couldn’t stop crying, and I called my daughter to see if she could stop at the food store on her way home from classes to grab me a few things. I couldn’t face running into anyone I knew at the store. I didn’t think I could stop the tears long enough to shop.
Feeling so overwhelmed, I knew I needed to get outside and clear my head a bit. I thought about taking a walk, but again, I knew I couldn’t face running into someone in the neighborhood. I just couldn’t talk. Behind our house we have our wood pile. We had ordered six cords of wood this year, and a little more than one fourth of a cord was still un-stacked. I decided to work off my heartbreak by stacking wood.
I stacked and I stacked, and pulled my jacket off when I started to sweat. Tears still fell, but the physical task gave me time to think and helped me feel a bit better. Somehow taking a jumbled up pile of logs, and being able to make it into something orderly, neat, and complete was helpful to me. My hands ached from grasping the logs, and my back was stiff, but somehow it stopped my tears. After a couple of hours I was able to go back inside and start my supper.
Do we not all have days that break us? The circumstances of life are very hard. No one is immune from loss, grief, disappointments, illness, or hardships. Thankfully, I found a way to deal with my bad day and was able to wake up to the next morning. Saturday I was up at 5 am and had the sunrise greet me. I took a picture of it and said to myself, “New day”. And it was.