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How do you do it? I get asked that quite often. First of all, let me tell you I'm quite great at "faking it." I will probably be a train-wreck when we're finally back home. It will most likely hit me like a ton of bricks trying to get back to our "normal" life. BUT, for now this is what I'm relying on to keep me strong.
1) I'm in a small room with my 9 1/2-year-old sweet daughter who tells everyone she's not here because she's sick, but just because she needs oxygen and is waiting for her liver transplant. Hello! If she can view it that way, then the least I can do for her is to see it that way, too. She is SO positive. It is contagious.
2) God. I know He's there for me/us no matter what. Good or bad, I know I can rely on Him for comfort and strength. Enough said.
3) Scott. I know he's doing his best to go from student/CNA to housewife/man and he's rockin' it. He's a super Daddy and my girls are so lucky to have them as their Daddy.
4) Scott. He's a fabulous husband. While we're mostly communicating by text, he's there for me.
5) My parents. They pick up everything else that Scott & I can't/aren't able to handle. Riley is none-to-pleased that Grammie has to be more "mom" than "Grammie" right now, but she just doesn't realize how lucky she is to have that lady watching over and guiding her. Papa is there as an ear always willing to listen to *anything* she has to say.
6) Everyone else. I know you all are there. I do. So many offers to help have been made and, trust me, you'll be called upon. Right now its "relatively" easy to handle things as Scott's parents came back from Texas to help, Scott is still on winter break and Shelby is stable allowing me to be here and Scott be home. If any of those factors change, expect your phones to ring.
7) How can I NOT stay upbeat? This is our life. While it many not be under ideal or desirable circumstances, it is what it is. It is still the cards we've been handed and we are expected to play them the best we can. I know our life will go back to "normal" one day. It will. Right now, I'm taking this as time to spend with Shelby and hope/pray that I can find ways to give Avery and Riley some one-on-one time. For example, while I'm not a big shopper, my tween is. So, despite it being bitterly cold here in Chicago today, when she arrives we're grabbing a cab and heading downtown for some window shopping. Just some Mommy and Ri time. Can't wait! She's growing up so fast, I don't want to miss it...the good and the bad. When she rolls her eyes at me or has a meltdown over something weird (to me) I think, "O.k., she needs some guidance from me/us AND, wow, she's a really normal kid. Tweens do this. Yay for normal." Really...then I want to strangle her...just kidding. Avery, well she's hanging in there. I hear there are some "I miss Shelby" and "I want Mommy" moments, but she's grown up with this. Not this long of a separation, but Shelby has always been sick that she knows. This nothing new to Avery.
So, there's "how I do it." There will be bad days coming. It will get rough. But, we will persevere. We just will. I'm not trying to toot my own horn with sharing this. It just "how I roll." The truth of how I'm approaching this life we've been blessed with. Thank you God for all you've given us.