Him: Do I always look that tired?
Her: What? Umm… umm… not always.
It was the conversation that made me sad.
We headed to the Outback, courtesy of a birthday giftcard, and decided to celebrate the last day of food freedom before the dreaded cancer treatment prep diet.
Instead of the celebratory time I imagined – complete with steak and shrimp and bread and everything forbidden on the diet – he was quiet.
I snapped a picture.
“Do I always look that tired?”
I didn’t know what to say.
Truth is, the man is tired.
I’ve hesitated in sharing – partly because of that ridiculous redneck code that means you must pretend you are healthy until someone hauls your unconscious self to the doctor. And partly because it feels personal – asking you to see the fatigue as incredible fortitude for what he faces daily.
His cancer diagnosis came three weeks after his mom died. An incredible one-two blow for anyone – but especially for someone who physically cared for her, and watched her get robbed by the same “c” word he faced just days later.
It was surreal in a way. Losing her so quickly. The changes happened so fast that it somehow felt like it wasn’t HER that we lost… it was someone who looked and seemed like another person. And as eight months have slowly passed, the hole she left fills the house.
Some of the grief that got cut short with the hard distractions of Mr. Daddy’s own diagnosis, the ice storm, the multiple rounds of sickness… just quietly waited for us.
Watching Dad miss her is hard.
Watching my husband miss her is hard.
Missing her is hard.
And that incredible legacy she left… shows itself daily in the unbelievably stressful “thing we can’t talk about”.
I see her face in my mind - her pained and compassionate expression as she says gently, “Stay blameless. Stay blameless.”
There is no escaping the collateral damage. The worry I see in my husband’s eyes. The years of patience in waiting for wrongs to be righted. The way he forces himself to swallow unfair insults. To hear him say that it is altogether more difficult than his diagnosis? Painful.
Getting through these next few months will be because He is carrying us. Don’t dare doubt – God is still doing BIG things in our lives. He doesn’t wait for a convenient time to do amazing things.
And because every blog post should have something to make you snort… a little Facebook humor:
Ich Liebe Dich!