Every day is a little different from the last these days. Some days are near normal, even “good”, while others are not so much. But through it all, we are trying to maintain some sense of normalcy for our children and even for ourselves. It’s just a NEW “normal.”
One by one, members of Tom’s family have flown out to assist in the regular tasks that need doing. It’s a huge help and it is also nice for Tom to see his siblings. They have a full list of where the kids are, need to go, and when they need to be there. It’s amazing that I ever did all of this stuff on my own plus the rest of life.
In speaking with the director of my department at work, the question came up out having these folks, and others, stay with Tom and care for him while I go to work. I am sure that she *had* to ask. She wasn’t at all surprised when I said, “No, they are here to help with the other things. I take care of Tom.”
I have since committed to working 24 hours per week from home. I will use FMLA for the remaining 16 hours needed to keep the benefits going. For the most part, this is working for me. I have the freedom to work these hours however I need to with the exception of the meetings (which I am able to join via phone). I am so blessed to have a director that is so supportive.
Today, I began working at 6:00 am. Tom was back asleep and Joe agreed, eagerly I might add, to drop BoBo off at high school. I got a lot done.
I took breaks to check in on Tom, wake him to give him his medications, and prepare his breakfast for him when the time came. He seemed pretty worn out today – perhaps from the cumulative effects of the daily radiation treatments or perhaps from the extra visitors that came during the weekend. He’s hanging in there with us, and it’s good to be able to be with him.
I return to the computer for more work, but my mind is not on work any longer. I too am slightly worn from the extra visitors, emails, and phone calls. Everyone wants an update, and I am too tired to retell the story. Besides, I’ve already said too much. I feel a twinge of guilt talking about Tom’s health with everyone. Sometimes there is the empty silence in the phone line when I’ve given all the information that I am willing to provide. It tells me that they want to know something more, but know not to ask. That’s good, because I really don’t want to give an answer.
I’ve got some work to do. I take it day-by-day, call-by-call, email-by-email. And working serves as a little distraction as well as a source of income. I guess you could say that it’s bill-by-bill as well.