One Foot in Front of the Other

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My dad is in the hospital right now and has been since Thursday. My mom was not able to be with him at first because of Covid, which was gut wrenching for all of us. We are so grateful she has been able to be with him for the past couple of days. Our biggest hope and prayer right now is that he is able to go home soon. If you are the praying, or well-wishing, or good vibe type, we’ll take them all right now that this can happen.

I feel like I’m an alternate universe. And I really don’t know how I’m supposed to be, so I’m just… being, I guess?

I cry every day. But in between the tears there is normalcy, too. Yesterday we went on a long family bike ride and played soccer together. I cooked dinner. I had to tell the girls to cut it out when they got a little crazy. 

David has been incredible. I’m the emotional one between us by a landslide, and he is my rock, but the level of compassion he’s been able to give me is incredible. Somehow he is striking the balance between being the steady and strong “I’ll take care of it” husband and the loving “I’ve got you” support I need. I’m so grateful for him.

Kaitlyn turned 6 years old on Saturday. While talking with my mom I admitted I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to celebrate her properly and she assured me I’d find a way. Per usual, Mom was right. With the help of a gorgeous sunny day, a slip and slide, mud pie, and a few of our closest friends, Kaitlyn had a wonderful birthday. Grateful.

Sometimes my mind gets lost in future worries. What if? What about when? How am I supposed to?

I’ve been trying to give myself a lot of grace with that. Some of the best words a friend has given me lately are “every emotion you feel right now is justifiable and completely normal.” It helps to hear that jerking from emotion to emotion is OK and even normal.

Then there is my mom. I can’t even find the words to describe the depths of this woman’s love and strength. The funny thing about strength is the different forms it takes. From the note taking, question-asking, decision maker to the incredible power of embracing vulnerability, and feeling deeply and openly. Somehow, some way, she is doing both right now. She amazes me.

Last fall we went to see Frozen II in the theaters: my mom and dad, my brother, my nieces, the girls, and me. When Anna started singing “The Next Right Thing” I sat up straight, looked directly at my dad and asked him if he had received his royalty check for letting them use his phrase in a major motion picture. As long as I’ve lived, that’s been Dad’s advice for the hard times. When you can’t see the end game, just do the next right thing. So that’s what I’m doing right now.

One step, then another. Wash and repeat.