That is putting it mildly.
Talk about feeling ....
At moments, I not only feel alone, I feel a little as if THE WALLS ARE CLOSING IN.
Why? Why am I sitting here ALONE (with my two kids asleep in their beds) trying to figure out how to make money stretch? Trying to figure out how long I can keep paying for therapy for my nonverbal, autistic six-year-old son without losing my sanity about how much more money is going OUT than coming IN?
I could count my worries.
But I would run out of fingers.
And, really, what good would it do?
The worries aren't going anywhere.
That being said .....
What else can I do but write?
I'll try to remember a few things in the past week that have made me smile.
I'll start with --- DUCKS. Yes, ducks.
I was on my front porch early last Saturday morning, lost in my thoughts. I look up to see two ducks walking across my yard.
I think they were a couple. I don't know anything about ducks, but they had very different coloring, as if one were a female and one a male.
And they seemed to be bonded. They stuck close together.
So, I'd like to think of them as a united pair.
I said to myself, "What the hell! There are ducks in my yard." I got some bread to feed them, and then I watched.
Man, how they stuck close together.
Even when one of them waddled into the road, oblivious to the threat of cars, the other waddled nearby, right into the same road.
I wondered how many miles they have travelled together. How many different places have they been, how many waters have they flown over, how many nests have they built and how many ducklings have they cared for?
Did they ever have a nest invaded by predators? Did they ever lose a duckling to a fox, an eagle, a crocodile?
I thought the odds were fairly decent that these ducks have endured such a loss. And, mere ducks though they be, I have no doubt that they would have grieved, in their own way, after such a disaster.
And, yet, here they were, waddling out into the road, side-by-side.
(I have since learned -- thank you, Google -- that many species of ducks do, indeed, form "pair bonds." And, also, with most kinds of ducks, it is the FEMALES who do all the quacking while the males stay mostly silent. No kidding!)
In addition to the ducks, I also need to remember the words of my four-year-old daughter, spoken a few mornings ago, as I pulled out of the driveway to take her to school.
"Mama, you are really smart."
Well, thank you, Olivia.
"But I am smarter, don't ya think."
Or what she said to me yesterday.
"Mama, I have so many ideas. And I am really smart. God made me that way."
Hah! At least there is ONE female in this house not lacking in self-confidence.
And, finally, I need to remember the people who keep me from truly being alone.
My parents could NEVER get enough thanks for what they do. Talk about a support system, a foundation. I truly hope there is a Heaven ... because they could never, EVER, be adequately repaid in this lifetime for what they have done for me and my kids.
There is my friend, mentioned here so frequently, who listened to me yet again tonight.
"Will things ever get better," I asked her.
Yes, they will, she told me.
"But, right now, I don't see it."
But they will, she assured me.
"But I need a job. I need to make some money. I should have done more for Daniel this past year. I feel like I wasted the whole school year, trying to deal with all of this grief, all of this crap, and I haven't worked with him enough or taught him anything."
You will find one; you will figure it all out, she said. Once you get past this. And you will change what you have the power to change. And do the best you can with everything else. And even if you have to cut back on therapy, it won't matter, because you are his mother. And you work with him all the time. You were working with him at the birthday party last weekend -- I saw you.
Oh, dear friend, please know how much I mean it when I say, "I love you."
And there is another dear friend, who also listened to me today, as I tried to explain just how difficult it is for me to process everything taking place in my life. I told my friend how when my doorbell rang this afternoon I actually was somewhat fearful about opening the door .... what kind of new misery might be waiting on the other side??? And, what do you know, it was just a guy wanting to sign me up for Dish-TV.
Oh, to have such friends. Friends who listen with their whole hearts. Who want to jump right in and help you, even though there is a limit to what they can do. Friends who hurt for you, who want a sense of normalcy to return to your life and who want to celebrate with you when it happens.
They ease my frustrations, these people, even thought they can't make them go away.
They remind me that there are all kinds of "pair bonds" in this world, even after you lose the one you thought would last forever.
And that the ones that really matter, the ones really worth keeping and cherishing, are the ones that will waddle along with you, step for step, even when you aren't sure where you are going and when you will ever get there.