Sometimes life takes us directions we never imagined. It challenges us to be stronger than we think we are and strive to better than we view ourselves. In our case, and many others I know, we have found ourselves separated from our family and sometimes long time friends. In a strange place with little immediate support and the idea of going for a cup of coffee with a friend seems so far gone.
I have a love hate relationship with social media. I love how it’s made our family and close friends more accessible and able to keep them informed and get support from them. I dislike the antics and lack of social graces that are out there and the drama that can come up. People hide behind a computer screen and the intent of the conversation can be completely lost since emotions are hard to read into text and some people just shouldn’t type the first thing they think.
Yet, I still find myself drawn there. I have found amazing support groups that know how to make me laugh when I’m over thinking things by taking it even further. They know how to talk me off ledges of emotional and mental precipices when all seems so bleak. They give advice and help me work through things, even a little tough love sometimes. At the end of the day though, they get the journey I am on and are often on it for themselves.
I have a tendency to pull into my shell and they pull me right out. If I sit there too long, someone comes a knocking at my instant message door. I may not get respite care or be able to wander off on my own too much, but I do know this ~ it’s crucial for people walking this journey to build a strong support system. It’s so important that I’m saying it again, it is crucial for people walking this journey to build a strong support system.
That’s part of the reason I share our journey and my rambling thoughts. So that others out there realize that they aren’t alone. You never know when you are going to be that support for someone else. I write for a release from the stress and tension. It was something my mother and grandmother both encouraged when I was very young. Just as my mother and I encourage Em to write.
I try to always focus on the upbeat and happy thoughts. It’s also about sharing the joy that Em emits a good chunk of the time from simple things in life. Sometimes though, the dark stuff is unavoidable. Em’s life turns upside down and joy is hidden from her view. Or we are struggling to cope with our day to day lives and still provide what both Christian and her need.
That’s when knowing we aren’t alone helps. It gives me the time to regroup and realize, we ALL will get through this. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow but there is a light somewhere at the end of that very dark tunnel. And maybe we will stumble but we ALWAYS get back up. We may be scraped up and battered up a bit, but life is about overcoming obstacles.
We have a faith that helps us too. Not all our friends have that faith, and that’s ok. It’s a personal choice. I don’t talk about it much but it’s a very big part of how I manage to hold onto hope. I do pray and try to trust. It’s a difficult thing sometimes. I always want to ask why, but am reminded, why not. And when I think my faith is wavering, my kids will show their faith through.
So when life hands you lemons, it’s time to find some friends to get the sugar, water, pitcher and cups and make the best lemonade you can. Then share it with the best people you know!