Bedtime makes me bats

I have fibromyalsia, chronic clinical depression, and peripheral neuropathy.  What this means is that I’m always exhausted and in some level of pain. Who doesn’t want to be me!?!  You would think that bedtime is my favorite time of the day, but you would be wrong.

Bedtime is when things that haven’t itched all day now itch, a cough that wasn’t there all day is now non-stop, I have to pee every hour, things that didn’t hurt now feel like I’m being stabbed and set on fire at the same time, my brain won’t shut up, oh, and heartburn.

My dog apparently thinks I’m only three feet tall, and therefore only need the upper left side corner of the bed. My beloved husband is one of those people who fall asleep in less than 5 minutes. So there I am, every night, fighting my dog for room to stretch my legs, jealous of my husband’s snoring slumber, and trying to guess which body part is going to stage a rebellion.

I try to make the best of it by praying for my friends and family, reciting verses, or doing various puzzles to help my brain calm down.  It works some nights, but not every night. And then there are the dreams that come when I’ve finally fallen asleep.  Weird stuff, like my Dad made the hockey team, or all of the hallways in my friend’s house are so narrow that I can only squeeze through them sideways, or I keep failing 6th grade English.

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Unexpected Journey

At the beginning of 2017 I was busy with my job at a local homeless shelter.  I wrote policies and procedures, created forms and tracking systems, and was the person in charge of all the stuff no one else had time to take care of.  A Jill-of-all-Trades so to speak. Then came January 19th.  My uncle passed away.  He was one of my heroes: compassionate, intelligent, and just plain wonderful. He never married, and had no children, so over 20 years ago, he and I had discussed that I would be the executrix of his estate. That time had come, too soon, and I had no real understanding of how much my life was about to change.

In a whirlwind of decisions that had to be made RIGHT NOW, I found myself travelling back and forth between my home in Northern California to Omaha Nebraska, where my uncle had lived.  Upon arrival at his home, it became obvious that this job was going to take every skill I had ever developed, and many more that I was going to have to figure out on the fly.  I was still operating under the wrong belief that I could do this job, my actual job, maintain my home, marriage, and health.  God knows me better than I know myself, and He had big plans for me that He was getting ready to reveal.

I arrived back home on March 8th and went into work on the 9th to try to get caught up. Immediately I knew something was off, and I was laid off the next morning after 12 1/2 years of service.  No “Thank you” or goodbyes.  I was devastated, but I kept telling myself my five truths: “God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God. God’s ways are not my ways. I will trust God.” He was right, of course.  There was no way for me to realistically work and take care of the estate.  It was for the best. It hurt, but it was right. He was making straight the pathway to Himself.

In true Laura-fashion, I put my nose to the grindstone and tackled the estate.  With the incredible help of my family, I had the house ready for the estate sale in 2 1/2 months, and put it on the market the first week of June.  I came home from my last trip to Omaha on June 7th, and on June 9th I received a breast cancer diagnosis.  Although terrified by that awful disease, I could clearly see that God had been putting things in place for me to be able to deal with this unexpected journey.

In the midst of this, God gave me sweet encouragements.  One of my fabulous sisters was here visiting with me on the day that I got the confirmation call that I had Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  We had had a Sister Day: laughter, wine tasting, shopping, lunch, and mani-pedis.  It was a great day, and I am so thankful I wasn’t alone when the call came.  Her presence was like God’s arms wrapped around me. Her visit had been long planned, but perfectly timed by God to be a comfort to me.

So here I am, mid-July, and everything has changed in my life.  I’m no longer employed, my uncle’s home has sold, and I’m recovering from the first stage of treatment of my breast cancer.  The things that are truly most important to me are still intact and stronger than ever: my marriage, my relationships, my sense of humor, and my faith in the Almighty God.