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Blog Introduction

This blog is the story of how my husband and I faced the illness and death of two of our children. Each blog post is essentially a chapter in the story, so in order to truly understand it, you are going to benefit by starting at the beginning.
I hope you find our story touching, and in some way find comfort and hope through it as you face your own storms in life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Doctor and Decisions

My dreaded visit to the doctor arrived.  As I walked into the office, I felt like I wore a giant red letter "D" emblazoned on my chest. I was embarrassed and ashamed of my "dirty little secret" called depression, and was sure everyone in the waiting room could tell why I was there. I wanted to hide.
The nurses treated me kindly and spoke gently.  I couldn't decide if they sincerely cared, pitied me, or if their kindness was purely duty-driven professionalism; a mask covering the same judgmental attitude I had bestowed on others. The Physician's Assistant I saw was also kind.  She asked softly-spoken yet pointed questions; I gave brief, pointed answers.  She verbalized her observations, then sent me off with samples and a prescription for an anti-depressant.  Holding the paper in my hand, with full knowledge of what it represented, caused me feel to further depressed.

The first two weeks on medication were difficult.  I was constantly sleepy and had day-long headaches.  Soon I became more adjusted to them, and noticed the fogginess in my mind had cleared a bit.  Things seemed to be improving.  This was great news, but we still had a big decision to make. 

Technically, we still lived in Slovenia.  It was still our home.  Rob and Karen and I sat down one day and discussed the possibility of our return.  I was far from recovered, and the mere thought of getting on a plane sent ripples of panic to my core.  I was not ready to go back and wondered if I ever would be.  We couldn't continue living there and living here.  A decision had to be made. Again I felt guilty.  I knew Rob was disappointed in the way things had worked out, and now I was essentially shutting the door on the dream.  We all decided it was not in my best interest to return to Slovenia, so plans were made for Rob to go and pack up, sell what could be sold, and move us back to the States.  Mike would stay with friends in Grand Rapids, and I would stay with Karen and Tim.  Karen and Rob pushed for me to go with him just to say good-bye to our friends there, but I could not.  I was afraid to show my face there- I had failed, and as such, felt like a huge disappointment to those who had counted on us. Plus, all of the feelings of anxiety I had experienced when there seemed to rush in to overtake me at just the thought of going back. There was no convincing me to go; Rob would have to go alone.

It was an incredibly difficult few weeks for Rob.  He had to shoulder the responsibility of putting the deathblow to our dream. Everything we had hoped for and believed God had called us to, now seemed smashed on the rocks in front of him.  He had to handle closing accounts, liquidating our car and other possessions we didn't ship back. He had to get a shipping container and pack it, in addition to dealing with the frustration of non-English speakers. He had to tell everyone why we were leaving and not coming back. He had to spend nights alone in our house; nights which offered too much time to think, and he began to struggle.  The weight of it all was too heavy, so he stayed with Peter and Kristina.  It was too difficult to handle alone.

Soon he was back in Michigan; our things on a container ship headed to the States. It seemed so final.  The future we had planned on was now gone, leaving uncertainty in its place. We were still considered missionaries, and we still received support, but soon we would need to decide what path we would follow next. What would we do if we weren't missionaries?  Go back to “regular” jobs?  Wait and see if I improved so we could go back again?  We had no clue what our next step would be, but God did.  A new future would soon be carved from the rubble of our dreams.

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