Limbo

Growing up Catholic I was always fascinated with the idea of limbo. Of course in our catechism lessons it was mostly about babies. Babies that weren’t baptized went there. In my mind it was this cloud-filled place where all these naked babies just sort of floated around.

You can tell I got a really fantastic Catholic education. Limbo = naked floating babies.

Anyway, I feel like life at our house is this big cloud and we’re all naked floating babies. I’m just really, really, really tired of floating.

We’re waiting for news on my disability status. We’re waiting for news on my social security status. We’re waiting for news on a possible home loan modification due to my disability. We’re waiting to see if my lab work continues its current trend so we can get out of this cloudy, hazy, floating naked baby place.

It’s not horribly unpleasant here in limbo. Which is pretty true of how I pictured it back in catechism. There are way more doctor’s appointments in limbo than there should be, but that involves waiting rooms and really, limbo is one big waiting room.

I need to find a way to push our lives out of this huge waiting room though. Sure we might be stuck here…ok, so we’ve been stuck here awhile. But who says limbo has to be just a boring doctor’s waiting room? Or floating naked babies in the clouds?

Life goes by even if you are stuck in limbo. And life is not slowing down. We just celebrated our kids’ seventh and ninth birthdays.

I don’t want them to remember these years as the times when they simply went to school, dealt with waiting room after waiting room, mom’s track marks from treatment, and the constant ‘sorry honey, I’m just too tired tonight.’

So I’m making an effort to do the small things I’m capable of doing. I may not be able to go more than a few houses, but I can walk the dog those few houses with my daughter for ‘girl time’ and talk about ‘girl stuff.’ We walk slow. We walk steady. And I make sure to listen to her every word, even if it’s about wanting to buy her friend a stuffed chicken for her birthday.

And while I can not STAND how much my son LOVES his Nerf guns, I will sit and help him make an ‘ammo box’ and a target so he can get better at ‘winning the wars with the guys at school.’ I will listen, and try my best not to lecture him about the evils of firearms, as he tells me all about the difference between each gun and why using one is better than another if you are playing in the front yard as opposed to the back yard. Who knew?

I continue to cheer on my husband as he trains for more races. Coming up, a fun mud run and then his biggest challenge yet- a half marathon. In a way I feel like he has busted out of limbo for both of us by turning his body into what my body currently can not be, can not do, can not even dream of just yet. My pride eclipses my jealousy by far as he actually wears his running shoes down to nubs by clocking more miles than I could even dream about. Yet even with all his running, he’s running inside these clouds that trap us all as we continue our wait.

I’m not sure if I’d prefer to run or float at this point. I just want to be present in each moment. Laugh harder. Laugh longer. Hell, some days just laugh at all.

You’d think with all these floating naked babies there wouldn’t be so much stress in limbo, but you’d be wrong. Waiting might be the most stressful activity of all.

So it’s time to learn to live in limbo, if we’re parked here awhile.

Laughter. We’re pretty good at that around here when we want to be. I have a feeling we can harness the power of laughter to keep us giggling here in limbo.

Lightheartedness. This one is so much harder than you’d think when everything is so very serious. Disease. Money. Stress. It doesn’t get more real. But I’ve learned there isn’t much we can do about it- so we have to just smile and take it one day at a time. When I think of it all together it could damn well kill me…so I have to stay lighthearted. I must. Everyone in the house must.

Life. We only get one. This is IT. We must have fun with it. FUN. Not stress. Not freak out over everything. But this is it. This is all we’ve got – and there is no way in hell I’m going to spend my days here crying and worrying. And believe me, I am the QUEEN of worry. But I have to let it go.

Let it go. Limbo has naked babies floating on clouds for crying out loud… how can you NOT let it go?

Love and love HARD. I’m talking so hard that I’m trying not to smother. Which is part of limbo’s problem, too. When it feels so scary and stressed, you hold on tighter. So I’m learning to loosen so we can love, love hard, but love light as well. When there is so much stress in one place, you learn that even the love can be a reminder of responsiblity and how badly you want it all to work out so everyone is happy and no longer in limbo, stressed.

Let go of limbo, Lupus, and keep laughing. I’m feeling it inside me…the change. The stress has to be gone so I can heal and the drugs need to work and I believe ALL of those things are happening. I truly BELIEVE. So I am laughing more, despite limbo. Despite the idea that it’s a scary, unknown place. Because I’m refusing to believe it’s scary and unknown. I’ve known it my whole life- it has naked babies! And clouds! And right now it has all those I love, and there is no way that is scary.

See, I knew all that catechism would come in handy eventually. Even if I kept getting kicked out. (true story…every Monday night, Erin would get kicked out of class for asking something crazy like ‘but who made the God who made the God who made the God?)

Clearly I was just channeling these wonderful nuns you’ve been hearing about on the news. I bet you they laugh. And love.

…and live. Even in limbo.

Comments

  1. I don’t say it often enough but your strength is astonishing. I hope I can be that strong one day.

  2. Wow- it sounds like you’ve reached a level of clarity and calm not “like your old self” but a newer shinier version. WOOHOO!! Keep it up girl!

    PS see #youcandoiterin, I told you so. :-)

  3. Beautifully written… What a good mommy… your kids will remember this as the time you were the perfect example of never giving up

  4. Thank you. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this. You provided the attitude adjustment that I sorely needed!

  5. “Limbo is one big waiting room.” I understand the feeling. I’m lucky; my limbo is behind me, for the most part. Consider me still a kindred spirit, one who empathizes with your physical and emotional pain and wants to hug you (when it doesn’t hurt, that is).

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