Tuesday, July 22, 2014

wifey & mommy

Before I begin writing about all the things that are on my heart, I wanted to answer a couple more questions that were emailed to me.

Q.  What personality traits has Cale maintained through his brain injury? Are there things about him that are the same as before the injury?
A. He still very much has his humor. In fact, last week at breakfast he thanked God for his humor specifically. He is still very loving and sweet to me. His mind still works with patterns and numbers. He still doesn't love to sit and watch a movie. He still somehow knows the lyrics to every song on the radio. He still loves to be around people. He still hates vegetables. Honesty is still important. He still likes to cuddle. He still plays Xbox. He is still stubborn. He still loves Jesus. He still loves to play board games. He is still a cribbage champion (at least against me!). He still has crazy muscles. Friendship is still so important to him. He still likes hockey and really loves the Red Wings. 

There are so many things that are very much Cale. 
So many things the same. 
Yet...so different. 

It's a hard reality that the man I married is very much not the same man I know today. He still likes a lot of the same things as well as has a lot of the same interests but even those are all different. Can I even just say that his kiss is different? Over time we've had to relearn each other, including how to talk to each other. I clearly remember what being his wife was before and what it felt like to be married to another man. I still miss him. I miss him very much. I also love the man I'm with today. I can even say I love them differently.

Every day, there is a craving within me to find a rewind button and go back to the life before the car accident. Sometimes it's an intense desperation that I don't even think I can control. 

Is life dull and miserable now because I miss him so much the way he was? Absolutely not. 

My heart aches and longs for him to be restored but to be very honest, if I had a genie in a lamp that I found while I was wandering around the desert and I was offered to have Cale back exactly like he was before the accident-I'm not sure I would so quickly say yes

I know that may sound insane. 
Crazy.
Unreal.
Stupid. 

In my defense, I know this Cale now. 
I love him this way.
I would miss him. 
I would miss us.

Do I wish so bad that he would continue to heal and gain his independence back? Absolutely.

I wish that he didn't need someone with him all the time. I wish that he could drive and work again. I wish that his speech was clearer. I wish that he could play sports again like I know he wants to. I wish that he could follow conversation easier. I wish that he wouldn't get angry so easily. I wish that he could walk better. I wish so bad that friendships didn't come as such a challenge for him. 

My heart truly aches for these things. 

He is very different-but he's still my man. 

Ashton, that was way more than you probably wanted me to answer! Haha...sorry. ;)

Q. Can he read?
A. He can! It's difficult when there are too many words too close together and he gets stuck on words but sometimes he even helps me with words! Simple and short is better. During my whole pregnancy and even since Nora has been born (except for a few weeks) he reads to her every day. For the most part they're very simple books without a lot of words on a page. He's pretty good at reading though! 

I loved getting these two emails with questions...remember if you have any ask! I'll try to be good about answering! :)



{before.}



{after.}

On to my heart...

-Being a mom-
Whoa.
"Is it everything you imagined it would be?" That's a question I have been asked multiple times. My response is that it is so different than I thought it would be. 
I love it. 
I love her. 
I loooooove being a mommy. 

If you've talked to me in person about being a mom, you've probably heard me say that since having her, the word "love" has never been so plain. I more than love her. I somehow want to mesh her into me. There just isn't a word in my English dictionary that can describe how I feel about her. 

As much as I love her and love being a mom, it's hard.
Can I get an Amen?
I've never experienced so many emotions in one day...and I've dealt with some pretty crazy things in my life time (you know, all 27 years of it...haha.)
There has already been a time of Momma Bear coming out-and I had no clue that kind of passion existed in me! Oh my! 

I was talking to Mama one day about how I can't imagine what it felt like for her to watch me go through everything that I've gone through with Cale. I know I have felt such indescribable pain and she had to watch me live through it. 
I look at Nora's little face and want to protect her from anything bad ever happening to her. I know it'll come. And, I know if she loves Jesus, He'll carry her-doing a far better job than I could ever do...but I already feel as though I want her to be in a protective bubble for the rest of her life. 

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It has been a struggle of balancing life.

I know that I'm not the only one.

It's hard to adjust from giving Cale all of my attention (and him adjusting to not getting all of my attention) to dividing it between him and Nora when both really need it. 

I had to search my heart and pay close attention to even my attitude towards Cale because suddenly when he wanted my attention for little simple things, I wouldn't be as patient. When before it wasn't an issue at all. I needed to make sure that he knew he was my husband and that he was still important.

I've been working hard to be intentional about making time for him and treasuring our relationship in a new way.

Becoming a mom has challenged me in so many ways-so good for me!













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I very much enjoy my home clean, organized,  and everything in it's place. I like making plans and knowing the plan. I throughly enjoy everything just so.

It's how I'm wired. If you've ever worked on a project with Mama...you know where I get it from ;)

This in a whole is not bad but when it's my source of peace-it's not a good thing.

With Nora coming into our lives, it's made all these things that I love-a little harder to make happen. I've been struggling with it quite a bit lately.

The other morning I was trying to figure out what was going on with me. Why was everything overwhelming me so much?

I realized that my insane need for control in this area stemmed from a lack of control after the accident happened.

I've had to take a step back and lay my need for control at the foot of the cross.

Well, I'm in the process...

I'm learning to rest and leave the dirty floors.

Although, I do feel like I can relax more when things are the way I like them-but I'm learning it's ok if they aren't. It's ok to sit outside and swing for awhile even if dishes are in the sink.

I'm learning.

This has been my place of escape lately...


We have two chairs up so Cale and I will sit out together and enjoy each others company and let the rest of everything fade away...it's been such a gift!

In this post you've read that I wouldn't so quickly say yes right away to my husband being exactly like he was before the accident and you've read that I've been overwhelmed...

Let me just say, for his sake and his life, I would of course want him healed and his life back the same again. It hurts me that so much has been taken from him. My point was that I love him just the way he is and I enjoy him fully. I don't look at him every day thinking he's only a fraction of my husband.

Also, I have felt overwhelmed and struggled with all that being a new mommy brings, but we've got a pretty solid team of people helping. It takes a village right? :) And I know those emotions are normal! I just had some other stuff going on as well.

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I've been thinking a lot lately, I'm guessing because of Nora being here, about our family. As a wife, I think about everything that has taken place with Cale. I think about how I have fought so hard to keep our marriage husband and wife-I didn't want to move into another roll. I wasn't willing to throw in the towel and just be "caregiver."

I'm his wife!

So, it's been a journey for sure and we've had to go through quite a bit...but it was worth it. We now get to live a life where he's my husband and I'm his wife.

Now, we have a baby. This looks different then it might for some, but for us, we have taken on the roll as daddy and mommy. We both love it. Truly.

It's such a blessing to me to think about how Cale's life was almost taken, yet, he's still here. He gets to continue living! He gets to continue being a husband and now being a daddy.

These were two things that before his injury were so important to him-and he wasn't robbed of either. I'm just so darn grateful for how far he has come.

I know looking from the outside in, you may be tempted to think our life is so hard and sad, but I just want to be very honest and let you know that we're genuinely happy. Life is full of joy and it may seem like the oddest most unnatural thing to live the life that we do and be joyful through it...and if we didn't know Jesus, we wouldn't be able to.

If I wouldn't have surrendered my life and begun a relationship with Christ when I was younger, and if Cale wouldn't have done the same thing-I honestly don't know what our life would look like at this point. I'm guessing I wouldn't have stayed. I wouldn't have spent every day by his side...although, I don't know if that's true either. Maybe I would have.

I know that there's no way for anyone to live full of joy and peace and abounding in hope like we do unless they know that Jesus died for them. Unless they could grasp that His strength given new every day was possible and enough.

I know some of you reading would disagree, but I can openly say the way we love each other-it's real. There's nothing fake in my heart or his. We're both very capable of knowing the depth of our marriage...

and it's only because of Jesus.

For this, I'm so very thankful.








I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. 
-Romans 15:13

















4 comments:

  1. Thank you for being so honest. I don't think it is crazy to want Cale exactly as he is. If you didn't, I would be very very sad for both of you. I don't dislike the level of depth you put into your answers at all - for a long time I have loved to hear people's journeys of all kinds. The more detail the better in my mind! It's real. It makes you who you are and that's important. No way do I think your life is sad - I see the joy in every Facebook post. Love radiates from you guys always it seems.

    Thanks again for answering my question so fully and sharing your heart.


    -Ashton-

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  2. Dear Sweet Kathleen, Father knew I needed you right now. Thank you for blogging.

    Yes, my story is different from yours. Yet, I can say my sweet husband is different after 36 years of marriage, me too, for that matter. A different kind of different, but time has a way changing us. Father does things through time we wouldn't have had otherwise.

    You said sometimes you would if you could, push a button and go back before the brain injury...well, a thought, time (again) would have played out differently. There may not have been Nora. Too, if Cale were as he was, you wouldn't have the gifts Father has given you through your journey. You would be different. :)

    Anger is an emotion we all have. Some of us get angry easily even without a brain injury.

    I LOVE the pictures. Nora looks like she is having a conversation with her mommy in the one just below the red skirt with the white dots. Nora crying....cute. Well, from this side of the picture anyway. Nora looking at the baby in the mirror reminds me when I would put my kids in front of a mirror if I needed to get something done. They sure did love the way that baby "knew" what hey were thinking. What a beautiful pose, the one just below the four of you with Rachel.

    Dishes, dusting, whatever it might be-yeah, it's okay to go outside and enjoy the moment. The work will always be there. Those special moments may not be. Not necessarily due to anything bad, just that time may not allow it. (there's that word again...time)

    You know, every time my son's Jon or Ben see a picture of you and your sweet family, they say how happy you look. A thought, we are a broken people, yet Jesus loves us and we Him. I think you and Cale are a beautiful picture of that.

    Many blessings and much love,
    Marion

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  3. Thank you for sharing so openly your love story and your life. God is using your story in many ways to touch the lives of others. Psalm 100:5 "For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
    Blessings always,
    Emily J

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  4. Awesome, awesome, awesome! So good to hear your answers, so good to hear you say your feelings and know what the true source of those are, and so good to know that true love still reigns! I'm so happy for you, for Cale, for sweet baby Nora! If only the whole world could know Him, the love that comes from that, and the hope that stems from it!
    Thinking and praying for you all...
    Terri W

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