Friday, July 12, 2013
This past year has been really rough for me in many ways. Though I separated from my husband and we have both moved on with our own lives, and even though things have been quite unexpectedly adversarial between us, I still care about him and want the best for him. Even though some of his choices have made things harder for me, maybe that's all part of the way it needs to be for me to step more fully into who I am on this journey. But let me be honest here- it has been really rough.
He hasn't been well. Not for a while. I went through my own personal challenges with my own health over the previous months. It seems health issues are a common experience for most people who are going through a separation and divorce. I'm finally feeling almost back to myself, but things have taken an unexpected turn for Ryan.
Long story short, about two weeks ago, Ryan was in cardiac ICU with a severe systemic infection, damage to his heart valves and awaiting open heart surgery. We didn't really know what the outcome would ultimately be, but I definitely found myself in an unexpected place. I couldn't have imagined I would be here in a million years, but here I am. It was heart-wrenching and completely discombobulating. Suddenly everything I thought was a given wasn't. I didn't know what would happen next, but I knew that it was time for me to step up and take good care of my boys in the midst of the uncertainty. I knew I couldn't change what was happening with their father, but I could be there for them. I could make sure that their needs were met, that there was room for their feelings, and that they were surrounded by lots of people who love them.
As I was wandering around my kitchen trying to get breakfast at 4pm a few days ago, my head spinning with so many unknowns and unanswered questions, I remembered that I taught a series entitled When the Unexpected Happens a couple of summers ago. In it, I talked about the importance of meeting our own needs and taking care of ourselves when something unexpected happens so that we can take care of and support our children. (In other words, I probably need to eat breakfast before 4pm...)
I needed to listen to it again and I figured that there are probably many of you reading this who probably do, too. So I asked my amazing assistant, Lianne, to put it up on a special page so that you can go in and listen to it for free all weekend beginning Friday, July 12 and ending Sunday, July 14. If you're so moved, there's also an invitation to purchase the whole series at a big discount. It is a gift to you and it will also gift my family to help me put gas in my car and food in my children's bellies during this big transition for us all.
Unexpected things don't have to be in the form of a major health crisis. Losing a job, a birth that becomes traumatic or doesn't go the way you'd planned, a death in the family, separation or divorce, or really any other major life stressor that you didn't anticipate. Have a listen and see what you think.
Visit this page and you can sign up for free listening, and we'll send you a link to the page where you can listen to all the audios. Please share with anyone who might also need this resource.
Update: Ryan had open heart surgery on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 and had his heart valve replaced. While he is recovering well after such a big procedure, there are still lots of unknowns. Thanks for positive thoughts and prayers, if you're so moved. He has a long recovery ahead.