I watched a movie from bed the other night. In one scene a primary character is seated across from an old friend and reacts to hearing about her life with tears. Giving a bit of a self-deprecating grin he says something like, “I have this problem with my face. It leaks”. I immediately thought, that’s me!

Crying is one way I give expression to my feelings. I am easily moved to tears when something makes me happy OR sad. This is a part of myself that I have always embraced, though I must confess that right now it is mostly proving exhausting.

As of today, Dion has been in the hospital for a week. We really don’t know what is next and are waiting for a plan. Yesterday one of the doctor’s came up to me in the hall and, with great concern, asked me about how I was doing. “It seems like every time I see you, you are on the verge of tears”. I agreed and tried to explain what has been going on in me.

My emotions are all over the place. I am trying to be present to the moment, except that most moments are terribly hard. Added to the mix is that we are in the hospital where my mom died less than a year ago. It’s almost too much to bear. I don’t know where the relief is for Dion, for Cate, or for me.

During one of my meltdowns, an elderly patient walked up to me and asked for help. He seemed oblivious to my state and was understandably focused on his own. There we were, waiting for help in the middle of a crowded hall, he struggling with some undergarments, me trying to wipe my eyes. In retrospect it almost felt skit-like, except it was very, very real.

I guess that’s the thing right now: everything feels all too real. We cannot ignore the challenge of Dion’s Multiple Sclerosis. Having never done major renovations before, I have to get them started under pressure. There are big decisions to make. And somehow parts of our regular life need to continue, like Cate getting to school. The Dale has freed me to be present at the hospital, though Dion and others are encouraging me to feel like I can re-engage as I want to, and as a way to bring balance.

I can’t imagine what this would all be like without the kind of network of people we have. The meals, the messages, and the prayer are reaching us. I know many are at the ready to offer practical support in a variety of ways, including toward the renovations. I keep saying that now is the time for a collective action of the community, in other words, it’s ‘barn raising time’. Thinking about the village around us makes me feel deep gratitude.

In a good way it’s making this face leak again.

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