I knew before it started that the last week was going to be stressful. Not only was my schedule jam packed, but Peter was going to be gone. In an effort to motivate themselves to lose weight he and a friend had set a prize of a weekend golf trip. It worked, so a couple Wednesday afternoons ago they loaded up and set out. A weekend alone is always stressful, but after years of practice, I know how to handle it.
On the drive down to South Carolina he got the call we had both expected and dreaded: his 22 year old niece had finally lost her battle with cancer. Now his much anticipated trip included finding flight plans and leaving Saturday morning for Texas. The funeral was Tuesday and Peter was able to rearrange his shifts to be gone longer so he could be there for his family. The emotional toll of dealing with death, combined with additional days alone, took a lot out of me.
Then I lost Joseph. Saturday night I called the kids to get into PJ's and come down for prayer. But Joseph didn't answer. I thought he was in the playroom, so I sent Elise up for him, but he wasn't upstairs. Nor was he downstairs. Getting upset that he had gone out to play in the yard (or maybe I hadn't noticed he stayed outside when the other kids came in? I was pretty sure he'd come in, though) I ran out to call him inside. No one. Did he go onto the beach? It's empty. I could feel that initial prick of panic.
Now I searched the upstairs. And the downstairs. And the outside again. No Joseph. With every second the panic is building. He has left the yard. The kids are searching the neighborhood to see if he took the scooter out for a spin while I search the water breaks to see if he tried to climb the rocks alone and fell. There is nothing quite like searching the water for your son. I was bordering on hysterical.
Ten minutes after we started searching I see a tiny figure leave the driveway of a friend down the street (not a friend Joseph's age, a friend my mom's age). He had gone down the street on the scooter and, seeing grandkids playing in the backyard, stopped to play awhile. I was relieved and extremely angry. Three times he had been reminded not to leave the yard without permission! Punishment was no outside play for a week. A punishment for us both. I am additionally punished with nightmare of searching the water for one of my babies.
No outside play while being home coupled with an out of town husband requires a lot of errands to keep away cabin fever. I'll never know if it would've worked, though, because two of my kids developed pink eye Monday night. Now I can't go outside or leave the house. All the while still under the shadow of dealing with a death in the family. Definitely a high stress week.
We had finally warmed up enough for shorts. Finally warm enough to enjoy the beach and go for walks. And then last week the lovely North East decided to become cold and rainy again. Dreary. Drab. Yucky. Just what someone on the border of depression needs, right? Normally I would combat yucky weather with a trip to an indoor playland or the library, but I was quarantined with pink eyed children.
I went to put on a pair of pants and I couldn't get the button together. It wouldn't reach. In the time it took for my husband to lose 15 pounds, I managed to find at least 7. In addition, the following equation became relevant: certain time of month = always a little down. Enough said about that.
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So last week was the perfect storm for a depressed me. When Peter came home he could tell I was barely holding onto sanity. The house was a mess. I was exhausted. The kids were climbing the walls. He cleaned up, retamed the children, and let me take a nap. The weather warmed again. The week grounding ended. Pink eye left the house (for the most part). I feel better. Some weeks are just like that.