Radio silence

Oct 01

I’ve slept in my own bed for five nights now.  Staying in my childhood home was a necessary respite.  Greta is not one of those children who sits quietly on your knee and coos.  She climbs and burrows and pounds and pummels — all with love.  I tried to teach her “gentle”, which resulted in modified slaps to my shoulder.  Who am I to squelch such enthusiasm?  She’s so energetic that this weekend marks the first time since surgery (four weeks ago) that I’ve been able to spend two hours with Greta and not have to take my prescription pain pills.  I missed being home, although my parents’ house still feels like home too.  I’m thankful I have so many places that are home: my grandmother’s presence, any space I share with my college roommates, my aunts’ kitchen tables.  It is true that home is where your people are.  And I am blessed to have lots of people.

Being home means that I get to resume normalcy.  I see Greta’s just-awake face when she squawks for attention in the morning, I see her fling anything other than fruit and cereal onto the kitchen floor three times a day (sigh), I see her following her sister everywhere, I see her coy looks and impish grins.  I see Maren’s homework, her frequent protests as hers sister follows her everywhere, her dawdling over her “jobs,” her arms and legs which seem to grow longer (and more pointy) with each passing day.

New things, too.  SuperGramma has taught Maren to play simple songs on the piano.  Maren can now play using both hands, sing while playing, and read the notes.  These abilities must come from my husband’s genes, as I am completely inept at all these skills.  She is doing it with poise and confidence that surprises me.  Greta, not to be outdone, is having another language explosion.  She repeats everything we say, and more and more of what she says is becoming intelligible.  She often sings in the car: usually gibberish to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  Maren prefers to do her singing in the shower: much louder than Greta, always making up her own songs and lyrics, and so fixed on her vocals that she neglects to do any washing until we come in for her encore reminder.

I am pulled in many directions: I still have a multitude of doctor’s appointments, I am a woefully neglecting friend to my friends these days, and there are piles that need my attention scattered around my house and my car: thank you notes, doctor’s bills, to-do lists are all months behind.  Even my body is not cooperating with my wishes, and it is requiring more sleep than I think it should; however, I respect this body and what it has been through, so I give it the rest it demands.  The cost is the unessentials, the unprioritized: unwritten blogs, bigger piles, a mental to-do list that is so long I really should have written it down because I know I’m forgetting stuff.  My mailboxes: voice, e-, and snail, all flash with messages that are unanswered.

My time is spent going to my NED-maintenance appointments  (Gotta take care of NED!), and loving my people.  Brad and SuperGramma continue to do most of the housework and leave me as much lovework as I can manage in any given day.  I am thankful for their selflessness.  I am doing my best to Do Today Well, and I know it is enough.

My girls are thriving, I am cancer-free, and I love my husband so much it hurts.  Life is good.  Life.  Oh, it is good.  I’m so happy to be busy living it.


  1. So glad you took the time to write. I can only imagine the chaos of re-immersing yourself post surgery into the responsibilities of home/motherhood/wifedom. Please keep taking the time to rest – I think your ability to be in touch with your body has been critical to your healing. I love your pace, balance, and enthusiasm. I especially love the perk of Maren going from novice to gifted learner on the piano. That is a gift she will have her whole life. I pray you absorb in the healing of both of your girls songs. Music is the oldest and most universal form of prayer, right?

  2. Angela /

    “My girls are thriving, I am cancer-free, and I love my husband so much it hurts. Life is good. Life. Oh, it is good. I’m so happy to be busy living it.”

    AMEN. So happy to read this. Sending prayers southeast to you! Love from Michigan!

  3. What a wonderful update!!

  4. Jamie /

    I love love love this post! I have followed your updates – and have said prayers for your health – for the past several months after reading your story on a link from My heart is so happy after learning you’re back at home with your family!

  5. So glad you are loving on your family…and they on you!! Love, sleep, healthy eating…and some new music from the little ladies…can heal and nurture. 😉

  6. Shannon Kahrs /

    You are doing today well! Brad is doing today well! Supergramma is doing today well! It is well!

  7. Laura /

    You were my prayer card for all of last week! Even after the beautiful letters “NED”,” I am continuing to pray for your health, your family, your children, your husband, your life! Thank you again for sharing your story and updating on how you are doing. You are exactly right, your body has been through a lot, so allow yourself the rest you need and take your time pacing yourself to get back into the routines of life. I have been taught by wiser people than myself that this is called “giving yourself grace.” 🙂 Sometimes it really is necessary! Much love and prayers from a stranger in TX!

  8. MommaJ /

    Welcome HOME Jen!! I can only imagine how thrilled everyone is to have you within reach again. Fall is such a beautiful time- brilliance in unexpected places, the sound of falling leaves and briskness in the air. Welcome HOME-soak in the love from family, from friends and those who have gained so much from the words that the Lord has graciously allowed you to share with them. We rejoice with you 🙂 today

  9. AMEN! Thanks for the update, and welcome home!

    Hooray to Maren for her musical skills!

  10. I love checking this and seeing that you haven’t written because I know that means you are taking care of yourself. I love checking this and seeing an update because I know that means my soul gets fed. I love knowing you and I love your process. I am also striving to Do Today Well because of the inspiration you are in my life. Love you Jen.