Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Without a Net

I know that most everyone feels that their life is a non-stop balancing act… I won’t disagree. Over the last couple of years I have felt more and more like I’m walking a tight-rope made of glass and covered in dish soap and every time I feel as though I’m building up some sort of safety net, someone somewhere yanks it away.

In September of 2007 my oldest son was diagnosed with Leukemia (A.L. L.) at the age of 8. At this point, my youngest son was 3.

From that point on, my youngest took a back-seat to big brother’s hospitalizations, Dr’s appointments, etc. I’ve had heartbreaking conversations with my baby boy on the phone when he’s asked me “Mommy, are you ever coming back for me?”

What person could hear that and not fall to pieces?

So here we are now, we’ve made it to 2009 and while the oldest doesn’t stop chemo until 12/2010 he’s doing well and is not on the “strong” stuff that he was previously.

Things should be getting better… right? Why can't it be THAT simple?

I can’t build up any leave at work because the “big” boy still gets sick more often than typical kids and I’m out for Dr’s appointments, blood work and the like. There’s still the medical bills and the daily medications which are a routine part of my child’s life and a routine gaping hole in my budget.

I’m on my own here, and I feel like I’m going to fall at anytime… fail at any moment

Now my little guy has to have his tonsils and adenoids removed… and guess what loving mommy will most likely have to take (even more) leave without pay? Yeah… I should be able to take that week of recovery to be with my child… not stressing over how to balance him and where he can go so that I can get back to work. That’s not fair to him…it’s just not right.

This additional drain of my leave means that I’ve had to cancel my trip to D.C. for a pediatric cancer advocacy group. Not to mention, my oldest is supposed to have a trip with Make A Wish… and guess who won’t have “leave” balances available for that either? Uh-huh. You got it, leave without pay.

Through all of this (and here comes where I really sound bitter) where have the “helpers” of the world been? The fundraising, house cleaning, meal making, awareness helpers that are supposed to be there for me… for my boys… to help relieve the crushing amounts of stress that I just don’t know what to do with anymore… Do you know where they are?

I don’t either.

Here I am… in debt beyond my eyeballs, with no hope of ever regaining the career that I once had, no hope of anyone ever offering to take up the reigns and save me… just no hope.
I’m truly not one to willingly ask for help… or to really expect it. I wasn’t brought up on “hand-outs” or ever been given lavish gifts or money. I have no expectations for what people should do… and I have no problem working for me and my children’s lives… but would it really be the end of the world if just a little simple free good graces fell on us with no strings attached…one win-fall of WOW?

What does a girl like me hang onto... this tight-rope isn’t holding up so well…