About Me

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I now live in Victoria, after a couple years on the North Shore of Vancouver, and a (too) brief time in the prairies. Working as an artist, mother and wife (not necessarily in that order), i am striving to live well, to find the truth of God in all things, and to pass on this truth to others.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

life as we know it

so, i'm going to be honest with you.
i'm always honest with you.
but even more so, right now.  this is where i'm at.

i've been sick for 5 of the past 6 weeks.  scott and i have not been healthy at the same time since january. 

on friday i spent the entire day in bed with body aches, chills, cough, snot, and anger.
yesterday i felt a bit better and was feeling hopeful that i was going to pull out of it when WHAM!  last night scott started coughing and puking and we were both up for most of the night. 

(i should insert here that i made a killer dinner, due to the fact that i had been starving myself for 2 days and was tired of left-overs.  i made a coffee-rubbed steak with a roasted garlic and orange vinaigrette.  baby potatoes and braised radishes.  it was incredible.  however, at 2am when my eyes were wide and my mind perky i was cursing myself and my culinary skills, for the fact that i ate coffee beans on my meat at dinner).

today i was not a very good mom (though my husband/editor disagrees). 

it started off poorly, with me yelling at the kids for ignoring my pleas to turn down the tv and close the door to the basement (where i was trying to sleep).  by 11 i had roused myself.  i have been reading a lot, and am in my third book of a ridiculously long fantasy series.  each of the books is at least 700 pages.  so, here's my thought process as i'm standing in the shower - you can here hints of elves/dwarves/dragons:

i will conquer this.  i am strong.  i will fight.  i will go and buy medicine.  i will make chicken soup for my family.  Lord!  give me the strength of a mother bear.  help me to fight!  i will be like a warrior and this sickness shall no longer conquer us.  i will prevail!

i brandished my wash scrubby like a sword.  no, i'm just joking about that, but those thoughts actually did go through my mind.  i should have had theme music. 

i dressed. i got the kids a snack and made sure they were in front of the tv.  i told my husband that i was going to get him medicine.  (fear not!).  i got to the pharmacy and told my plight to the pharmacist and then i thought
crap.  mother bear is wearing out.  i'm going to faint.  right here in Sobey's
i went to the counter and started bagging my own groceries.  much to the effrontery of the bag boy who kept apologizing for not being fast enough for me.  "it's not you.  i'm just desperate to get out of here!".  he said "i can understand that.".  hmmm...the plight of the bag boy.

i made it home.  the kids were reading together on the sofa.  sigh.  i bring the nyquil/dayquil/vaporub to scott.  i start making soup and unpacking groceries.  i'm holding on for dear life.

there are moments in life that happen in such a way that as they are occurring you stand outside of yourself, and you shake your head, and cringe with embarrassment, but for some reason, you don't stop.  prepare yourself to read such a moment.

i realized my son now had a fever.  that's three down in the sick count.  i asked my daughter to get a blanket for him.  she said she couldn't because it was under his head.  i asked her to ask him to move his head.  she did.  he didn't respond.  and then i walked into the room and she had the blanket on HERSELF. i rip it off her and put it on him.

i walk back into the kitchen.
i bang the groceries down on the pantry self and yell with all my might
as my daughter rounds the corner into the kitchen i feel this sense of hysteria rising.  i start pleading with her:
"mommy's sick.  daddy's sick.  you're brother's sick.  it was a blanket.   why can't you help me?"

i'm starting to cry as i'm pleading and my voice is raising into this hysterical tone and i'm watching my daughter's face get that panicky look, like when you have no idea how to react to a situation so you start smiling and your eyes get really big and she starts backing away from me out of the room...

"i'm just trying to care for everyone.  but i need help!  and there's no one to help me!  and how could you take the blanket for yourself?!"

she's now backed into the other room, where my son is lying dazed on the couch and he looks at me and starts laughing, and i yell
"stop laughing at me!"
and run upstairs and throw myself on the bed and cry my eyes out.  deep-gut sobbing, moaning, all of it.  a high school break-up cry fest. 

scott came and sat on the bed and i sobbed and said things like "i'm not strong!  i can't do it!" and he just listened and let me dry out.  man, it has been such a long time since i cried like that.  it was awesome!  i'm sure i released some toxins in the process.

an hour or so later my daughter and i were laughing over lunch about how hysterical i was, and how i remember my mom having a fit like that once - my brother, on a youth group outing to the Eaton's center in toronto, got a surprise hair cut complete with crosses shaved into the sides.  she stood at the kitchen sink crying and murmuring things like "where did i go wrong?". 

my daughter said "at least yours was reasonable".  healing words.

so, there it is.  what a wreck i am!  feel free to laugh at me, and then pray for me.
pray for us all.


  1. What a realistic description of life!!
    Chuckling while praying for all of you:))))

  2. praying for you Andersons!

  3. Love your honesty Janet...nice to know I'm not the only one that has such emotional outbursts. Can't believe Olivia is old enough to be making such comments about her mother's breakdown though...it's obviously been too long since we had a visit together. I totally remember Jay's haircut, and how upset your mama was!:) Praying for your health. xo mare
    ps. thanks for your words of encouragment re: poster-child :)