Banana Cake

“Hey, Mom! There’s a box of banana cake sitting here.” My son has high hopes for the black bananas sitting in a box on the table. A couple years ago, I found a new recipe for said cake, and it has been world-famous ever since (my world is pretty small).

Yesterday, I overdid. Like REALLY overdid. It’s taking me longer than it should to realize that even if my brain wants to be busy, on Fridays and Saturdays, my body needs to rest. This need is in direct opposition to my need for serving others. I love to do things for people, and when I sit in my chair and see something I could do for someone else, it’s difficult to stay there.

Consequently, I really want to make banana cake. We need more sweets like we need more holes in our heads, and I should just listen to my “healthy mom” side and skip it. It’s much more likely that I’ll listen to my “fun mom” side and make cake. The real question will be whether I can heed the “healthy me” side and not eat it.

Cake is a trivial thing. Caring for others, however, is not. This stage of life I’m in now is a struggle for me in that I am not as able to care for others as usual. I don’t like that. The mom is supposed to care for the dad. And the kids. And the neighbor kids. And the lady at church that had a baby. And the guy down the road that we don’t really know but we’re praying for.

Or maybe, deep down, it’s not “the mom” that is supposed to do all these things. Maybe it’s my own need to please others, hiding behind the “mom” persona.

I think, perhaps, part of the function of this cancer in my life is to force me to step back and look at why and how I do what I do. Maybe I do more than is healthy for me. Maybe I do more than is healthy for them. Maybe it’s just about finding balance and being better at saying “no” so I am not always one straw away from the last. Maybe the biggest thing is seeking wisdom from the One who orchestrates all things, to be sure I’m walking where I am meant to walk, instead of wherever I think I see a need.

It’s definitely food for thought. Maybe even banana cake.

Recovery

People ask “How are you recovering?” Well, I’m recovering. Slowly but surely, I see signs of improvement. Pain management is still very much my main concern, and it’s proving to be a challenge. I understand now that this particular surgery is very painful by nature, and there is only so much that can be done to control the pain. Stacey is finding the same thing. Knowing that doesn’t help us any, but it does make us feel a little less wimpy.

I need help with just about every little thing. Anyone who knows me can imagine how well that goes. I’m getting better, though, at letting my family improve their serve. Pain is a powerful motivator and it forces me to be still and let my body heal, and in turn let others do for me.

Remember the guy from the Blender post? He’s still here, changing my dressings, emptying my drain bulbs, and pretty much handling the front lines of my situation. I could not do this without him. Several times a day he comes in from his work, cleans his hands, dons surgical gloves, and changes from farmer to caregiver. He is so gentle and kind. I praise God daily for this blessing in my life. This is the “for better or for worse” and “in sickness and in heath” part of our marriage vows. As much as I hate that he has to care for me in this way, I’d hate more to have him be the one needing care.

And so we go, one day at a time, finding blessings and challenges on the way.