Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm Back!

Life can be so strange sometimes. We have been planning a trip to see Hubby's family for months. Days before we left, we got a call from his brother saying he had lost his job, but everything was going to be all right. Let me back up to explain. His family has all migrated to Arkansas after the death of his father two years ago from Mesothelioma, a cancer caused from exposure to asbestos beginning during his time spent in the Navy during WWII. After his death, his mother moved closer to Hubby's sister and her husband, who teaches at a University in Arkansas. Younger brother moved his family there also. Taking care of their mother is uppermost in the minds and hearts of Hubby and his siblings. Younger brother also felt the small town atmosphere of a University town would be a wonderful place to raise his two young sons.

A day before we left, we got another call from brother's wife, saying he was not well. He was suffering from a depression brought on by the closing of the company and loss of his job.

When we arrive, we find he has been hospitalized. We were able to go visit him while there. As I said before, life can take some strange twists and turns that we would never dream.

It was so shocking to see the pain in his eyes as he sat in that hospital waiting room. To listen to him talk of his feelings of worthlessness, and inability to be the strong husband, father, and son that he felt he needed to be, was heart-wrenching.

He told us of his inability to function, and the indecision of not knowing which way to turn--not even knowing which foot to use to start walking. Knowing that it could be Hubby, or me, or one of the children that was suffering so.

Depression knows no bounds. It is no respecter of persons. For it to strike so swiftly and completely was shocking to us. I don't want you to think this post is without hope. Just as I have posted pictures of the renewal of Spring in the blossoms of Azaleas and Dogwood that we saw on our trip--or even the humble Red Clover on the roadsides of Arkansas, hope springs eternal in our hearts as we lift our brother/in-law up. That is what family is all about. When one is too tired to go on, not knowing which foot to put in front of the other, family is there to lend an arm to lean on, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen. We all feel so strongly, that he must take this path to find true health and happiness that wouldn't otherwise be possible.
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Roses and Lilacs said...

It must be a terrible shock to see him overcome so quickly. I'm glad he's gone into the hospital. I've heard that is the first huge step to recovery. Best of luck to him, to you and your entire family.

Midmarsh John said...

Saw your comment on ShySongbird's blog so popped across for a look.
Lovely Spring flowers there.
My thoughts and best wishes to your brother-in-law. I have been down that path and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Though early progress can seem slow, time is a great healer as are caring relatives and good friends. John

Rose said...

MG, I'm so glad you are back. But what a difficult few weeks you have had. I am glad that the medical community and the media are making people more aware that depression is a disease and not something that one can just "shake off" easily. While it doesn't provide any comfort to your brother-in-law, I'm sure he is not the only victim in these uncertain economic times. I hope that he recovers soon; having such a supportive family is sure to help.

The sight of all these azaleas and trees in bloom must have helped to lift your spirits. The Frost poem is another of my old favorites--it's so true, one choice, one event can change the course of your life.

I hope you have some time to just sit and enjoy some of the beautiful blooms around you, MG.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Marnie, It was such a shock. I do think going to hospital was for the is so easy to go for the quick fix...put a bandage on, and get on with life. This way he will be able to take better care of himself--and his little family.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

John, so glad you stopped by. Thanks for the good wishes. We all want him to be better NOW, but know that is not going to be easy or quick.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Rose, it was surreal to be surrounded by so much beauty in the midst of such despair. We know his recovery will take many months, and although we want him to be better already, we know he will have to take "The Road Less Traveled" to become whole, and healthy again.

Cheryl said...

Hi Morning Glories.....A sad post......but I am sure he will come back to the light in time....the journey with depression is support is so important......

I shall hold him in my thoughts and pray that things will improve for him in time........

Susie said...

I'm so sorry to him about him. It's hard to see family suffering. I'll be sure to put him on my prayer list.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Cheryl, thank you. It is such a helpless feeling to know there is so little we can do--but we can pray.It is good to know there are people who care and people around the world praying for him. -jenny

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Susie, thank you so much for your prayers--they are coveted!

fairegarden said...

Dear Jenny, please accept my best wishes for a full recovery for your brother in law. You are right, this sort of ailment can strike at anyone. The love and support of the family is very good medicine however, and hope that things will get better. Our thoughts are with you and yours. The red clover is striking, I have planted some here for the buzzers and humans.

ShySongbird said...

I'm so very sorry to hear of your brother-in-law's illness, it is such a dreadful affliction, my mother suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety all her life and I know only too well what a terrible thing it is and how much it affects the whole family. It is though, so much better understood in recent years and your brother-in-law's speedy hospitalization can only be a good thing and I'm sure with the help of expert doctors and the obvious support he is getting from his loving family he will eventually make his way through that long and difficult dark tunnel into the light again.

You write of his plight most movingly and I shall keep you all in my thoughts and send my very best wishes for his recovery.

Please remember you are not alone, people care and feel your pain.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Frances, thank you for your sweet thoughts. It feels so good to know there are people all over thinking of my dear BIL, wishing him well.

The Red Clover was so beautiful. The waves and patches of red along the roadsides looked at though they were ablaze.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Shy Songbird,

Thank you for your kind words. Hubby's mother has suffered for years with depression so we are thinking there is definitely a hereditary chemical imbalance going on. Treatment has come so far since she was diagnosed, and he has a wonderful team of doctors and therapists helping him. We feel very optimistic about his recovery. He is such a sweet soul, he just has to get better!

beckie said...

MG, I think you are probably right about it running in families. Or at least the tendency towards depression can. But I am so glad he got help quickly. Sometiimes depression goes undetected for months. My thoughts are with you and your family. Having a supportive family will be a big help to all of you. I love your choice of poems. Frost is a favorite of mine and especially this one. Enjoy all the beauty around you and I hope it helps you find some peace.

FlowerLady said...

I am so sorry to hear about your BIL. May he feel love and healing surrounding him each and every day.

It is wonderful that he has a loving, supportive family.

I am adding him to my prayer list also.


Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Dear Flowerlady,
Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers. That is the best thing we can do for him right now, and to know there are so many people all over the globe doing the same is such a good feeling.

Thank you so much for stopping by!


Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Beckie, We think he had been trying to "man" through it for years. It took losing his job to break the proverbial camels back, in order to get the help he needed.

I have always loved that poem, and had always associated it with happier times, but felt it applied to BIL looking at two paths he could take...I am so glad he chose the path to wellness.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Jenny,
I enjoyed your comments on my blog and thanks so much for visiting! I'm sorry about your BIL's job loss...and subsequent depression. Yes, there can be an underlying chemical imbalance that often gets 'triggered' by something like a job-loss or other unsettling life event. It is often genetic and although not always apparent on the surface can be brought out by something like this. Med's and ongoing counseling & support will offer him the possibility of gaining the inner coping skills he will need to continue on in a happy and productive fashion. I wish him--and you&your family-all the best;-) You are such a caring and concerned individual, that is a wonderful thing!!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Love that poem and really feel for your brother-in-law. Depression can and does strike anyone, and it's hard to get through. Part of depression is not seeing options and not knowing what to do; feeling lost. It's great your bil got help (in the hospital). Hopefully he'll see some options and hope again soon.

spookydragonfly said...

Such an honest, tender and moving post. I hope life turns around for your's been said that when one door closes...another opens. Of course, that isn't helping him or his family now. I have already said my prayer for him. I really hope things improve for him and your family... I know this has a trickle down effect.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Jan, thank you for your thoughtful comments. We are so hopeful that he will be stronger and healthier after having gone through this dark period. I think he was struggling to cover up all those dark feelings for so long, he just couldn't do it anymore. The doctors had to induce a coma in order for him to relax and sleep for the first time in over two weeks. He is already much improved. It is amazing to me all they know to do to help someone in that condition.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Monica, thanks for your good wishes. He is already doing better. I think it will be a long recovery period with lots of ups and downs. I just hope he doesn't get discouraged. I love that poem, I think it speaks to all of us seeking a better way.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Thank you Spookydragonfly for your thoughts and prayers. They are what is carrying us through this dark time. It was a hard post to write, but I can't pretend to be light and happy when something so serious is going on in my life. Keep those prayers coming!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Hope things improve for your family. Love that bit of Robert Frost. The red clover is spectacular, isn't it? If I had clover like that, I wouldn't want a lawn at all!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Nola. It is going to be a long road to recovery, but I am sure he will get there. The Red Clover was amazing. It looked like a blaze of fiery color alongside the roadways. I was so glad our visit was timed right to see it.

Wendy said...

Hi Jen,
Glad you're back. Your spring flowers are lovely. I was wondering why you had posted such lovely flowers with such a sad story. But then you explained. And you are so right. Your brother-in-law walks a difficult path, but with friends and family to help light his way, he will come out of this. And shine once again.

I think it's tremendously courageous that he can articulate his feelings so well. That is really a step in the right direction towards healing.

Sending you and your family love and light.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Dear Wendy,

Thank you for your understanding and good thoughts. It means so much to be able to have so many friends that are supporting us. We couldn't go through this alone.

I am glad you are back! I missed you and hope you had a wonderful vacation. I'm off to visit your blog to hear all about it!