Pressed On All Sides
So everyone knows that I rarely watch tv shows in real time. I am the queen of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. I watch what I want, when I want, as many episodes in a row as I want. So when my husband asked if I wanted to watch This Is Us, a show that all of my friends have been raving about for the past year or two, I said "why not." Which brings me to Season 1, Episode 15. (Spoiler alert! If you have not seen the show and hate spoilers, just stop reading now. Seriously. Don't say I didn't warn you.)
Episode 15 is where Randall loses it. (Note: The skill that Sterling K. Brown brings to his character is amazing! Congrats on the Golden Globe, bro!) All of the pressure of being Randall comes crashing down on him in Episode 15. The pressure of being the "good" son, the pressure of being a parent and protecting your children, the pressure of being a good husband and wanting to be there for his wife, the pressure of being a good brother and wanting to support his siblings, the pressure of having a demanding job that doesn't understand work/life balance and the pressure of caring for a terminally ill dad; one that he got to know late in life and is now running out of time to get to know him.
As I watched Randall go blank in the board meeting, I had an "aha" moment. I got it. I understood Randall. I intimately understand his being pressed on all sides. For the past few days I've felt as if I was moving through Jello. I am normally a hyper, driven and ambitious person until recently... For the past few weeks, I cant seem to get in gear. I want to do a gazillion things but don't actually do much. But when I saw Randall unable to focus in that boardroom and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I am Randall.
It only takes one thing to turn you into a Randall. I've always had a demanding job and I love it so that's not it. I have been a parent nearly half of my life now so I am pretty much used to that too. I have a book launching this Spring that I am pretty excited about. My friends are awesome - even though I don't see them as much recently. But the straw that broke the camel's back is my husband being ill. Not just ill. Seriously ill. See I can deal with illness. We stop the presses and deal with the sickness at hand and then get back to the business of being great. But this serious illness has had us in its clutches since October 2016. Just when we thought we had it beat it got worse in July 2017. And from December '17 to present... well, let's just not talk about that because it's just too much.
Because of it all, I've become obsessed with time and legacy. I feel like I am running out of time with my husband. Chris and I are Dewayne and Whitley. We've been through the fire and finally came out on the other side of it singed but still together. This was supposed to be our "beauty for ashes" time. This was supposed to be our time to take our honeymoon, have more date nights and road trips. We were supposed to be throwing awesome house parties and laughing with friends. We were finally supposed to be cleaning up our messes and loving each other fiercely because through it all we made it. Every day I wake up scared of time passing by too quickly.
While I want to monopolize Chris' every waking moment, I have to keep in mind that I am not the only bearer of his legacy. His family, his friends, and most importantly, our children are all entitled to his time and love. I cannot hoard it for myself. I want each moment to be special. It's as if I am trying to string a gazillion Hallmark moments together to ensure that everyone has a special moment with him. So while I am moving at a snail's pace, my mind is going a million miles an hour. Medical research, doctor's appointments, kid's homework, actual work-work, prayers (plenty of prayers); all with a smile on my face while I am wondering how the world is continuing to spin when my "Dewayne" is sick.
I am sure that this will become my new normal and I will get used to it all. But today, I am pressed on all sides. I keep holding onto "pressed down, shaken together and running over" (Luke 6:38). While I know this isn't the actual context, I do know that diamonds develop under pressure.