Family Apart

I (Eric) have settled back down in St. Joseph, MI, for my fourth week of hospital work.  Rachel and the kids drove out with me from Ann Arbor this afternoon, and now they are on their way back there.  I almost wrote "back home", but that wouldn't be right, and I guess that's really the issue.

Two weeks ago, I was also alone, working while Rachel was at the Faders taking care of the kids.  She had several rough nights, and I know the days can be busy with Maggie and Ben.  I was busy during the long workdays, but had a bit of time to myself in the evenings.  I was looking forward to only driving a couple hours for my week off (as opposed to driving a lot longer, as I had in the two prior cases), and hoping that, with both of us there in Ann Arbor, this past week would be the week of real rest that we both felt that we badly needed.

Instead, I'm actually a lot more tired.  Ben didn't sleep very well, and I have been gradually coming down with a head cold that is seriously interfering with sleeping, to the point last night where I was awake about half the night, and fitful the rest of it.

Getting ready to leave today, Rachel asked if I was looking forward to being on my own, having some time each day to myself, and no sleeping interruptions.  And, in a way, I guess I do.  At least, I'm hoping that my 2am nose-blowing won't wake anyone else up (it would have to be pretty seriously loud).  But this is the third 7-day period that I've been on my own, and I have discovered the following:  Yes, life with two little kids, especially on the road when they are not sleeping very well, is chaotic.  It's pell-mell and exhausting.  But after a couple of days away, I can still appreciate the quietude, but it's just not my life anymore, and I just want to be back with my family.

If that's the case, then why are we apart for another week?  The family who has extended their hospitality to me here in St. Joseph would gladly take the whole family (and I actually think they say that, knowing what they would be getting into).

But we continue on in our months of homelessness, and our premium is on finding some sense of stability.  We knew that we would take several of my weeks off to go visit our friends and family in Ann Arbor.  So, rather than uproot every week to a new place, we have tried to make Ann Arbor a less-transient locale for Rachel, Maggie, and Ben, and choose to take the cost of a family apart for the time being.

We hope it's the lesser of evils, but it's the decision we've made for now, and we look to the hand of grace that has sustained us thus far to continue to provide for our family through to the next phase.


Lois Rimbo said...

Prayers and love for you all. It's a tough time. Maggie and Ben won't remember it as you do - only that they were loved and cared for. I keep thinking of our (empty) home in Michigan, wishing you could somehow benefit from it. Too bad it's in the opposite direction. How much longer, Eric?

The Drs. McLaughlin said...

only until Easter, more than halfway there.