-2 Acts

I just dropped my parents, sister, and nephew off at the airport.  Sadly, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of relief.  This month is just not the time for house guests.  Jenn and I are stressed out beyond belief and my family was just on not “with” us.


Of late, Jenn and I both have had the sense that we are out of synch with the world.  Friends, family, coworkers are all there but we are transmitting on a separate frequency.  Constant stress feels a bit like grief to me. It is that overwhelming sense of dread that just won’t go away.


We are waiting for the MRI results, but we already know what they are going to say.  Surgery is scheduled for this Friday at 10.  What makes it worse is Jenn’s birthday is Saturday and we had tickets to the Kennedy Center.  Don’t get me wrong, we have our priorities in order, but it kills me that she is going to spend her birthday in the hospital worrying.  And there is not a damn thing I can do about it.  I have suggested that she go with a friend and I would stay with Ethan, but I know she won’t.


But all this leads to the feeling that we are not in synch with the world.  The normal stuff of life is beyond our grasp for now.  I titled this entry -2 Acts because that is kind of how we feel.  If Acts 2 is the coming together of diverse peoples of different cultures and languages to for one unit (the Church), the -2 Acts is taking a once cohesive unit and throwing it into chaos to the extent that even people of the same family cannot understand one another.


My parents complained for almost an hour about being sent to the wrong gate on their trip in.  They had a 4 hour layover and loads of time to make the correction, but still they griped about it.  Normally I would have tuned them out, but yesterday I wanted to shake them and tell them it just didn’t matter.  I hate that stress is diminishing my capacity to show compassion.  I wanted to enjoy their visit.  We see them so infrequently; but it was not to be this time.

By Ben Posted in Life

12 comments on “-2 Acts

  1. We got news from the surgeon. There is a hole. It does have to be repaired. We are on for Friday at 10.

    This too shall pass.

  2. Don’t be too hard on yourself, Ben. It often feels impossible to face “normal” things under “normal” pressures…so feeling disconnected from others whose lives are filled with “simple” stresses seems appropriate! You seem to be saying, “How can you ‘sweat’ the small stuff when we’re facing the big stuff?!?!” and rightfully so! Therefore, in my professional opinion (hee-hee) tell ’em to “saw it off”!! Love you guys! Praying for you all! Do you know how long the recovery will be from this one?

  3. I suspect they will require him to stay in bed longer with this surgery so that there is less pressure on the stitches. The doctor has not said because he is on vacation.

  4. Sorry about your visit, that is too bad. I know where you’re at. The difficulty I have found is that as time goes by you get less and less able to deal with the minutae that consume most people. I guess that is why I gave up TV, it all seem so fruitless. We’ll keep praying for you, not only for Ethan and his healing, but also for you and Jenn, it takes a lot out of the caregivers. Try and take care of yourselves. Say Happy Birthday to Jenn for us. Wish it could be a better one.

  5. You and Jenn are behaving heroically. The fact that you’re concerned about how to deal with relatives over minor issues, when the situation would justify telling them to go home early, shows a level of compassion and selflessness that few of us could match.

    Besides, both of you look so attractive with facial tics.

    Ethan and the two of your are in my West Coast Methodist prayers (these conclude with an “ommmm”).

  6. I have had facial tics for years, you will get used to them, at first shaving is a challenge, but you will get the hang of it.

    Seriously, Dude, chill on yourself. It has already been said, all three of you are having to deal with some heavy, not *normal* stuff, and if anybody expects you to act *normal* then they are are not in touch with reality. And that includes you. How can you expect to be normal when you are facing all the crap you guys are having to face? Of course you are out of synch and feeling disconnected and it is probably keeping you sane. So Ben, don’t you be beating up my friend Ben, he is a good guy, you just leave him alone, ya hear!

    And so you know, you guys got the Arkansas Pentecostal prayers happening here for you (untie-mybowtie-whostole-myhonda) 🙂

  7. It never stops, does it? Ben, and I believe I speak for everybody here on your blog, please use us as a venting tool whenever you need to. If you need to blow off steam and shake some one, but are too nice to do it in person, tell us about it and we’ll take the beating. What blog-buddies for after all?
    And Santa Cruz prayers are being added to the list… they all start out with, “So God, Dude! How’s the surf?…” but they’ll include the Roberts family somewhere in there….

  8. Please add my prayers to the list. I know how hard it is to “connect” with the “everyday” stuff when you’re coping with the challenges you’re facing now. As others have said here, “disconnecting” is probably the pressure valve you need to survive. I’ve been there lately myself. It’s like looking at the world through a window. Sometimes being “inside” is exactly where we need to be. Don’t forget to breath. 🙂

  9. Surely, everyone can identify with your situation to one degree or another. Some handle stress better than others. Many have not been exposed to so much stress as you have had with your son’s illness. Perhaps, your parents understand as well but don’t know how best to respond. Maybe this is a maladaptive mechanism of coping with their own stress.

    It’s times like this when so many things we gripe about seem so foolish, yet it is times like this that also make us gripe about those things. Odd, isn’t it? We are human. Anyone with a smidgeon of insight understands. Perhaps we don’t understand your feelings entirely, but we know that these sorts of maladaptive emotions are human and expected. Don’t beat yourself up. You are doing very well. Be strong for your wife and son, as I know you will be. May God bless you with the peace that passes all understanding, and may He hold and protect Ethan as well. You and yours remain in my prayers.

  10. Ben I most definately understand. Life just sucks and feeling that it does isn’t bad. I have been feeling quite “beeeep” myself. I sure hope Jenn will go out for her birthday but understand why she isn’t. The fam here loves you all and you will always be in our prayers.

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