While driving home the other night, after picking up dinner at a nearby, favorite restaurant, I heard the new song “Wake Me Up” by Avicii. I really like the song so of course I had to turn it up! While keeping my eyes on the road I quickly reached for the volume button. As I turned the music up, I started to sing, “So wake me up when it’s all over…” I paused for a moment and listened to the lyrics, and then I continued to sing, “…So wake me up when it’s all over, when I’m wiser and I’m older, all this time I was finding myself, and I didn’t know I was lost…” As I neared my neighborhood the song of course came to an end, but the lyrics stuck in my head.
With the lyrics still playing in my head I started to think about my daughter, who lives with bipolar disorder, and our experiences due to her illness. She is 24 now and has a child of her own. Due to her illness she currently lives at home with my husband and I as she works diligently to get back on her feet. I have two other children, a son who is 26 and a younger daughter who is 22. However, they both live on their own.
With that in mind, I have had moments when the stressors are so great that I’ve wondered if things are ever going to change. It would be easy to just say, “Just wake me up when it’s over!” That way I wouldn’t have to face the challenges that parents of a child with a mental illness face on a daily basis such as the perpetual, emotional roller coaster ride in regard to my daughter’s moods, the financial strain of taking care of an adult child with mental illness, the wear and tear on my relationship with my husband and other children, and the nagging concern I have in regard to whether or not my daughter has made it to her appointments and whether or not I should get involved in how she conducts her life, as well as other unique challenges.
After pulling into the drive-way, and turning the ignition off, I sat for a moment in my car with silence surrounding me. I sat alone thinking how nice it would be if everything my husband and I are working towards just fell into place. The picture I imagined in my mind was my husband and I sitting down to a celebration dinner. I imagined that as we talked we congratulated one another on a job well done, as far as raising our children. As we smiled at one another we clinked our wine glasses together and said, “Congratulations! Now it’s time for us!” With the blink of an eye the image faded, and I got out of the car and headed inside the house. That’s not our reality, at least not yet.
And it was as I ran up the steps that I realized that I would never want to wake up when it’s over! Imagine what I would miss! I now have a beautiful granddaughter that I get to help take care of! Additionally, I believe that it is in experiencing that we live! Yes, some days are difficult to get through, and there are times when things just don’t make sense. And then there are those moments that I want to hold onto forever, like the moment I saw my daughter hold her daughter for the first time and the moment when I realized how far my daughter has come in relation to her illness. She is an amazing mother and headed down a very healthy path. Our family has come far as well, and that my friends is enough for a celebration! We are not lost. We are right where we are supposed to be!
So, I have to ask, would you want to wake up when it’s over?