Last week was a doozy. It was the kind of week that leaves you wanting a vacation or a week in the bed. It was hard. It was hard for a lot of reasons. Last week was Husband’s last week as a temp at his job and we knew that by the end of the day Friday, he would know if he was hired on permanently (or whatever) or not. It also included a bunch of hurdles he had to jump which would have been fine in a normal situation but it turned into a far from normal situation.
I was feeling extra sorry for myself after I ripped off a good portion of my toenail and Tuesday night. It was disgusting and painful and I become very faint and ill at the sight of my own blood. My daughter stepped on my toe and I had to relive the situation again. I was not in great shape on Wednesday morning when my dad called. My mom was in the ER with chest pains. She is totally fine and home now. She has follow up visits with various doctors scheduled but it was scary. And it was hard. She stayed in the hospital for a day and a half and I felt like it was my job to be by her side even when Husband’s job was being difficult. I could go on a rant about how people need to be able to take a day off when things are falling apart, but I will continue with my story.
Sometimes, in the midst of a hectic schedule, too much to do, and general stress, life sees fit to give us a wake-up call. These can come in the form of situations or people. Mine came last week when on one extraordinary day, I met three extraordinary people. Actually the Universe planted these people in my path to give me some faith in humanity and a chance to remember what is important.
Obviously, my mom is a special person not only to me but just about everyone else. There are people in the world, of course, who are unable to see what a remarkable person she is but it is completely their loss. When she was discharged, she had an entire floor of people to say goodbye to. She is known to be a real piece of work as a patient when her family takes care of her, but somehow she was a perfect patient in the hospital and everyone loved her. Of course. But where was that good behavior when she was having a kidney stone, I ask you?
I was worried that she was going to be a pain in the butt patient because the first thing she did upon being moved to a room was ask for a new room. Well, apparently she had a premonition…and a chance at a window. She was moved right away and we settled into a window-half of a new room.
The next morning, after a minor meltdown on my part directed at “the man” for keeping me down, I showed up at the hospital. Mom was off having a very uncomfortable test that she hated hated hated. I was sitting in the waiting room with my dad watching Kathie Lee and Hoda (I love Hoda) and they were talking about the mom that posted really ab-rific pictures of herself with her three children and the caption “What’s your excuse?” I found that whole thing super annoying and I have composed several angry responses in my head. I wanted to hear what Hoda said about it (she said it was rude) but a very sweet older man came in and started talking to us.
He told us that he had survived a brain aneurysm (the 2nd person I know that has survived!) and then he told us about dying. He died, you see, and had an experience. He said, most beautifully, that he had been standing on the banks of the river with someone, but that someone was really something, a great and holy presence. He said he could see people on the other side of the river and he didn’t know them but he knew them and he loved them. He also said that he felt great peace. Such a great peace that he still felt it whenever he remembered or talked about it. The kind of peace that most of us wish for, but don’t have and don’t have a clue how to achieve. He remembered his family and said “They would worry about me.” And then he came back and that moment was the only moment he remembered from his entire 148 day stay in the hospital. He was a precious old man and very kind. I was and still am very moved by his story.
A was moved into Mom’s room at 2 am Thursday morning. She was in bad shape, paralyzed for no apparent reason. Being in a hospital room with someone has a way of throwing you into someone’s life and vice versa. A became a good friend in 12 hours. We are keeping up with her progress through email and if you have any spare positive energy and/or light, send it her way. She has a long journey ahead of her and is not in great shape.
Carmen was one of Mom’s nurses. She had a teenage son and was in the process of adopting three special needs children, sisters that had been separated because no one was willing to care for all three of them at once. But this angel person was/is willing. They have multiple therapy visits and it takes a village of support to raise these girls. It was obvious in every word that Carmen spoke about these girls that she loved them so much and wanted nothing more than their adoption to be finalized so they could all be together. The girls are all three moving in permanently today. Those precious sisters are so lucky that Carmen found them, but the way Carmen spoke about them…she believes that she is the lucky one. And she is. And we are all lucky that even though we live in a difficult world, we also live in a world where there are Carmens. Lots of them. As long as there are Carmens, we are all going to be ok.
Sometimes you end up somewhere (like the hospital) that seems like it should be all wrong and terrifying. A health scare is always upsetting, but I felt strangely that we were all in the right place and I’m not sure that it had anything to do with anyone’s health. It was a tough week, and exhausting, but I’m grateful that the Universe, in her infinite wisdom, saw fit to plop me down at the medical center last week. Every day I will try to be grateful and kind. I will try to be more grateful and kinder with each passing day. I will try to be a better mother, a better friend, and a better spouse. Thanks Universe for giving us beautiful reminders of how lucky we are every single day if we pay attention.
P.S. I’m still in that Top 25 blog contest at http://www.circleofmoms.com/top25/Top-25-Family-Blogs-by-Moms-2013. I’m not trying to come in first but it would mean so much to me to end up in or near the Top 25. You can vote every 24 hours. Thanks for your support.