“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” -Thornton Wilder
As many of you may have noticed by now, Wonder Parenting has been rather quiet for the last month. Blogging has taken a backseat to the sickness that cycled around our house from late October until now. After a month of colds, viruses, sinus infection, etc. I had another round of persistent flu-like symptoms recur last week. I couldn't take being sick any longer so I went to walk-in care at the hospital, ended up spending the night in the E.R. and then being admitted to the hospital for 3 days. I was treated for dehydration, and my blood counts were incredibly off. Scary-low white blood cell and platlet counts meant that I was incredibly susceptible to new infection or viruses and my blood pressure was so low I was in danger or passing out every time I stood up. I completely stumped the doctors, and still after numerous tests, they aren't entirely sure what happened or what I have going on. What was unexpected during this time was that I went from thinking I had a routine virus or a reaction to my flu shot, to hearing that I could potentially have leukemia, other types of cancer, or serious immune system disorders. You go along thinking you are young and healthy one day and the next you are completely humbled, knocked off your feet and faced with the very real possibility of fighting a potentially terminal illness. What both surprised and relieved me during this moment was that rather than completely panicking, I felt as if I was emerging from a fog into total clarity, with what is truly important in my life coming into sharp focus. It was the gift of immediate perspective- the silly mundane details that I somehow find time to routinely stress over fell away, and all I could think about was how cute Retta's chubby little hand looks when it reaches toward her mobile in a beam of light, or the piles of love-infused drawings Rowan showers me with each day as she unpacks her school backpack, or the feel of Aaron's hand in mine, or the purr of our cat as he sleeps happily on my blanketed chest, cozy by the fire on a winter's night. I thought about my parents taking care of my kids all weekend and how they continue to be a source of steadfast support no matter how old I get. The strength and happiness I draw from my family and friends is immeasurable.
These are the things I live for, the things that matter, the things that if told my time was short, I would want to fill my last days with. Of course I was lying in my hospital bed thinking about worst case scenarios and making bargains with some higher power about all the great things I will do if afforded more time and continued health. The likelihood that I have some type of cancer is very small. It has not been entirely taken off the table yet, but I am fairly certain that rather than a more serious diagnosis, I ended up in the hospital because of an allergic reaction to an antibiotic. That coupled with the perfect storm of being run down from a lingering cold and depleted from lack of sleep, nursing, and not taking in enough calories to offset my daily expenditure of energy. Regardless of the diagnosis, this week I was given many gifts. I am thankful that this week I was forced to slow down and examine my pace, reminding me that if you don't take time to truly take care of yourself, you won't be able to really take care of anyone else either. I was immediately reminded at the tenuousness of this life and that I should always try to avoid taking my time for granted. I was reminded of my greatest gifts- my family and friends. I was surrounded by people who love me and showered with their love, thoughts, prayers, and gifts. I was blown away by the generosity of others. I was given the gift of good news with an improved prognosis, and told to resume feeding Retta. I've had meals and plants and cozy pants delivered and so many kind offers of help. To have so much love in my life is a blessing, and to know it is yet another. I realized the other day that I would much rather have a life of quality over quantity, and so regardless of how many days I am gifted, I will be grateful to have lived so many days already with wonderful companions and amongst such beauty and grace. There is much to give thanks for every day, and health, family, love and kindness top my list today.
|Some of the people I am thankful for, enjoying Thanksgiving dinner|