Over the past few weeks, I have been tested to the extreme! My children have been sick. More sick than ever. And my partner, the man I rely on for support, tore his Achilles’ tendon, rendering him completely useless.
How is it possible for all of these things to happen at once? Literally, the night before my husband went in for surgery to repair his ankle, my eldest son was at Children’s Hospital with a 104.9 fever! He had x-rays, an IV and breathing treatments before being released.
There wasn’t anyone to sit and worry with me. Nobody to get up and comfort our sick baby all night, and no one to confide in. I was trying to pretend that everything was ok, that I was handling everything fine. The truth: I was about to collapse. The stress was too much. Everything that I cherish in life was ill. Really ill. My love, my babies, my life! All ill. And it was up to me and me alone to nurse them all back to health.
The day of surgery was rough. I had my mother caring for the kids while I waited … and waited … and waited for word of my husband’s surgery. My babies needed me, but so did my husband. I was torn. Where should I be? My kids had been diagnosed and were sick, but on the mend. Ultimately, my husband’s surgery demanded my day. I worried all day alone about how the kids were, how the surgery was going, and how my life was going to be after all of this.
Finally – I was allowed to see him, and he was ok! I walked in to see my high school sweetheart, a man who has been my protector, my strength and my partner for the past 13 years, barely conscious. He struggled to recover from anesthesia and the surgery. He wasn’t himself. I had never seen him vulnerable, and it was surreal.
To add insult to a literal injury, our terrible luck struck again! Fire alarms were going off, power was out, water wasn’t potable (water break on Carrollton), and a woman over the loud speaker was announcing a “code red!” Really!? Code Red!! That doesn’t sound good! Make it “code periwinkle,” “code lilac,” not code RED! Thankfully, my worrisome husband was blissfully asleep through all of this. And about an hour later, all was well. “Code red all clear!” The nurse came in and opened our door that had been hastily closed during the chaos of the code red, and my wonderful man was starting to show signs of himself as the intense effects of the anesthesia wore off.
The day following my husband’s surgery, I had to go to his surgeon’s office for instructions on how to administer a subcutaneous injection (I don’t do well with needles or blood). At the appointment, I broke down in tears, overwhelmed by the days preceding. The staff came to my rescue. They took care of phone calls to our insurance, supplied me with a TENS machine for my husband’s recovery and advised that I too seek rest giving me a quiet place to rest my mind.
Ha! Rest?! I have two sick babies and a husband recovering from surgery! Are they crazy!? After my meltdown, I began to feel better.
Through several days of intense prayer and introspective observation, I’ve got it! The message I was meant to receive amidst all this chaos…
It’s time to let the Joneses have it. It’s time for me to embrace my blessings and take each day as it is given to me. The smiling faces of my kids, a loving embrace from my husband and the joy of taking in these special moments while my kids still want me around.
How lucky we are to wake up to these nowhere near perfect people. I love them each as they are. I don’t expect change; I love their neuroses, their quirks, each of their imperfections. I want them. Healthy. Nothing more.
You can keep the McMansion that I’ve been longing for. The bigger diamond ring. The luxury car. It’s all tangible. I’ve been overly materialistic. What I need, and what I want, are these 3 people. My two boys and the love of my life. I want them, as they are, and nothing more.
So the next time you go to your friend’s house and arrive green with envy, check yourself. Notice what you DO have! The little luxuries are just that: luxury. It’s nice, but unnecessary. In our times of need and uncertainty, we are given clarity. The ability to see through the smoke and mirrors to what is truly important.