Learning to embrace my blessings in times of need and uncertainty

image-1Man down!

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.

image-2Not well, but better. A little apple juice (that tasted divine) and a few minutes of deep breathing provided me the strength I needed to continue.

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.

Jamie Centner

familyJamie is a stay at home mom to her two vivacious boys, AJ and Christian. After nearly 10 years of marriage and overcoming several adversities as a couple, including the devastation of hurricane Katrina and the tragedies at Columbine High School, the duo have learned the importance of living life to the fullest. Jamie’s love for New Orleans grew as she watched the city recover from Katrina. After nearly two years spent living in New York City, she couldn’t be happier about their decision to raise their children immersed in the rich New Orleans culture. Jamie earned a BA in English/writing at the University of Colorado and recently began exploring her passion once again.


  1. So sorry you went through that, but your message at the end, could not be more on point. Well said…Hope everyone is feeling better!

  2. Thank you for the kind words! Yes, we are much better! My husband has started some at-home PT and should be able to walk in a month or two! The kids are resilient. They barely remember anything at all! Thankful for that!

  3. This was totally my day today. Husband out of town, toddler busts his head … hard not to get wrapped up in the frustration of it all!

  4. Thank you all! My husband started at-home PT and the kids are both well! I’m a firm believer that when the going gets tough, someone is trying to get your attention! I am so thankful that everyone is ok, and also thankful to have been given a clear view of what is REALLY important. A lesson I’ll not soon forget!


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