A little background info: my mom has not been well for nearly 12 years now. She has CML, Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. We spent Christmas Day 2002 at an IHOP and the remainder of the day at a cancer hospital. I left the doctor with her that day wondering if she'd ever see me get married (which ended up being only three years later, but alas) or have babies. I just didn't know.
Because of a miracle drug, my mom has been able to continue a normal life since that day, helping me take care of my kids and relieving me when I needed a break for coffee, shampoo or barre class (hello, always.). When I say she's been there to help me, I can't even begin to describe. She could anticipate our hunger pains and show up on our doorstep with fresh vegetables before I could even realize my stomach was growling. She could tote the heaviest freaking baby carrier on one arm just as well as these Pilates-toned arms of mine, and without thinking twice.
And I say this in the past tense now because these days my mom is recovering from an infection. Last month, I almost lost my mom. Without warning but anything but a fever and a stomachache, she left my house and remained home sick the entire rest of the week. Then the ER. Then a hospital room. Then a terrifying early a.m. call one morning she was having trouble breathing. Then the ICU. From stable...to serious...to critical. I'll never forget my dad rushing in that morning explaining the ventilator. I called my husband from out of town. I called my in-laws from out of state. I called my best friends sobbing. It couldn't be. My mom.
Throughout the entire month, day by day, every day I would visit my mom, I never let a visit go by without stopping in the chapel on the way. Just five minutes. A prayer. I couldn't get through this alone. I would specifically pray to God about certain things we needed help with that day. I took it daily. I prayed once about her blood pressure being too low and by the end of the day, it was considered normal again. No joke. I prayed about the infection she had contacted and for the antibiotics to start working, and slowly but surely, she was weaned off of them one by one. I contacted my church's incredible prayer team...every friend and neighbor I knew...I may have even asked you. And I sit here today without a shadow of doubt knowing that everything we went through in the month of August was God's plan, and He is what got us through this tough time. He is the reason my mom is still alive, and that this miracle has happened. A miracle beyond words.
I've always been a believer, but until something like this happens to you, you just don't realize the power of prayer. I would sit next to my poor mom for days and she wouldn't even be able to speak to me. Her lips were so dry, they were raw. To give her a drink of water, I had to dip a sponge in it. To eat, she had a feeding tube. At one point, there was no point in spending much time there because she was so sedated. I didn't know if she would remember me. I felt helpless, but always kept hope. Because I knew if I lost hope, there was nothing. Cheesy as it seems, I listened to (and still do) uplifting music every day to lift my mood.
I could go on and on in this post about how so many things were off those several weeks (my son started preschool, I juggled nursing baby L, we had a different person helping at our house every week, my husband got sick), but those things aren't important to me anymore. Yes, it was terrible, but we got through it. It's about perspective. And the only thing that matters to me now is that my mom is alive. I don't care about anything else.
She's getting stronger every day now. And while she can't exactly lift a car seat, I'm thankful my kids got to eat lunch with her this weekend. Just to spend time with her.
I guess I've grown through this experience to realize the only thing that really matters in life is family, friends and faith. Thanks to all of you for putting up with my extreme insanity the past month. I'm grateful for you. Thanks for listening and if you're the praying kind, please continue to pray for my mom's full recovery. Xoxo
P.S. I heard this quote this morning that stuck with me. Don't get so distracted by the burdens that you miss the blessings. Have a great week!