Not once. Not twice. Not three times. But, FIVE times this week I have literally been stopped in my tracks. It all began on Tuesday. It was my turn to deliver a meal to friends whose daughter was on day 21 in the ICU due to complications from a risky heart surgery. I had arranged the entire day (including the delivery) around my son's schedule. (Note to self: my schedule is now the priority.) He had circus practice at 3:15 (yes, I said circus), a mandatory 8th grade parent meeting at 6:00 (only 1/2 of the parents showed - another note to self) and Scouts at 7:00. In the midst of all of that I had to deliver a meal and find a way to feed myself and the kids. As I left to pick up the Moon and deliver the meal I received a phone call that circus was cancelled. What? I really DESPISE last minute cancellations, especially when it meant we could have eaten at home instead of eating out which was really all we could do that night. After circumnavigating the city with the Moon, picking up the Sun and having dinner, I sat down to bitch to my fellow parent at the meeting and mid-way through the tirade I simply stopped. My conversation went from, "I am so frustrated" to.....
"I am SO grateful that I have a car to drive around the city, money to eat out tonight and healthy kids not lying in the hospital."
Did I mention my friend is the religious ed director for a large Episcopal church? Her reply was, "It's all a matter of perspective." Amen to that.
The week has continued in a similar vein. With on and off snow this week, the children have been home since Wednesday morning, which is when I got the call that a much older cousin's wife had died suddenly. This meant a Thursday afternoon trip to pick up my father and head out on a two hour drive to a rural Tennessee town for a funeral visitation in freezing rain which ended in dinner at Krystal's (see my next post on migraines in case you want to know how that ends). Her name was Pearlee and her daughter and I are close in age and spent time together during the long hot summers of my youth in Lawrence County - what I like to call God's country.
Friday morning brought another cold day and the blessed snow that we have all been waiting for. I say blessed because it was a blessing watching my hubby and the kids outside on and off all day playing in the 8-inches that piled up around our home. Normally I would be in the fray but the aforementioned migraine had a different plan for me. Throughout the day, as I counted my blessings - truly for I know that every day brings something new - I watched FB anxiously. Our friend whose daughter was in the ICU was rushed once again to surgery. Did I mention they are our friends that we had lost touch with (or my husband's friends I should say) then reconnected through the joys of adoption and the local Families with Children from China group? As I watched them try to get to the hospital and the updates on their FB page they posted another update about another family. A family who, coincidentally, brought home their daughter on the same plane from China on the same night last September. My friend's daughter came out of surgery alive and well once again. The other family were not so lucky.
I had felt all day that something was wrong. The funeral, the snow, my friend's daughter, the migraine...and now this. Seeing a family - who I truthfully do not EVEN know, lose their daughter made the evening long as I paced around, picking up things and putting them down. Trying to clean the kitchen but losing my focus for even that mundane task. Once again this week being stopped in its tracks.
And now, today, I once again wake with a migraine. I decided I could lay in bed and suffer or try to work a little and hope that my thoughts come out coherently. A friend posted on her FB page that she believed the snow was good as it has made us all take a break from regular life, rest, reconnect and play. Maybe being stopped in our tracks is a good thing. Maybe we need to put the breaks on more often which gives us the space to count our blessings.
“For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude.” - unknown
I’m Dana Croy and I am a modern day mama. Balancing family and work is not always easy (not to mention a little self-care). Though being Mama to two fantastic kiddos is a huge part of my life, that was not always the case. I wear many other hats and invite to sit down and find harmony with me.