Saturday, March 21, 2015

Remembering to Breathe

There are some weeks that when I reach Saturday morning, I think . . . did all of that just really happen? Was that really just one week of my life? Because I am pretty sure that it felt like we fit in a month worth of events into one week. This is one of those Saturday mornings. The children are asleep. A second load of laundry has been started. I’ve already dropped off coffee for the Boy Scout group that is delivering mulch. I finally have a cup of coffee rapidly cooling next to me. It’s a rather contemplative morning, as I sit here and think, what in the sam hell just happened? 

On the short story side, this week has included three dentist, one orthodontist, and four doctor appointments. It has also included one trip to the ER and two ultrasounds. On a positive note, everyone seems to be doing okay!

The week began on a high note. I received an email letting me know that I was selected to be part of a group to help launch a new book by Jen Hatmaker called “For the Love, Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards.” In my free time this week, I began reading it, (admittedly, I haven’t gotten through the entire book yet!) and I’m pretty sure there is some kind of divine intervention for me to be reading this book at this time, and to be part of a bigger group that makes up the launch team. But all of that will have to wait for another post!

The week progressed (is that really the best word for the week?!) from there. Monday, the oldest was in a bit of pain, but insisted all was really okay. Advil seemed to be helping. By Tuesday night the pain had increased, and had spread. Even though we both dreaded it, we knew it was time for a trip to the ER.

This is where my brain wants to a) call my family and friends and tell them how wonderful they are, but it’s too early on a Saturday morning, I will let them sleep. And b) wants me to block images from my mind.

First the family and friends . . . I have to say I am blessed to have the family and friends that I have. I need to tell you all that I appreciate you, love you, and a tremendous thank you. I could not have made it this far in a journey of healing without the support of you all.

So returning to Tuesday night. I had exchanged a couple of text messages with a friend with happy St. Patrick’s Day wishes, when the oldest came downstairs letting me know it was time to go see someone about the pain. I texted back that I needed to go to the ER because of what was happening. Then called another friend to see if they could come stay with the girls. Bless my friend . . . the answer was, let me get some shoes on, and I’ll be right there. It was of course well after 9:00 pm, because  isn’t that always when things go sideways?!

So we made it to the ER without incident, so to speak. The problem, for me, began upon arrival. Mentally I HATE going to the ER. (Doesn’t everyone?!) Especially the one that is closest to our home. Because it was at that ER where I have had some of the most traumatizing events of my life play out. But it is the closest ER to our home, so it is common sense to go to that one. Upon arrival, I started to worry about whether a teenager was considered an adult or could still go to the pediatric side. Thankfully we could still go to the pediatric side. I could avoid the adult side where I last saw Chris. My blood pressure seemed to be headed back to a normal rate.

As we sat waiting for the doctor, my friend texted to make sure that I was doing okay, knowing that a trip to the ER was not easy for me. Bless my friend for being a lifeline on the other end of the texting. Shortly after the doctor came in, it was determined that an ultrasound was needed. This meant we had to head to the radiology department in the hospital.

This meant that we had to walk down the hall through the adult side of the ER.

This meant we had to walk by the room where I last saw Chris.

This meant that we walked past a group of firemen and police officers that were standing outside of that room.

This looked, in my mind, just like the last time I walked by that room.

I thought I might faint.

Thought my heart was going to come out of my chest.

Thought about sitting on the floor, right there in the middle of everything and crying.

But these were not viable options. There was no one to catch me if I fainted (they were all busy). My heart was not really going to pop out of my chest. Crying in the middle of everything would not have solved a damn thing.

Most important, my child needed me. This was not the time for me to wrestle with the demons and images I have carried in my mind for two years. This was a time to make sure my child was okay.

When we made it to the radiology department, I was given a few moments to sit down. The technician was speaking with my child, who I have to say is really an amazing patient. I love the fact that all of my children know how to talk to adults, and let them know what is happening inside their bodies when something is wrong. It was during that moment, as I sat shaking in the chair, because that is my body’s way of coping with stress, that I dumped all my thoughts and feelings into a series of texts to my friend. A lifeline to someone who understands pain and loss, and with the good sense, texted me back, reminding me to close my eyes, and breathe.

I’ve spent a lot of time this week remembering to breathe.

It really can be as simple as that.

To make it through any situation, I just need to remember to breathe.


  1. I'm sorry you had to experience the ER again… but you left me hanging… how is your child!?
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Being a single parent on top of such trauma takes bravery and guts. Praying for you!!

    1. Sorry to leave you hanging! My son is doing very well now. There were a series of follow-up appointments, and all is as it should be. Thank you for the extra prayers!