May 23, 2011

Rolling up my Sleeves


I'm not one to brag . . .


not keen on boasting . . .

except on rare occasions,

prefer humility . . .

unless the situation reeeeeally calls for otherwise. 

So pardon the self flattery here when I just have to announce that I rock.

Our homeowner's association had just released new nazi-esque regulations that would require approval (and certain rejection) of new exterior projects to your house.  The new rules would take effect in 3 days.  I had just purchased an in-ground basketball hoop and tetherball set that I was hoping to hire a contractor to install in the coming weeks.  With 72 hours of homeowner freedom until I had to go through a whole bunch of red tape for these projects, I scraped together some free minutes and rolled up my sleeves and opened the instruction manual to face step 1 of the 89 installation steps.

Notice the concrete that I mixed and poured, the perfectly level pole that was lovingly tended to into the wee hours of the night while the concrete cured.  The picture also doesn't do justice to the enormous hole that I had to dig.  See the whole raising and lowering arm with its 105 embedded parts -- yeah, that's impressive.

Project 2: Tether ball set.  Also dug, mixed and poured concrete and leveled continuously.  This turned out to be a bigger hit than I even imagined and has clocked dozens of hours of playtime already.

No need to leave comments and reinforce what I already know.  This is awesome;)  Sometimes it feels really good when I am stirring dinner with my right hand and tube feeding with my left hand while simultaneously changing diapers with my toes and talking on speaker phone to the insurance company and at the same time keeping my right and left eye, respectively, on two kids doing their homework -- to set that all aside and simply roll up my sleeves and realize I can do hard things.

Thank you to those who read to the end and tolerated my self-congratulatory ego stroke.  My ego needed the boost today.

May 05, 2011

The Sedan Pulling Up to the House

Today is the anniversary of this.  Almost at this exact moment last year I walked into Bridger's room and found him in a very lifeless state which progressed into a full tonic clonic seizure that wouldn't stop.  He wouldn't breath on his own for the rest of the night and his seizure only ceased when they put him in a drug induced coma.  I'm not one to acknowledge or even remember anniversaries of sorts.  That one happened to fall on Cinco de Mayo and we had feasted on take-out Mexican that night (which I wanted to throw up for the next three days).  So all of the Cinco de Mayo talk today made the memories of last year come back.

For the weeks preceding that event I had a bee in my bonnet to get a family picture taken now that our family was "complete".  The photo session was scheduled for May 7th.  I remember walking the hallways of the emergency room and seeing the beautiful family photographs that line the hallways that were coincidentally taken by the same photographer that we had booked for our shooting.  There were only a couple of thoughts that my brain was able to process during that time in the ER, the one that kept coming to the forefront, however seemingly shallow it sounds for what was happening, was that we never got our family picture.  We thought we lost him that night.

I had a physical last week. The first one in 20 years. I thought the 600 obstetrical appointments I've had over the past decade were sufficient for the time, but now I must be a grown up and take grown up care of myself. The doctor got around to the subject of stress and asked me about Bridger's health. I touched on the "highlights" and she then likened the stress to a woman whose loved one is away at war and every day wondering if that black sedan is going to pull up to the house. She is right.

Every morning since that day there is a fear when I walk to Bridger's room for what I will find, every sound that comes from his room at night (which is a LOT) makes me worried, every call from the school comes with the skip of a heartbeat, every pneumonia. . . every fever. . . everything.  Even this morning I greeted him and opened his curtains to the sunshine to turn around and see him have a seizure.  The worry is never ending.

What I have to remember is that each of us has a journey and that no person's time line is more guaranteed than another.  None of us know when that sedan will pull up to the house for any of us.  However, having many more of them drive "down our street", I am flooded each day with the feeling that today is a miracle, just as yesterday was and just as tomorrow hopefully will be.  That is what gives the petty minutia no space in my life.

I am grateful for the miracle of today.  I cherish today and I cherish my priceless family picture -- which we took just days after he was released from the hospital.  While the under-eye bags of sleepless nights and exhausted smiles are more pronounced than I would like them to be, whenever I look at this picture which hangs above my piano, I see miracles.

Happy Cinco de Mayo.  I had Italian for dinner.