How a Simple Phone Call Broke My Heart

A little background to prepare you…

My father had several surgeries in July and August. During his second surgery, the medical team made a grave error which caused either an ischemic or anoxic brain injury. This surgery was on August 1st. He is still unable to do lots of things he was fully capable of doing when he walked into the hospital that morning. It has been a long, hard road.

The following is an email I wrote to my four siblings and my Mom after a phone call from my Dad, while retrieving my daughter from school.

Dad called me and said that he had a message for me to relay. He said he had been trying to contact his family to let them know he was on his way home. That he couldn’t find Mom, to tell her he loves her immensely, and he will come home to her soon. (She was sitting right next to him in their home.)

I said that he might not understand this, but he was actually home with Mom. That he didn’t have to go anywhere. That he was being taken care of.

He said, “So you’re telling me I am home.” And then he kind of laughed in disbelief.

After a few nonsensical things about traveling, he said he was trying his best to get to me. I told him that I would come to him the next time we saw each other.

I told him that maybe some day he would be coming to Florida to live. He said, “Oh really! That would be good for me.” I agreed.

I heard Mom’s voice in the background, so I said goodbye and told him to hang up.

I had already lost it from his comment about loving mom ‘immensely’, so I needed to get off the phone before he heard the tears and sadness in my voice.

My heart is breaking.

How To Tell if You’ve Had Enough

How To Tell if You’ve Had Enough…

There I sat with the blood pressure cuff on my arm feeling pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t high.

On my right, the markers my daughter had just slammed into my hand after getting frustrated with her project, saying, “Here, keep them for 15 years!”

On the TV, the news coverage of Hurricane Irma.

Directly in front of me, my view of our palm trees blowing in the 25 MPH wind, not even from Irma, but from the nor’easter.

Five simple words repeated like a mantra in my head.

I can’t take much more. I can’t take much more. I can’t take much more.

Not the kind of mantra I prefer, but it remained.

The tears began to flow. The short and sharp breaths joined in.

I can’t take much more. I can’t much more. I can’t take much more.

I thought of my father.

My mother.

My failures as a mother.

My hives.

The breaths got longer, deeper.

My eyes closed as I wiped the tears.

The cuff came off.

The markers were released to a hiding place, most likely to emerge before the 15 years is up.

The mantra slowed, faded, remained.

I can’t.

And I won’t.

how to tell if

 

 

 

God Gave Me THE FEELS

God Gave Me THE FEELS…

God

You can tell me to build a thick skin. You can tell me it’s no big deal. You can even tell me to lighten up. But if you tell me I’m too sensitive, you’ll have an argument on your hands. 

Many years ago, I was built a certain way. God gave me the feels. That includes, but is not limited to the following:

sensitivity, emotion, passion, sympathy, empathy, thin skin, fear of the unknown, depression, anxiety, and unconditional love. 

And now imagine all of that swirling around in my body at any given moment. It could be a good moment in which all of those things serve me well. The feels do their job and life is good. 

But the swirling can also occur when the moment is not so good. It could be an argument, a strange place, a difficult person, or even something as simple as a paper cut under certain circumstances. 

When the feels emerge here, the consequences are disturbing and unavoidable. This is when physical reactions are added to the mix:

rapid heart beat, chest tightness, sweaty palms, shaking hands, uncontrollable tears, shortness of breath, and stomach knots.

It’s not pretty, it doesn’t feel good, and it doesn’t even stop there. For days, those reactions manifest themselves into tension, stomach and head aches, indigestion, insomnia, and sometimes, panic attacks.

As much as I’ve learned, as strong as I’ve become, and for each and every hardship I’ve survived, I was still built the same way. With the feels.

So, yes, I’ll do my best to put my big girl pants on every day and ride the storms that evolve around me. But I can’t ever change the way I feel about it. And you’d be wise not to ask me to.

God gave me the feels. And I like what God gave me.

God