There are moments in everyone’s lives that define them. Moments that move us to a sacred place…a place away from the world’s manipulations of what is supposed to be important.
I think my children’s diagnoses were three of those moments.
But since those three fateful days when my worlds as I knew them were knocked off their axis, there have been an armful of moments that just as suddenly, jarred me to my very core. Like aftershocks in the earthquake of diagnoses. In these instances my true priorities were made clear. Most of these moments lasted just seconds, but their grasping influences left imprints that forever changed the way I look at my life.
Last week I had one of those moments.
Since we were kicked out of our house for termite fumigation, we were lucky enough to house sit for my in-laws while they were on vacation. My husband had to leave unusually early for work one morning and since it was just an hour after the normal nighttime blood sugar check, he offered to check the boys before he left. (Uninterrupted sleep for the momma! Score!)
The next morning I started breakfast and was happy to see that B had finally gotten a good night sleep. It was almost nine and he was still lying peacefully in his bed. My husband called and we chatted about his morning as I scrambled the eggs. A couple minutes into the conversation I mentioned that B was still sleeping like an angel…
“Crap what?” I said.
“Crap, I forgot to check the boys before I left.”
(That was the sound of my heart dropping into my stomach.)
B had been going low almost every night that week.
…And he hadn’t been checked since 11:00pm.
…And he was still sleeping. (An hour and a half later than usual.)
I hung up on my husband, grabbed the blood sugar monitor and ran to the room. I stopped in the doorway to listen…to watch. Frozen…my mind like an ocean, the waves of emotion rolling…willing him to move with my stare.
Please move. Please breathe. Cough! Twitch! Roll over! SOMETHING!
There was nothing. He was motionless.
I walked slowly over to him, my eyes fixed on the blankets twisted around him. I sat beside him and brushed his hair away from his forehead.
It was that second. That one second. I was facing my worse fear.
But his forehead was warm. That was good, right? I don’t know. In that second his warm forehead was like angels singing…the warmth swept over my body.
And then he wrinkled his nose. Thank the good Lord above.
I checked his sugar and found him to be 52. I ran to the cupboard for some juice. And as I ran back I was hit by another thought.
What if he couldn’t drink this juice?
I gently touched the straw to his lips and he immediately puckered in his sleep…resolutely sipping.
THAT was one of those moments. The kind of moment that we see far too many times. The kind of moment that explains why I have so many gray hairs. Why must we stare our children’s mortality in the face on a daily basis? What purpose can this serve?
I honestly feel there IS a purpose. Without these kinds of moments...the world wouldn't have nearly the amount of good that it has. Once you get a glimpse out the window of what could be…the sadness of losing a child, a friend or a loved one…or once you see firsthand another human being suffer…you are changed…period. Priorities are changed, views are changed, what seemed important before just isn’t important anymore.
I hate that bad things have to happen to good people. But I firmly believe that bad things MAKE good people…the refiners fire molds us into compassionate, empathetic, appreciative human beings. Well, it does this for most people. For some people the fire doesn’t make them better, but bitter instead.
I’m not perfect people. I have flaws for days...but I do appreciate what I have. Every little thing.
I APPRECIATE the fact that my 8 year old child can play soccer.
I APPRECIATE the fact that my son is right now at scout camp…LIVING! Having an adventure without his mother hovering over him!
I APPRECIATE the fact that my oldest son can drink orange juice whenever he wants.
I APPRECIATE the fact that my 6 year pricked his finger 14 times last Friday, sporting a broad smile EVERY time!
I appreciate the little things. Because little things around here, are HUGE! Hugely. Wonderful!! And just when I am about to get absorbed in my selfish ways...WHOA! One of these moments happen and I realize I am DANG lucky to have what I do. I am completely blessed!
God bless those awful, emotional tsunami-like moments. They suck beyond measure, but they clarify what some don’t get the opportunity to see…life is too short to sweat the small stuff. The small stuff needs to be EMBRACED and celebrated!
Diabetes does that for me. It forces me to appreciate the small things, and embrace the wonderfulness of each little blessing.
When we are old…when we are ill…when life hands us crap… it is all of the little things that get us through.
A warm hug.
A sunny day.
A laughing child.
All the things money cannot buy.
I know at night, when you walk through the house to your child’s bedroom, and you see him or her sleeping…dreaming…it is that moment that brings the clarity of what is really important.
Especially when you take that second to pause…and wait for them to breathe.