Last Thursday night, before Jack was preparing to return to the University…
So often, a series of events occurs that causes us to pause. This past month, these events presented themselves to me with a one-two-three punch. I’d like to share these with you and perhaps impart some unsolicited wisdom.
My 81 year old mother.
Last month my mother took a terrible spill at home. At some point during the early afternoon, she fell in the kitchen. She cut her head terribly and by most accounts had laid there for hours. Upon coming to, she cleaned up the blood (and there was a lot of it) and proceeded to go into the living room and watch the latest movie on the Hallmark Channel. My sister, Amy visits most nights on the way home and upon seeing her called me immediately.
Off we went to the ER where she was diagnosed with a brain bleed, multiple contusions but no broken bones. Sometime that night, she experienced another heart attack, yes another. The first one most likely occurred when she passed out that afternoon.
Grammee returned to her home six days later and proceeded to fire the lovely aid we hired to help her.
She said, “I do not need any help.” Yet, simple day to day tasks and mobility become harder and more challenging. It did not stop her but it slowed her down a bit.
My son Jack.
Jack is a sophomore and an athlete at the University of Alabama. He rows and if you know anything about rowing it is an endurance sport and very challenging. After a particularly difficult workout week, Jack called feeling very sore, ill, and experiencing kidney related issues. Off to the ER he went. Diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis he was admitted and spent a few days on IV and antibiotics. This was serious and he was having none of me coming down there.
Once again, a heartfelt thank you to my Bamaly (read more here) at the University of Alabama. A Facebook post was sent out to see if a local mom would go and check on Jack for me. Within hours, I received a call from Susan, ready to bring apple juice and Oreo cookies to Jack. She paid a visit to my son and for that, I owe her so much more than a thank you.
Jack called me to tell me he appreciated it but did not need her to visit.
I said, “No Jack. I needed her to visit.”
Susan gave me comfort and after the delivering apple juice in my absence, I was feeling much better. Jack was released after about 4 days and is on the mend. He came home for Thanksgiving.
My dear friend’s tragic loss.
Growing old can get complicated. The aging process can rob you of time, love, and ultimately life. My friend Barb is married to a wonderful man named Jack. A warm, kind gentleman and accomplished surgeon. Now retired and looking forward to spending both southern beach time and northern mountain time with his wife. They were deprived of that opportunity.
Jack passed away last month from complications due to his illness. Chip and I just visited with them in September. While we have known Barb for over 20 years, Jack was new to our life and in that short time left a long lasting impression. He dedicated his life as a surgeon to helping others and sacrificed his own life, at times, for the betterment of another human being. His wit, smile, and love will be sorely missed.
My Life Lessons. Be thankful.
You hear it all the time on the television, radio, movies, and conversations: do not take anything for granted for you know not when time and life may escape you. These three events have impacted me and my views on life.
- Don’t take it for granted when you jump in the shower wash your hair and shave your legs. This may make you laugh or cringe, but the bottom line is that my mother can no longer do this. Simple tasks made challenging.
- Text your kids goodnight. I hope they reply back to me when I text them. Amelia is better at it than Jack. I miss them both and the medical scares they have recently had can take years off a mother’s life. All i really need are hugs, an occasional “I love you,” and a surprise delivery of a cup of my favorite Starbucks.
- Chip- what can I say? Some days in the rush of life, we yell goodbye on the way out the door in the morning and forget to kiss. Perhaps after a long day, we fall into bed and sleep overcomes us, without that hug and kiss. I know i do not have any quirks but if you were gone, I would miss your quirks and craziness.
Be kind to one another and cherish the wins while overcoming the challenges and the losses. Resilience is what makes us human beings. I am thankful for my family, my friends, and of course Izzy too.