Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Good Health is the Best Present

Summer is my busiest time of year - and then, right in the height of my season this year - my son got sick.  It started out as a cough and he was tired.  Summer cold?  Allergies?  We did the usual run to the pharmacy for cold medicine, but he got worse.  The low point in the middle of the night - long, gasping coughs.  Warm water mixed with honey seemed to help the most, and then we would be through it and the next day - of course during the day, he would seem pretty good.  But he was pale with dark circles under his eyes, so very tired he would bring a stack of magazines to bed to rest and his poor tummy muscles were sore.  Night time seemed to get progressively worse.
There was nothing to be done but to clear my schedule the best I could, print out Google Map directions to Children's Hospital in Boston, put on my brave face (because although I do a great job navigating highways, driving straight into the center of a city is terrifying - but the truth of the matter is having a sick child is even more terrifying) and off we went - a 12 hour trip.
He tells me - bringing him to the hospital was the best present I ever gave him.  You don't realize how precious the ability to breath is - until you can't.  I tell him - it wasn't a present, it was my responsibility as a parent and I am very thankful that the capable doctors were able to prescribe a medicine that made him better after a period of time.  Not everyone is so lucky.  NOTE:  Just because your kid has had shots against whooping cough - doesn't mean that he/she won't get it - whooping cough is making a huge comeback since so many parents are not getting their babies the recommended shots.
And this Christmas season, I stopped and remembered that - especially when I was about to have a melt-down trying to Christmas shop.  Note the "trying" - I actually left the store and went to buy just milk instead (and maybe a yummy chocolate bar).  Is it worth having a melt-down over?  When is enough really enough?  I sent my husband out to get the last gifts - they weren't what I would have purchased (not even anything we had discussed!), but I accepted that and thanked him for saving me from that turmoil (but I confess, first I had the melt-down and then I had to think about it and realize - in the big picture - it really wasn't THAT important - why do we do that - blow everything out of proportion?  I think from now on I will just let him do the shopping and accept it with grace)!  As a family, we have our struggles, but I am so very thankful that we are all healthy and together this Christmas.  
Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas.  May we all have inner peace this year, no matter where we are in this journey of life.  Yes, we all have our trials and tribulations.  For many, the holidays are stressful - I am trying to learn to avoid the stress.  Holidays can be bittersweet too.  I lost my own mother to very painful cancer when I was in my 20's.  Many of my friends are posting on Facebook and blogs on how they really miss lost loved ones or those that are far away.  It is a good time to light a candle, reflect, allow yourself to grieve (because accepting that grief is a part of life is important - we can't be holly jolly ALL the time), and then take a deep breath, focus on that inner peace, pick up the torch and keep marching for our current and future generations... some day they will be lighting a candle in our memory - let us make their memories the best possible.
My mother when she was younger...

And my favorite photo of my mother - how I love to remember her ... happy at the beach!  Even if you hate to have your photo taken, please smile because some day - a photo like this could be a family treasure!


Susan. said...

Very best wishes to you and your family, Evelyn.

All the best for 2014.

Susan (UK).

Lindah said...

Some very good points, Evelyn. I'm so glad you all are well and enjoying the holidays together.
Love the photos of your mother.

Hanne said...

Dear Evelyn :-)
I am so happy big boy made it through his health issue OK.
I so agree on avoiding Christmas stress when I can - for a lot of reasons.
We are toning down our buying and we light a lot of candles instead.
Wishing you and your family a happy rest of the Christmas days and a very happy new year!