Time: It flies, heals and is a gift.

My husband and I watched the movie About Time a few nights ago. It's the story about a guy who can travel back in time whenever he wants, and he does so to get the girl of his dreams and the outcome he wants in certain life situations. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie, which may or may not have something to do with Bill Nighy being in it - for some reason, that guy just cracks me up. At the end of the movie, the main character comes to the inevitable moral of the story moment and it was one that hit me square in the BIG feels.

About Time Quote
About Time Quote

I have spent the past six weeks of my life wondering what moment I would go back to if I could to change the course of our lives right now. When my son didn't want to play in his soccer game that night? After he threw up in bed at 3 AM? When his fever hit 40 C and no amount of medicine was helping bring it down? When I had to carry him to the bathroom because he was too weak to get there himself? When his breathing rate was so, so fast and I knew that it shouldn't be?

These are the thoughts that cross my mind every single day. Mom guilt on a regular day is pretty bad, mom guilt when your kid gets REALLY sick is like an exponential volcanic explosion of guilt and it is a mountain that never goes dormant.

Here is what happened. These are the facts people. I have rattled them off so many times now that I think people must think I am crazy when I tell them this with a straight face. I just picture myself as one of the interns on Grey's Anatomy giving the attending doctor a report on a patient. And yes, I know, this is a weird kind of coping mechanism.

7 yr old male, brought in to emergency with fever, dehydration and tachypnea (fast breathing). Chest x-ray showed left lower lung pneumonia. Antibiotics and fluids started. Rapid deterioration of physical and mental status while in emergency and Pediatric ICU consulted. Admitted to PICU, intubated and patient remained critical, yet stabilized. Patient then had a cardiac arrest and was resuscitated after 5 minutes. Cardiovascular surgeons arrived and cannulated patient for immediate ECMO (heart/lung bypass) treatment. Patient remained on ECMO for 6 days while being treated with antibiotics for severe septic shock. Decannulated on Day 6 and extubated on Day 8 of PICU admission. MRI shows that patient suffered a right MCA infarct (fancy word for stroke) and has subsequent left-sided weakness.  PICC line inserted for continued antibiotic treatment and plan for rehabilitation and follow up with the Brain Injury team at the rehab hospital.

Beyond the facts, here is what really happened. I heard my son, in the midst of his delirium and right before they intubated him, saying over and over to me, "bye mom, bye mom, bye mom", like he knew something we didn't. I saw my baby boy laying on a bed with more tubes going into and coming out of him than should be humanly possible. I saw a grown man doing chest compressions on my tiny little boy's body as a team of doctors and nurses brought him back from the brink of death. I watched my child's body fill up with so much fluid to the point that he was almost unrecognizable and then I watched as the medicines started to work and his beautiful features slowly came back to us. I watched as my 5-year old daughter was the bravest of us all and didn't see anything other than her beloved big brother as she held his hand and sang to him. I saw and was overwhelmed by the love and support of a community of people, far and wide, who held us all up when we could have fallen down so very hard. I have watched my husband become more; more of a father, more of a husband, more of a friend, and more of a doctor through all of this.

Little hands
Little hands

And me? I think I have become somewhat less. Less focused on perfection, less concerned with what people think, less afraid of asking for help, and less worried about all the trivial things that really don't matter. The moment in all of this that completely brought me to my knees, was after the heart/lung machine was removed and my child woke up from a week of heavy sedation. He was still intubated and couldn't talk, but he locked eyes with me and for the first time in over a week, I saw my child. I really saw him. He looked at me and reached for my cheek and I knew he was saying, "Hi Mom. I'm here. It's OK." Again, like he knew something that I didn't.

Time is a funny thing. It flies by. It drags on. We lose time. We waste time. We don't have enough time. We are never on time. It is never the right time. All things happen in their own time. Time heals all wounds. Time stands still. And on and on it goes. When my son looked at me for that first time in a week, time stood very, very still. Everything faded around us and it was just him and I. And without a doubt, in that moment of time, I was forever changed.

I can't go back in time to change what has happened to all of us, and now, I seriously wonder, if I really would. I know that sounds weird. Who would actually want any of this to happen to them or their child? Who wouldn't want to change this? Please understand that I would never wish illness or injury on anyone's child and that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that the last six weeks have given me something I didn't know I needed. Just like the main character in About Time, I've learned a valuable life lesson. That every day, every moment of this life, of our time together on this rock floating in space, can be a gift. We just have to take the time to be deliberate about it. To find the extraordinary within the ordinary and to look in each others eyes, really see one another and take the time to say,

Hi.

I'm here.

It's OK.

Hi Mom.

Hi Mom.

 This is my amazing child. One week ago. Cookie crumbs and all.

n~

With great {word} power comes great responsibilities!

Here is the thing about blogging. It is kind of like journaling. In the sense that I can get my thoughts out of my head and onto the screen and once they are there, then I often feel purged or elated or better about a situation, or a thought or a topic or even myself.

But unlike journaling a blog is public. Once you hit that publish button, it is OUT THERE. For all who want to to read, comment, criticize and judge. So there exists some editing that must be done, in blogging and in life.

And right now I am having a major dilemma about both. I need to get something off my chest. It had been kept inside for over a month and is starting to fester and all I want to do is blog about it! I usually don't operate like this. If something (or someone) pisses me off, upsets me, or otherwise confuses me I usually just express my feelings, get it out of me, deal with it and then move on. In my mind, this is a healthy way of dealing with problems and conflict of any kind. I fully admit that it doesn't always guarantee a happy outcome for everyone, but at least it is honest.

If you haven't figured it out already, I am a passionate person. I have strong opinions and I am not afraid to voice them. I have been accused at times of having no filter and I can not deny this. I prefer to wear my heart on my sleeve, skip the mind games and basically function on a 'what you see {and hear} is what you get' kind of principle.

For the most part this works for me. I make no excuses for who I am, because as you know, I AM the conductor of my own Awesome Train!

But every now and then something happens, either professionally or personally and I am forced to hold back and keep things bottled up. I am forced to focus more on the greater good for all involved, versus my own need to express myself, my opinions or my need to be right.

I blame it all on my birth order. I am the oldest of four and grew up with a working single mother. I was put in charge a lot as a kid and so yeah, I am bossy and overbearing and opinionated and often think that I know best. And what I have learned {again} this past month, is that this attitude does not always work to my advantage.

So what is a big bossy-boo to do about all this?

LEARN and GROW.

Learn more about myself, and about how I respond to situations and people. I need to be more aware of my words, my actions and my oh, so bad poker face of expressions! Words are powerful. And heck, I should really know this. I type a whole lot of them on a weekly basis hoping that they will be powerful enough to affect people.

I am NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. {Warning: DO NOT forward this to my husband-I will hunt you down!!} I do not always say the right thing or express myself appropriately in situations. And I know that this can alienate some people and make them feel uncomfortable. My growth is in learning to listen better, to really hear what is being said to me (and what is not being said at the same time) and THEN to react and discuss. I am often a react first and think later kind of gal and this is the scenario that often gets me into trouble.

I also need to learn to let things go. Let go of situations and circumstances that are beyond my control or my power to comprehend. Constantly focusing on them and going round and round and round with them in my head is just going to drive me bat-shit crazy and suck away all my energy. And in my life, with a husband and children who need me more now than ever, and a business to run and a new house to build, I need to preserve and focus all of my energy into positive and productive channels.

So here is to listening, learning and letting go......

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...{deeeeeeep breath} ....man that felt good to finally write down.

Good night all,

Natasha~

 

Words to live by.....

Last week was a sad one for me.  A friend and former colleague (from my pharma days) went missing on July 3rd and was found dead on July 5th (although not reported, she had taken her own life).  I will admit that it had been more than a few years since we had last talked and I would hear about her life from other friends and sometimes through Facebook.  Last year around this same time, I attended the funeral of another friend and special soul who had also decided to end her life. Both of these women, in my opinion had something in common--they were GIVERS.  They constantly gave of themselves, they were incredibly generous of spirit, and would wholeheartedly give their time, their love and laughter, their talents, and their souls.  So, I can only guess (because I don't think anyone ever knows for sure) that they were both just fully spent - physically, emotionally and mentally - and had nothing more to give.  I can only hope that the end that they chose for themselves gave them both the peace and freedom that they needed and could not find on this earth.

At the memorial service this week, the family came across a memo and list that had been left by my friend in her room and they put it in the program.  I would like to share this list with you now.  I think that her words are extremely powerful and meaningful and yet so simple.  If ever there where words to live by, I think these might be them.  What do you think?

"10 Things To Remember
1. Faith - There is a higher purpose
2. Divinity - We are divine
3. Trust - We are being taken care of
4. Appreciation - of all things all the time
5. Don't Stress Out - Balance
6. Patience is Virtuous
7. Boredom doesn't exist
8. Honor Yourself - give self credit
9. Protect yourself from bad energy
10. LOVE"
For Sheri and Paula.