I felt as if I had lost my voice right after my last post on Thanksgiving when I talked about how Thankful I was that Tim had survived his October 29th heart attack. While I didn’t literally lose my voice, I certainly lost my way for a few weeks. Allow me to explain.
On November 30th, just a few days after Thanksgiving Tim got dizzy after an exercise during his 3rd session of cardiac rehab and because they couldn’t find his blood pressure, he was rushed back to Southern MD Hospital. Just as I had done when Tim had the heart attack, I ran to my car and drove as fast as I could to the hospital where he was laying one room away from where he’d been one month before. He was white as a ghost, very scared about what had occurred. A couple of hours later, my step-daughter Kim called to say her biological mom had died in Pittsburgh. Though her death was expected, it was still incredibly sad and I had prayed it wouldn’t have happened on this day. I thought to myself “Who do I console, my daughter who was terrified that both her parents would die on the same day in different states, or my husband who had that ‘oh no, not again’ look of terror on his face”? I tried to console both but had trouble finding the right words. Thankfully Tim was ok, and his scare was determined to have been caused by some of the many medicines he was taking. The medicines were changed and we moved on, but without rehab for the last few weeks he’s been unable to regain much of his strength. I supported Kim as best I could via phone and texts, but of course wish I could have done more.
Just as I was coming around from the trauma of all that a co-worker died at work a few days later on December 3rd. We were worried that he was missing when he didn’t show up for a meeting, but he was actually dead on the floor behind his desk where it’s estimated he had laid for more than 12 hours before being discovered. His death shook me to my core for several reasons. He was one of only four people in my group so I knew him well, at age 57 when he passed is the exact age I am now, AND that he died alone at work. How many people think about dying at work when they think about their last day on this earth? Not many I’m guessing. They immediately brought grief counselors onsite, and for the first time in my life I attended grief counseling. I felt frozen somehow, like I couldn’t move forward.
During this same week, I saw my Mom twice and both times sunk me to deeper despair. She seemed reluctant to take even a few steps, as if she was afraid and when I did eventually get her outside to my car, she had forgotten how to sit. Literally!!! How do you explain how to sit?? I was at a loss for words but did my best demonstrating for her how to sit in a car. Tears rolled down my face as I tackled that situation, as this level of decline in my Mom seemed to have appeared overnight.
Finally, almost two weeks later I’m starting to find my voice again but until today I haven’t had anything close to what I’d call the Christmas spirit! It helped tremendously that Kendal’s birthday is December 14th and I tried to focus on her. My co-worker’s funeral was this past Friday but I just couldn’t bring myself to go. Instead I said my goodbyes at my church’s small chapel this past Sunday. One comforting thing we learned last week was that he had died right away and hadn’t laid on the floor for 12 hours unable to call for help as many of us had thought.
There’s been lots of good stuff over the past ten days to help me find my voice, including the funny saga of the doll I brought for Kendal’s birthday touring the country via the Post Office, the loads of fun that Tim and I have had cooking fresh meals together from Blue Apron, that Tim and I were able to go to church together a week ago and of course attending Kendal’s cupcake decorating birthday party.
Both Kim and Tim seem to be doing ok, and thankfully he starts cardiac rehab again this coming Monday. I’m seeing my Mom tomorrow on Christmas Eve, taking her to see her granddaughter and great grandkids none of whom she’ll know or remember. I’m praying that whatever state she’s in, we will be able to hold on to whatever memories we make during our time together. Mom always made sure we had a great Christmas and I’m determined to do that for her, regardless of the fact that she won’t remember it.
I’m not quite my usual Spunky self yet, and I still feel like I’m waiting for that other shoe to drop, but I’ve found enough of my voice to say that I’m ready to feel and share some joy! May we all lift up our voices and sing with love our thanks for all that we are and all that we have, hopefully sharing our abundance with those less fortunate than ourselves.