It should be a rule that mothers can never get sick. Regardless of if you are a SAHM, solo Mom, single Mom, working mom, or none of those – Sick is bad. Recently, I survived a three week run with viral meningitis. It involved two nights in the hospital overnight, and one additional trip to the emergency room, and a bunch of time in bed. Hubs was in New Zealand for the month on a mission, and my family is across the country in NH (I am in WA), so I was left to my own to figure out how to get through this exhausting time. I have one answer: friendship.
When I started on my adventure with this virus, my mother-in-law Sharon was scheduled for a visit. She showed up, and I ended up crying due to fever and overwhelmed-ness within an hour. I felt bad, but Sharon stepped up. For the greater part of a week, she cared for my two kiddos while I was unable to do so. We tag-teamed them and took breaks to rest. It gave me just enough time to stay sane. Her support during days kept me out of the hospital, and my kids safe. She didn’t believe that she’d done anything special, and even apologized for not doing more. I can’t believe it because she was why that week was possible.
I have a lovely friend Rachel who decided to take me under her wing and sit with me at the ER three times in a week. Her hubs supported the mission by watching their three children while she sat with me for endless hours waiting in the hospital. Her humor made me laugh my way through an awful situation, and she made sure that the doctors had my best in mind when I was on morphine and couldn’t think for myself. She never complained when I said I needed more help. She never questioned it. She just showed up and did what she could to help. What a gift!
My friend Wendy saved the day by swooping in and rescuing my two kiddos. I cannot believe how wonderful this woman is to do such a thing. When the hospital recalled me (yes, I got a call after the night in the hospital stating that I had to come back in overnight due to some bad labs. Not a call anyone wants to receive. Ever.) I had no one to care for the kids. I called Wendy and texted her the address of my drop-in babysitter. Without any notice before hand, she came by my house for supplies (that I’d left in the garage because I was already admitted), picked up my kids, and kept the kids for two days. She never blinked when I dropped them without notice. She just picked up where I needed her, and made it possible for me to heal my body without worrying about the welfare of Boy and Girl.
Then there were the six moms from my MOPS crew that brought my family meals this week. Each one dropped off a complete meal (from salad to entree) and often included a gift of flowers or special dessert. Without those meals, it would have been so much harder to feed my family. I would have run out of groceries, and was in no condition to shop. I also would have worried about passing germs during preparation. I knew my nutrition needs, and those of my kids, were taken care of without my effort. These meals kept us alive that week.
Sometimes Thank You just doesn’t seem enough. Sometimes a gift of financial or material things seems like a poor response to the gift of support and friendship. I can never thank these ladies enough. I am truly blessed. While my family would have come in an instant if I’d asked, my local friends helped me to take care of myself without having to request that travel. Everyone called to check on me multiple times per day.
Maybe all of this happened to teach me to become more humble and ask for help when I need it. I’m not so great at this one, but in this instance I had no choice. Maybe it happened to show me how loved I am by my friends. Message received. I am a lucky girl. Maybe this happened to give me an appreciation for moving to Oklahoma where Hubs will be home on a much more regular basis than he has in the past six years. Had he been home, I wouldn’t have required the support of friends. Maybe it happened to show me that I should appreciate when Hubs picks up my slack. Maybe it happened so that I could learn to say thank you. Maybe it happened to show me that even when you’re sick, if you look out the window, sometimes the view is pretty nice. Maybe it happened so that I would slow down and realize where my priorities really should be. In any case, I have learned these lessons and also to say Thank You for the many blessings in my life.
After three weeks, I am 95% healed. I am trying to dig out of the mountain of laundry, untidy home, and mound of work for my business that I neglected for three weeks. Hubs comes home tomorrow. Soon, I will be all the way back on top of things. Hopefully, I will not lose sight of the lessons I learned while I was sick. Perhaps I will be able to be a friend to someone the way that the friends that saved me were to me this week. I hope so. Friends make life possible. Lessons learned.