One Saturday night back in February, I ended up rushed to the ER and hospitalized after having severe pain in my chest and upper back. Fortunately, it was only my gall bladder ~ but the ordeal left me terrified of another attack. After meeting with a surgeon it was decided that the best option was surgery to remove it.
As the calendar crept closer to the date it was scheduled, I found myself in constant reflection about this life I live. The thought of going under anesthesia is daunting. Knowing that you're leaving your life in the hands of physicians and nurses you have only met a handful of times, if at all, is nerve wracking. Looking around me at this existence I have built and knowing that there is a fraction of a chance it could all be gone in a flash is terrifying.
Mortality is fragile.
And the moments in which we are reminded of that are powerful.
I found my senses heightened and my awareness of the very miniscule elevated. I felt like I was noticing every little thing around me. My thoughts were constantly reeling about the past, the future and the legacy I have created in almost 40 years of living. The majority of my thoughts revolved around my husband, my children and our life together. But my circle expands beyond them to the tightknit bonds I have with my extended family. I have amazing relationships with my siblings. We are more than relations, we are truly the best of friends.
I was lucky to have my two nieces spend the night this past weekend while my baby brother and sister in law were at a wedding. This night meant more to me than any old sleepover could have. The baby fell asleep in my arms and I sat there for hours feeling her breath rise and fall and listening to her sweet sleeping sounds. As we settled down to sleep later on that evening, my 3 year old niece snuggled up and told me she loved me. To be a part of these little lives is an amazing gift that I have been given.
It was a joy to wake to their smiling faces and some giddy Saturday morning antics. I couldn't help but feel a little melancholy as I prayed for these moments to never be taken from me.
I had my surgery Monday morning. My mother came to NJ over the weekend and stayed at my house with my kids. I woke up from the anesthesia to my husband and my father sitting there together waiting patiently for me. I spent the afternoon sleeping off and on, groggy and tired waking up occasionally to my own sweet angel cuddled up next to me, relieved I was home and content to just be by my side.
Even in the haze of anesthesia and pain medication, I thought:
"What a beautiful life I have been given."
One that I hope I never take for granted.