Shift

Shifts can be huge seismic shifts, where things rip apart and seem to upend the world. Or they can be almost imperceptible shifts, where nothing is readily apparent but things simply shift a quarter of a degree to a different path. Sometimes, a shift happens in the form of a phone call at 5AM, with words that will seem to stop the earth’s rotation- “Your daughter is in ICU. You need to come.”
And just like that, I have a before and after. Before the phone call and after. Before the phone call three weeks and fifteen hours ago, I was sleeping like a babe, with nothing more on my mind than taking Belle to the dog park and remembering to pay my toll bill. And after the phone call, bills and “grownup stuff” all fades into the distance, as I wonder if anything will ever be okay in the world, if my grownup baby girl will open her eyes again.
Two hours of driving, all sorts of questions in my head with no answers. I arrived at the hospital and raced to the ICU. Stepping into her room, seeing how tiny she looked in a sea of white sheets, tubes, and wires, with whirring machines keeping her alive, I felt my world flip upside down. It continued to flip as I held her hand through the hours, as neurologists and pulmonologists came and went. Her father and his girlfriend sat on the other side of the bed, and we didn’t let go of her for hours, as much for ourselves as for her. When night came, and they went home to get some rest and be with our son, I stayed. Holding her hand, unable to find words except for a prayer a dear friend had sent to me, and just willing her to stay with us.
This went on, and somehow the world continued to rotate on its axis as it has always done, even as my world felt so topsy turvy. Tubes came out, machines turned off, she woke up, not like Sleeping Beauty, but more like a pissed off newborn, wondering why everything was so loud and bright, why her body hurt so badly, and why we were all staring at her.
Now,  a few weeks later, the shift probably seems like nothing to others. She has a long hard journey in front of her, but she is the strongest person I know, so she can do it. And I have this shift. Everything looks the same on the surface, but everything is actually so different. Money and bills and career advancement, tax write-offs and to-do lists seem like they belong to someone else. All I want to do is soak people up. I want to grab onto the people I love and just tell them- I don’t want to waste one more second on the unimportant stuff that clogs up our everyday life. I want every person I love to know how loved they are, and I want to spend less time working and more time connecting. I have to balance this with going back to work, doing the necessary stuff without drowning in it. Every day is a little more of a shift, little earthquakes that shape both me and my girl.

Peace and love and seismic shifts, buttercups. xx

Comments

  1. Oh my God I could've written this, except my details are different. Love you. So glad to walk the Earth beside you, even from far away.

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    1. I know you could. Parenting is hard and shattering and breathtaking, isn't it. You and your monkey are in my thoughts <3

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  2. This made me cry, I felt all the worry, and fear. Peace and love back at you with those little seismic shifts.

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    1. Love to you. Thank you. Gus puppy kisses would help me out. Hint. Hint.

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  3. I didn't know. I'm so sorry. She's going to be OK?
    What do you need? If you want to sit around in pajamas and talk, I can come over in my pajamas and I have ears. If you need dogs walked, I know how to do that, too.
    I'd offer to cook for you but I don't think that would actually help.

    Unrelated, I'm now singing https://youtu.be/LC_3I34I8CA in my head now.

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    1. Thank you for ALL of the above. I might take the sitting around in pajamas part soon. I'm not eating much these days, except in Texas where you must eat all the food. I have Tori Amos on my Spotify on a regular basis :)

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