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Some days it’s all about perspective

standard January 31, 2009 7 responses
I woke up to an email from an editor saying that the publication for which I was writing my first print article was going on an extended hiatus. For a year or so. She said this in reply to an email sent by me the night before, letting her know that I was on track for my Monday deadline. I salvaged the situation as best as possible, but to say that I was disappointed would be the understatement of the year.

I checked the rest of my email and found out that a dear friend’s new baby is terribly colicky. She’s going insane what with the no sleep and non stop screaming. Right then my disappointment seemed petty.

I checked some more email and learned that somewhere in the blogosphere two parents brought home their 2 year old daughter so they could watch her die. Her cancer has become so aggressive treatment isn’t an option. What’s a missed writing opportunity in comparison to the death of a child?

I hugged my children close and took them to school and daycare. Then I sat down to salvage my day. I sent emails and worked on some projects. Then I answered a call from my husband. He was delirious, hardly making any sense. He sounded like he was crying and laughing at the same time. He’d thought he was better from his flu and had gone to work. He was on his way back home, freaked out by the incessant chills.

I dropped everything, rushed to pick C up from school so I could take her to daycare early. I hurried home to see what was wrong with M. I found him shaking in bed, burning up, lethargic, completely out of sorts. One frantic phone call later to his sister, our internist, and we were in the car headed to see her. Shortly after that we were headed to a nearby radiology office, script for lung x-rays in hand. We didn’t learn until later that he didn’t have pneumonia, just a terrible case of the flu.

I took him home and put him to bed, I went out to get his meds, and then I sat on the couch to try to get a tiny bit of work done before going to collect the girls. Unfortunately, I was too riled up from my pharmacy trip to get anything worthwhile done.

It was a long and very frustrating day. It was filled with disappointment, sadness, fear, and frustration. The kids sensed all this and were extra challenging tonight. In fact, it’s 11pm and for some reason Little L won’t sleep. Instead she just keeps crying and fussing.

But I just learned that that little girl passed away today. So I’m going to take my tear stained face and go cuddle gratefully in bed with my grumpy daughter and sick husband, because even though I had a truly terrible day, I know it could have been so very much worse.

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7 responses

  • It’s so hard to realize how lucky we are and so scary to think about how easily things could change for any one of us. I definitely try to keep perspective every day. You’ll get another opportunity to be published in print, I know!

  • Life is so fragile. We need to appreciate what we have.

  • I just cried last night when I heard that Tuesday had passed away.

    It truly does put everything in perspective.

  • It seems perspective is a gift as well a curse to some people. Even though I’m still disappointed about your publication. Another opportunity will indeed come along because of your perspective on life.

  • Bless your heart. I hope today was better. And thank you for the reminder about perspective–it’s a tough lesson sometimes.

  • Anonymous

    You know, Rose, all the comments by your readers are true. Somewhere in my past, I was told that good times don’t last forever. But I also remember that bad times can’t last forever either. Not more than a month ago, I finished writing the family newsletter, covering the comings and goings of our family’s 2008 year. To most people, it looks and feels like another boring newsletter. But to my wife, it was an important priority, a signature statement of her sense of duty and priority. And for once in my life, I never thought twice about procrastinating further. The newsletter is done and it will rank as the most important thing I ever accomplished in my life. You see, my wife of almost 30 years is slowly succumbing to terminal cancer. And I pray, every night, that this will not be my last newsletter for her. So Rose, keep your chin up. Brush aside the bad days. For all the pain, sorrow and adversity that surrounds us, God has assured us of greater hope and happiness than we could ever imagine. Stay strong. In the words of an author, “You are far bigger than anything that could ever possibly happen to you.” I know you will prevail, because God told me so when I prayed for you and your family tonight.

  • As the mom of the colicky baby, your post and visiting that blog puts a lot in perspective for me too. It is hard when you are so in the thick of unpleasantness to count your blessings and live in the day, so thank you. I am glad M is on the mend!

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