Friday, March 6, 2009

Bitter-Sweet Surprises

Unbeknownst to my children, tomorrow afternoon we are boarding a flight to Orlando destined for....you guessed it...Disney World. But this is not a simple story to tell, and certainly not one which rolls easily off my tongue. This is a bitter-sweet surprise, planned exclusively by my husband, until three days ago when I demanded to know what the heck was going on- and he confessed.

This has been a difficult twelve months for my family. In five weeks, it will have been a year since my life came crashing down on me and I sputtered out of control and into the hospital for nine days of hell. My husband was about to turn forty and as my gift to him, I had agreed to set aside money for us to go to Disney World, a place that he holds dear to his heart and one where he desperately wanted to return to and share with his kids. We'd spent months pouring over books and websites dedicated with extreme obsession, to the big ol' mouse, and we were very excited to be going away as a family. But after my fourth trip to the emergency room in three days, and with what appeared to be my impending inpatient admission, Tom reluctantly called Disney from a payphone in the waiting room to cancel our trip- just five days away at that point. We were both in tears, yet too scared from the events of the days leading up to that point to care about anything but my survival. They would not refund our money, which we'd spent on flights, accomodations, food, special shows, but they agreed to credit us most of what we'd incurred, should we choose to reschedule.

I am happy for my kids that we are finally going to be making the trip and I'm thrilled for my husband who has stood loyally by my side during this nightmare. They both deserve the days we will spend together, in silliness. But I cannot reach this point without thinking of the trauma of last spring (and summer), the suffering souls I befriended along the journey, and the unsung heroes who made living possible. I think of my roommate who cared for me in my most dire moments, brushing my hair and putting on my make-up to help me feel somewhat human in the most inhumane of circumstances. I think of my parents who lived with us for months on end to keep life going around here, of Wendy who called EVERYDAY, without fail, the payphone on my floor at the hospital- to be sure I was okay, and to let me know that I was loved, and to all of the friends and neighbors who kept my whole family afloat with meals, gifts, rides, playdates- you name it- they gave generously, on a daily basis, for more than one hundred days.

I will carry you all with me, in spirit, tomorrow, as my life comes full-circle and I am given a second chance where there appeared, at times, to be none. (I'll also be carrying my Klonopin as I am deathly afraid of flying). :)

1 comments:

kirsten said...

have a wonderful time!! i hope this is a blessing for you & your family. :o)

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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