Last year at this time, my husband was recovering from a near-death experience that required surgery and hospitalization, we had just buried my mother-in-law after she suffered a massive heart attack and stroke, and we were preparing for our son’s wedding – all while in the midst of a major kitchen remodel. So when I ran into a colleague last week and told her that I was looking forward to a relaxing, uneventful summer this year, I should have known to knock on wood.
One week ago today, my 19 year old son was riding in a golf cart that flipped over, causing him to fly out of it, and then the cart crash landed on his face. Two men had to lift it off of him, and then they rushed him to the nearest hospital. Current situation: His fractured jaw, nose, and orbitals are slowly healing. The swelling is going down, the midnight black eyes are fading to light black, and his nose is settling back into the middle of his face where it belongs. The pain is becoming bearable.
Deep breath. Sigh. He’s alive.
I went back to work after three days of caring for him, and then only because my mother, a recently retired nurse, came to stay with us to help out. She took him to his follow-up doctor appointment at the hospital clinic, made an appointment with a dental/face specialist, and called my insurance company, pretending to be me, to inquire about coverage.
Thank God for mothers.
At work, I was barely able to function, so utterly worn-out I felt from setting my alarm round the clock to give him his meds, and from worry. Therefore, I hardly paid attention when one of my co-workers pulled me aside and told me she wanted to sage the office. We have a brand new colleague who had pointed out to her that, in the short two weeks since she’d arrived on the scene, one co-worker had lost a close relative, another’s mother and sister were hospitalized within days of each other, and now my son. The new co-worker feared she was cursed, as a similar series of unfortunate events had occurred when she had just started her previous job.
“That has nothing to do with it,” I told my co-worker. “She wasn’t here last year when all the bad stuff happened.” This in reference to my husband and mother-in-law, a co-worker’s dad passing, and another’s grandmother passing – all this over a four week period.
“It’s those masks,” my co-worker said. “I think they’re evil. I get the creeps every time I walk into her office.”
Our new co-worker has been to 35 countries, which I’m quite impressed by, and her office is filled with unique items from her travels. I think the masks are from Africa, but I can’t remember for sure.
“The masks aren’t evil,” I said.
She appeared doubtful. “I want to sage anyway.”
“Won’t the sprinklers go off if there’s smoke?”
She shrugged, leaving me to wonder if I was living in an alternate reality, one where evil curses and masks exist.
Superstitions aside, this past week has made me pause and see how much I have to be thankful for.
I am very thankful for my job, which provides my family with excellent health insurance coverage. God knows we’ve needed it over the past year.
I am thankful for my boss, who understands that family comes first. In a situation like this, she doesn’t hesitate to show her support and reassure me that I can take as much time as I need.
I am thankful for my mother, and especially for her recent retirement. Not only was she a huge help during this crisis, she was recently able to help out my brother and sister-in-law for almost two weeks after the birth of their second child.
What I am most thankful for is that my son is alive. He’s not in a vegetative state, and he appears to be healing.
It can be difficult to see the blessings in the midst of crisis and hardship, but if you look hard enough, they are there, in abundance.
Still, to be on the safe side, I plan to sage my house this week.
I leave you with this throwback video of Stevie Wonder playing Superstition, the song that was playing through my mind as I wrote this. I dare you not to dance!