Friday, October 21, 2005

Near Death Experience

Actually, I just felt like I was dying. I did survive, however, and am nearly fully recovered.

It started fairly innocuously. I was surfing the web on Tuesday evening, reading news while my 2 wonderful teenaged kids were cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. I started getting a little headache, which I mostly ignored since I suffer from frequent headaches. Then my back started hurting and my other joints started aching--all in the space of about 30 minutes. I retired to a more comfortable chair, wrapped up in a blanket, and started shaking. I had a serious case of chills and I was throbbing with pain all over.

The kids finished cleaning and came into the family room and stared at me. Through chattering teeth I asked for some ibuprofen and something to take it with. By then I had to move to a reclining position on the couch. My daughter fetched me some pillows and another blanket to help me warm up. They put on a movie to help distract me from my discomfort. About half way into the movie the ibuprofen kicked in, my aches eased, and the chills did a reverse course. I had to throw off all the blankets because I was burning up.

That was the story of my life for the next two days. My kids took care of me since my hubby was away on travel, plying me with gatorade to keep me hydrated and feeding me ibuprofen every 4 hours. They took such good care of me and asked many times what they could do for me. They never hestitated or complained when I made a request; they willingly and lovingly ministered to me.

I haven't been that sick in over 8 years and I had forgotten how awful it is to feel so wretched. And that is why I am glad I got ill--because I had forgotten. I needed that episode to remind me how terrible it is to feel that way. I needed it to help me empathize when my family and friends are ill. Some people have a natural capacity for empathy but I am not one of those. Now I can be a little better wife/mom/daughter/friend to those around me when one of them is sick.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the Great Empathizer. He does much more, however, than understand us. He brings comfort, hope, healing, peace, and often divine intervention in the most unexpected ways. It is great to have a family member or good friend to empathize with our weaknesses or sorrows. It is infinitely better to have a Saviour who can do something about whatever ails us.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I've been on vacation--NOT

So it's been almost 6 months since I've last blogged. I've been busy. Now that everyone who knows about my blog has quit reading it since I haven't written for so long I think I'll start posting again.

We sent our oldest daughter, C, off to college 7 weeks ago. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. My grief started about 2 weeks before she left. Up until that time I was in denial that she was going anywhere. But when she started packing (and repacking) her clothes and belongings it hit me hard. It didn't help that my hubby was out of town a good part of the summer and most of the last 2 weeks before she left. My 3 best girlfriends were also out of town on vacations. I felt like a leaf twirling in the wind with no place to land for a good cry on a sympathetic shoulder. I know, it's a mixed up metaphor but you get the picture.

Her college is 550 miles away so I planned for us to take 2 days to get there. We drove 2/3 of the way the first day, checked into a motel, ate at a disgusting looking greasy spoon, watched a movie together. I cried myself to sleep. The next day we arrived at the college campus early, got her checked in and moved in. They had a very lovely convocation service for the freshmen and their parents. Then while the freshmen met with their advisors we went to a dinner with all the other parents--some of which were grieving like me and some of which seemed quite happy to be rid of their dear son or daughter. Actually, I'm grateful I have the kind of daughter that it is so sorrowful to see leave home.

For the first 4 weeks (yes, it was really 4 weeks) I cried every day. If anyone mentioned her name to me or asked how she was doing I cried. It was getting ridiculous and I was starting to wish I had some drugs. My other 2 children were getting worried about me. My mother was worried about me. I was worried about me. I don't know if my husband was worried but he let me cry on his shoulder a lot. He was sad to see her go, too, but you know how men can kind of put their emotions on a shelf. I, on the other hand, sometimes wear my emotions on my sleeve.

My father used to scold me for wearing my heart on my sleeve. That was when I was much younger. I never understood what he meant at the time. Now I don't post my feelings so plainly and much prefer it that way. But these feelings of sadness had a mind of their own and I could not control them.

One day in church I asked God to heal my broken heart and He inclined His ear to me and heard my prayer. I won't go into the details but something happened that day and I'm okay now. I don't know why I waited so long to call on Him for help. I guess I thought I could handle it on my own. I could not.

The four of us (hubby, son, youngest daughter, me) are going to visit oldest daughter this weekend for Parents Weekend. We are all looking forward to seeing her. I wonder if she's changed much.