Yesterday was one of those days.
One of those days that I look back on and wonder why I chose to squander it away feeling sorry for myself.
Because really…it was a decision to be miserable. Sitting on my couch, steeped in sour feelings, I could hardly manage to smile when a smile was called for. My legs felt like lead, my head pounded with too many thoughts.
It isn’t that I do not have reason to be less than thrilled. Is it a good reason though, to waste an entire day feeling hopeless? Helpless?
We are only a few days away from the foreclosure day on our home. We have rented here for 9 1/2 years. Yesterday, I spoke to a woman at the law office handling the foreclosure. She asked me how long we have been tenants…when I answered her…her reply was quick, uncensored and I took it personally…”You mean you have rented for 9 YEARS?” For a moment I was confused. I have always been proud that we are not flighty people, I was at my last job for nearly 13 years. Mark spent 13 years at UPS before moving on to freight brokering for nearly 7 years. We are solid…dependable…not a drop of “rambling man” in our blood.
But the way that she said it…”you have rented” was dripping with judgement…and I felt small. I felt poor. It brought back all of those stupid feelings I had so many years ago when I was more concerned with how my life was going to look on paper at age 30…we didn’t have a nice new home, we didn’t have nice new-er cars, we couldn’t afford vacations….I worked in the mall. Ack, what a brat I was…so unaware of the good that I had in my life..focusing instead of the things that I did not have.
I was there again.
About to be kicked out of a home that I have never missed a payment on. Facing a court issued eviction due to someone else’s mismanagement…I was only a renter… a tenant…”Dear Occupant” the letters come addressed in regards to the foreclosure.
We are so far away from owning a home. We don’t even have jobs. We have two vehicles that are both broken. I have to borrow a car just to get my baby to John’s Hopkins. We can’t afford cable, newspapers, Thanksgiving dinner…I lamented the entire day.
I was discouraged.
I needed encouraged.
I knew where to look yet didn’t.
Everything I did around the house reminded me of the suck that my life had become. The coffeepot was leaking. The dryer was taking two cycles to dry the stupid towels. The 2-year old television in Connor’s room…the sanity saver that it was…it at least could play a VHS tape for Corrigan when I needed a ten minute break…it just quit working yesterday…further proof, I thought, of how ghetto my life was.
Another shut-off notice in the mail…the rain, it always does, caused the damp odor from the basement to slowly sneak out from under the basement door and all day long I nearly cried that my house smelled. Well, hell…why not? Why shouldn’t my house smell like moldy basement and cat pee.
That is pretty much the perfume of my life right now.
…and I sat in that foul mood all day. I could have changed it in very little time. I am not unfamiliar with “looking on the bright side”…in fact, I think that most people will tell you that I am pretty proficient at it…but yesterday, I couldn’t find even the faintest light of that bright side. Not even a peek.
Then, as the night wore on and bedtime neared I heard the sound of panic in Connor’s voice. From my pity-party on the couch I heard, “MOM! COME!” and I knew that he was scared and as I ran down the hall and into his room I saw the floor. Corrigan had thrown up. Whether from some horrible sneaky ammonia or from the little fingers that he keeps jamming down his throat because his teeth hurt so badly I did not know. But in one moment everything changed.
We spend a lot of time second-guessing ourselves in regards to Corrigan. When he stares off into space we worry that he is autistic…or that he is exhibiting the “autistic-like” symptoms that high ammonias can cause UCD’s kid’s brains. He is not talking yet, is he brain damaged? He can’t hold a spoon yet, is it proof? He won’t look me in the eye sometimes, in fact, he can go days without good, solid eye contact…what is wrong? He throws up, is he in crisis? Should we run to the hospital? Should we wait?
I looked at the clock and it was nearly his bedtime. As I wondered what I should do I looked at him and noticed that he was hitting the back of his head with his hands. He was unable to be consoled when Mark and I held him, passing him pitifully back and forth as he changed his mind on who he wanted to hold him nearly the moment the other person grabbed him. He seemed “off” and it was time to make a decision.
I could wait. I could put him to bed and if he was citru-sick…the ammonia would build and build as he slept…and the end result of that decision would be tragic. I could take him to the ER and it could be nothing, but what awful things would I be exposing him to for a hunch? This time, this night, Mark and I didn’t have to say anything. When he looked at me I knew we both felt the same way. There was little need for discussion. It was time to go.
So I packed him into the car and took him to the new hospital. I was scared. There would be a group of people unfamiliar with Corrigan and his disorder. I could not count on my usual “team” to be there, to know exactly what to do, heck, I didn’t even know where to park.
But Kaylene answered my call when I needed her. She was working when I needed her…and everything was handled perfectly when I walked through the doors. They were ready. They were prepared. We were blessed.
As we waited for the ammonia results, I sat on the brand new floor of that 3-day old ER room…pushing a car back and forth to Corrigan. We read books and he looked at me, in my eyes, as I read to him. He stood and walked over, running his fingers gently through my long hair and burying his face in it like a blanket. He jibber-jabbered, he played, he was so normal and I found myself smiling. All of the smiles that I had held in all day long came out as he played.
The results came back that everything was fine. His ammonia was 43. He was fine.
He had a low-grade fever. He had a bit of a tummy issue…he probably just has a silly little virus working on his system…and we are vigilant, increasing his calories a bit, giving him lots of fluids, keeping him on time with Motrin and watching him like a hawk. He is fine.
But sitting on that floor…the clock approaching 11pm…playing happily with a carefree toddler that just had a 1 inch needle jammed into his chest, who was just violated in one of his most personal places with a thermometer…a toddler that has gone through so much in his little life…that I was an idiot. I am an idiot. Currently, as I am typing, I am reeking of idiocy…because I am human. I am weak. I fail every single day in so many ways. I can never ever achieve perfection and that it is all okay.
Life is not as bad as I make it. I wasted an entire day feeling sorry for myself and disgusted with our situation and surrouded myself with worry and angst and NONE OF THAT MATTERS because my kids are safe. They are healthy and they are loved.
and we are WEALTHY in ways that impact my children spiritually and emotionally and I need to work harder, do better, to be a more positive mama. I need to be calm and uplifting and a rock that they can lean on. I need to let go of that whiny whiny brat that thinks that she needs certain things to be checked off on her life list in order to matter.
God needed to shake me loose from that negativity yesterday. He needed to show me what mattered.
What I have, right now, is all I need.