Everyone has a small fear, tucked away inside, that one day the sheriff will drive up to your house and knock on your door. And they will ask, “Are you Betty Smith? Mother of John Smith?” Waiting with fear for them to say, “I am sorry, but there was an accident…”
Or, what about a phone call, from the hospital, telling you that you need to come right away, that your husband has been brought in an ambulance, and they won’t tell you anything else. That ride to the hospital is the longest ride.
At these kind of moments, everything in life stops. Nothing else is important. Not the weather, not who won the ballgame. Not even the matter of being unemployed or mad at your mother-in-law. Not even a house being foreclosed. The world comes to a stop until you know what has happened to your loved one.
I had a moment such as this.
In November, 2008, I got a phone call from my husband, but he sounded horrible. He said he was at the emergency room and could I come right away. He did not have his cell phone and could not talk long, and I was 45 minutes away. I had been shopping for furniture for my young adult daughter who was getting her own place. None of that mattered at that point.
I called my 17 year old son, who was much closer to the hospital and told him to rush and get there to be with his dad. This same son I had told 2 nights before that I was tired of his games, drugs and lies and he would have to move out if he didn’t straighten up. But none of that mattered at that point.
When I got the hospital, I was told there was bleeding in his brain and that they were going to take him in an ambulance to the city hospital 45 minutes away. I rushed home and threw an odd smattering of clothes and toiletries in a bag for he and I. That was so unimportant to me at that point, I am not even sure I knew what I was grabbing.
I drove to the hospital in the city, hoping to get some answers as to what was going on. And I had another moment where nothing else matters. The moment when they use the words brain aneurysm.
WAIT. People die from brain aneurysms. And I could hardly breathe.
They tell me that he is lucky. That he is stable. They have to watch him, keep him medicated to keep from having a stroke or a repeat aneurysm (happens 50% of the time with 7 days). That they will be drilling a hole in his skull to relieve the pressure. They tell me that we will be in ICU for 14 days in the hospital for at least 21 days.
It was November 30 and I had only bought 2 Christmas presents. But none of that mattered.
This is all that mattered. My husband survived a brain aneurysm with no lasting effects.
If you are struggling in life, it is moments like these that help you to remember what TRULY matters. I pray that during this holiday season, you will remember what REALLY MATTERS.
Thanks for reading about our story. I always get super sentimental around his aneurysm anniversary. If you want to read a different version of this personal story, read My special season of Thanksgiving