Well… here we are. It’s Fall. Where 2020 has gone, I’m not sure- but I’m hoping that with the end of this year, we’re gearing up for something better in 2021.
I’ve been quiet. There’s a lot to unpack. I’m not even going to try. I’m probably going to forget some things, that reason will be explained, too…
It started with a pandemic. We all shut ourselves into our homes. We brought work, school, home, relationships, childcare… all of it got shoved together under one roof. We did our best. We’re still doing our best.
Then everything started to shift under our roof. My career changed and I became a full-time stay at home mom. We had some tough conversations and decided that it was best for our family to stay home. I loved my job, so this was a bittersweet change for me.
What an adjustment.
While this always has been, and still is, my dream… it certainly isn’t easy. In fact, I’d argue that it’s easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But that’s for a different time.
First I made the shift to being a stay at home mom. Then, the world shut down in March. I remember conversations with Dan that it seemed silly. We were planning our first family vacation- to Disney. And I was disappointed. Looking back at my disappointment now, it’s hilarious that I was so upset about something so trivial.
Dan packed up his office and we cleared out our downstairs for his new office. I joke that I wrote a lot of things into my vows when we got married… self isolating for months with Dan and a 10 month old baby… wasn’t in the cards.
I hesitate to write about all the things that “happened” during this time… because looking back, everything seems so trivial compared to what we’re currently living.
Then, I lost one of my first pets, a bearded dragon. I won’t go into details- but she was a rescue and held a big part of my heart. Before I had dogs or cats or Dan or a baby, I had her. She had been a part of my life for 9 years and I still miss her dearly. Just this week as I was cutting up veggies for dinner, I saved some aside for her without thinking.
The snow melted and we started spending more time outside. Spring was a total blessing. Summer happened. We got some projects done around the house. We spent a lot of time together doing silly things. Making big deals out of small things, trying to make home a happy place. I set up Harper’s little inflatable pool and our lawn chairs and drinks and snacks for Memorial Day- something that we usually don’t go all out for. I tried my best to make special moments in ordinary life.
After a couple weeks of cleaning a lot of pee, our dog was diagnosed with diabetes. We adapted to scheduled meals, insulin twice a day, no more treats. We had to adjust his dose a couple times, clean up more leaky pee. I never thought I’d be able to deal with injections. Especially not daily… but, when you need to, you find a way.
For my first Mother’s Day, Dan set up an at home retreat for me. My day started with “Fireside Yoga” (a yoga mat, Youtube yoga sesh next to our wood stove) followed by breakfast, cards and some time alone to do some crafting. It was a very special day.
We had socially distant outside visits with grandparents. We FaceTimed and Zoom called with friends. We cried, we laughed, we had a few drinks, we missed our people dearly. We did, and still continue to do, our best.
We had the grandparents and great grandparents over for a socially distanced Moana themed first birthday party. It wasn’t what I’ve envisioned or planned, but it worked. We got to celebrate with our closest family. We took lots of pictures, we ate good food, we stayed apart while being together. Our families have been incredible. All staying safe so that we could keep them in our quarantine bubble.
My parents bought a camp. So we were able to have what felt like little pockets of freedom and normalcy with our approved quarantine bubble members. We spent time outside, near the water, we had campfires, we went swimming, we napped in hammocks. Again, we did our best.
Amidst all this, we educated ourselves on the election and racism. We talked about our privilege and how to raise our daughter in this world. We set a game plan for how to raise our girl to be kind, to be smart, to be accepting, to stand up for her peers, to be inclusive. I made sure our toys, our books, our baby dolls are diverse and represent all races, families, genders, beliefs.
Then, at the end of the summer, just as some of our world was starting to fall back into place- Harper learned to walk, Dan got ready to go back to work, we were afforded some of our “normal” life. Take out from our favorite restaurants, more distanced family outings, safe visits with safe friends. …Then, our whole little world came to a screeching halt.
I had been up since 4:00 am with Harper, had a crappy breakfast, a couple coffees. It was a Sunday and we had been at camp. We got home around lunch time, I was going to go grocery shopping solo for the week and come home and have lunch. While at the grocery store, I collapsed and had a seizure.
I don’t remember much of that afternoon, or the next couple days. I remember as I got to the bread aisle, that I got an aura, and thought it was a migraine or a panic attack coming on. I looked at my list and told myself, “Just two more things and then you’re done.”
The next thing I remember is being in a hospital bed, asking for Dan.
I don’t remember collapsing. I don’t remember having a seizure. I remember being scared and confused. I remember wanting Dan and Harper by my side.
I’ve been told the rest of the story from others. Witnesses said I collapsed and hit my head on the ground and starting having a grand mal seizure. Someone yelled to call 911. A woman in the next aisle- a former EMT and medic- came over to help. She put a sweatshirt under my head, checked my wallet for my ID, had someone yell out my name to see if anyone was with me or knew me. A college friend was also grocery shopping- she called one of our mutual friends to call Dan. Dan dropped our daughter at our neighbors house and rushed to the grocery store.
I don’t remember him getting there as they were lifting the stretcher. I don’t remember what aisle I was in. I don’t remember the ambulance or the ride or getting to the hospital. I’m told I was confused. I kept asking Dan if my mom was on her way to get Harper.
Since that day, I’ve had a CT scan, MRI, EEG, neurologist appointments and an ambulatory EEG. I’m on medications. I’m not allowed to drive. Dan is back at work and I am home alone all day with Harper. I feel helpless. Physically I feel fine. I’ve had a couple “off” days, but for the most part, I feel completely fine. We’re still waiting on a diagnosis.
I’m doing my best.
To take better care of myself. To maintain a sense of “normal.” To not break down and get frustrated. To do what I can and be kind to myself when I can’t. To find the silver lining, always. To be kind to others. To be informed on current events, and to do my part to make the world a better place.
Thank you for being patient, and for sticking with me. My biggest takeaway is having grace when things don’t go to plan. Grace for yourself, for others. This entire Lukewarm Coffee journey, didn’t go as expected. No mama meet ups, no sipping coffee and wiping tears of laughter in coffee shops, no lettering our littles run around as we built our own village. But here we are, doing our best.