The last time I updated my blog was on Saturday.
Here's a brief recap of what has happened since that time...
Sunday, I received a phone call from my mother, that my sister, Janet, was in the hospital. Apparently, she had been having chest pains for several days, and finally went to the ER on Saturday night. While she was there, being checked out for a possible heart attack, she was administered nitroglycerin. Within 30 seconds, she went in to full cardiac arrest. Her heart stopped beating, the nurse called a Code Blue, and she required resuscitation. It was later determined that her blood pressure was very low and she didn't have a heart attack, but rather, a case of pericarditis. As of this writing, my sister is thankfully, on the mend. When I spoke with her earlier this week, I told her, "Janet! JANET! Don't you dare go to the light!" At 52-years old, she is much too young.
Monday, one of my children, after having just taken a bite out of her dinner, was immediately sent to bed at 5:45 PM because it was disclosed that she poked her brother in the nose with a stick. This is the same child that poked her sister in the nose with a stick, last month. The same child that has been told countless times, "DO NOT PLAY WITH STICKS!" but does not seem to hear the words, or prefers to ignore the words, or just likes seeing her mother turn 50 shades of red because that mother is genuinely afraid that her children are going to gouge out an eye playing with sticks. Once I went to bed, I lay awake for hours, envisioning my children impaling themselves (or each other) and wondering what I could do to impress upon them the severity of this? Also, I tossed and turned while fondly remembering the days when my trio were helpless infants that laid on the floor and didn't move. Or fight. Or talk back.
Lucky for them, they're still adorable.
Tuesday, I was up at 5:00 AM in preparation for a driver who was set to arrive at my door at 5:30 AM to cart me to the airport so I could fly to Boston for a meeting. I was up on time. The driver arrived on time. I was at the airport three hours before my plane was scheduled to depart. While I appreciate getting to my gate with ample time to spare, I would have much preferred having an additional hour and a half to sleep. That night, I went out to dinner with three of my co-workers who happen to be working mothers. It was the first time, since this move, that I've spent some quality time talking with moms who work, about the challenges of balancing family and career. (They too wonder, "What IS the right thing?" I'm not alone!!) We drank two bottles of wine, ate an exorbitant amount of chocolate, and talked for hours. It was better than therapy.
Wednesday, I took a taxi from my meeting to my brother-in-law's office. The taxi drive was very scary and my life flashed before my eyes, countless times. My brother-in-law left work two hours early so I could see my sister, whom I haven't seen in over two years. What I didn't realize, until I was sitting in the passenger seat, praying the Rosary, is that my brother-in-law was once a Boston Taxi driver. That night, I saw my sister, my nephew and my father. It was so wonderful to see everyone. Considering my father was extremely frail last year and we were genuinely afraid we were going to lose him, the fact that he now has a belly that jiggles like a bowl full of jelly brings me great joy. In my opinion, his remarkable recovery and continually improving health is due in large part to my sister Beth and her husband, Michael. You guys are amazing and I'm very thankful for you both. I'm also thankful for seat belts and airbags. Fortunately, I didn't require either, but it's always good to know that they're there.
Thursday, I went to bed at 3:00 AM because my sister Beth and I hadn't seen each other in over two years and we had a lot of catching up to do about such topics as the recent sale of my father's home. I was up at 5:30 AM when my alarm went off to get me up for my 10:00 AM flight back to Virginia. I lay in bed, for the next 30 minutes, staring at the bottom of my nephew's top bunk, while debating if it would have just been easier to STAY AWAKE, then go to sleep for two and a half hours. Once I arrived home, I cranked out several hours worth of work, and the rest of the day was spent in a stupor of sleep exhaustion while cuddling children and debating if the brown I repainted our red dining room (Sunday night) was an acceptable color, or if I should re-paint it a third time.
Friday, I am supposed to be at the Washington Nationals Stadium, at 6:00 AM, to partake in the Susan G. Komen 3Day breast cancer walk. "Supposed to be" is the operative phrase, because it feels like I could lay down and sleep until Christmas. While it is entirely possible that I won't have it in me to complete the entire walk, I would like to take a moment to profusely thank all of the people who so generously donated and enabled me to reach my fundraising goal. I'd especially like to thank Stephanie A., who donated three weeks ago, and then, went back and checked my balance and donated a second time, to bring me up to my minimum.
Your generosity astounds me.
Now for all of yous ... please go do a breast exam and make sure that you are getting checked by your physician, at least annually. October is breast cancer awareness month, and while seas of pink can bring a smile to the face, and it's great to see professional football players accenting their uniforms with pink on the field, the truth is sobering.
It is estimated that breast cancer will be diagnosed in approximately 192,370 women and 1,910 men in the United States alone, this year. While the survival rates have improved dramatically over the past few years, it is still projected that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with the disease, and 1 in 35 will die.
It's not pretty.
But all of you are.
And I'd really like it if you stuck around.