All in all, 2015 wasn't a bad year.
Most of the year went along as they do, work too much, relax too little, time passes far too quickly as it is known to do once you are over 40 (ok, 50...whatever!).
I learned a few lessons this year.
- Stop trying to do so much all at once. Multitasking doesn't help anyone, least of all me.
- Unplug. There is something to be said for doing something that doesn't include a switch or require electricity. I found my greatest relaxation without a screen.
- Learn to say no/Learn not to jump in to take every task on. This one is tough. You see, I think I am Superwoman and can do everything for everyone. Can't say this one was 100% successful...but I am working on it.
- Love and appreciate the people who matter most. I generally do this, but this lesson was thrust upon me with a very strong reminder at the end of 2015. Let me explain....
December 11th 2015, I was awakened by a telephone call around 2:20 AM. I saw the number was my parents' and knew it couldn't be good- they should be sleeping. I didn't say "hello", I answered with "WHAT'S WRONG?" Obviously something was wrong.
I heard my mother's breathless voice on the other end of the phone "I think Herb's had a stroke, the ambulance is coming".
This began a night/day that was more horrible and wonderful than I could ever have imagined even if someone tried to describe it to me.
For anyone who doesn't know me well enough, Herb is my step-dad. He is a wonderful and caring man who looks like Santa Claus and is the love of my mother's life.
He is also my father in most every way. I do have a father, who I love, but make no mistake- Herb is my father as well. I love him as if he were my biological dad. He gave me a new family of sisters and a brother who I love as if we grew up together. We are family in every way.
Back to that day....
We essentially lost him that day. His heart decided to forget how to beat on its own, suddenly and unexpectedly. He didn't have a heart attack, it just stopped working. If not for some very skilled paramedics and ER doctors- this post would be a very different one. I am forever grateful to each of them.
The horror of the day was hearing the team trying to regain his heartbeat when it stopped in the ER. We listened outside the curtain for 10 minutes as they worked to bring him back, with each minute feeling more sure it wouldn't happen. But they did. Angels were sitting on their shoulders that day.
The wonderful moments came later that day, when he came around and they took him off the ventilator- hearing his first words and knowing that he was still in there . Seeing him move and hearing him speak were the most wonderfully unexpected moments- how could someone who had been down for 10 minutes be so intact? Angels, I tell you.
We call him our Christmas Miracle. No better gift for Christmas this year.
Hug those you love, keep them close. Life changes in the blink of an eye.