Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Small Miracles

Heavy, heavy sigh...

Have you ever felt like you were dodging bullet after bullet? Like you were living on the edge of constant catastrophe, and yet you could feel a strange force behind you, stopping you from tumbling into the abyss? Ok, maybe a little dramatic, but that's how I've been feeling lately. The last few weeks just seem to have been riddled with one harsh reality after another. And I have been worried, worried, worried. And it does not help that I tend to over-worry when there's NOTHING to worry about in the first place. (like that time that was my entire senior year of high school, when I never slept, because I would lay awake at night worrying about what would happen to Mom if Dad ever died??) Throw some ACTUAL stuff in my direction, and the worry mode goes into extreme overload.

This has been even more true of the last few days. Emma has been working on her two year molars (her last two teeth have cut through! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!) and was getting up in the middle of the night. Friday at 3 am, she was up again, and Mike, being the good guy that he is, told me to stay put and that he'd get up with her, get her some medicine, and get her back to bed. So I laid back down and closed my eyes, only to hear Mike and Emma screaming as they fell down the entire flight of stairs. I jumped out of bed to find them in a crumpled heap at the bottom.

Fast forward, and Emma very suddenly began showing signs of a cold on Monday. What was minor on Monday very quickly turned into, what seemed to me, a very bad cold. I've been worried enough about how she'll deal when the new baby comes, and the last thing I want is for her to be sick when we bring the new baby home. I don't want to have to keep them separated, nor do I want Emma to feel rejected if she can't come near the baby. So I took her to the doctor to find that she has double ear infections and bronchitis.

Fast forward to just about 2.5 hours ago, and Emma and I were driving on 81S, going about 60mph in the right hand lane, when a car came up behind us in the left lane, and decided to merge into the right lane before it had completely passed us. Its rear bumper was in line with my sideview mirror. I had to lay on the horn, slam on the brakes, and swerve all over the road, nearly hitting a guard rail and two other cars in the process, to avoid being hit by her. The other driver didn't even flinch, just kept on coming.

One thing after another. And yet today, as I was cuddling with Emma on the couch, I could not get past this feeling that no, I haven't been dodging bullets, but I have been reaping one blessing after another.

Friday night, Mike fell and slid down the stairs. He was able to wrap Emma up in his arms so that the worst of her injuries was a scraped chin. He himself has a pretty banged up shoulder, hip and foot, but nothing is broken, and he can generally function as normal, even if he is still sore. I can't stop thinking about how that could have gone wrong. He is a very, very large man. What if he had dropped her? Landed on top of her? What if he had fell head over heals, instead of just sliding? What if either of them had gotten a limb stuck between the rails? But none of that happened...

Take Emma's illness. It cropped up out of the blue, and has only been going for a few days. All instincts told me it was just a cold, and to let her ride it out. But this morning I received a prompting that I needed to call the doctor. Our pediatrician is very popular, and even in cases like this, it can sometimes take two or three days before he has an opening in his schedule. So I called in this morning expecting just to talk to someone from nurse triage. I talked to the nurse and she agreed with me that it just sounded like a simple cold, and there wasn't much to be done except for Tylenol to help ease her discomfort. And then as I was about to hang up, she spoke up, saying "well you know, it wouldn't hurt if you wanted to bring her in and have Dr. Baker take a look at her, just in case..." I agreed, and hung up thinking I'd get a call in the next day or two for an appointment. 10 minutes later I got a call saying they'd had a short notice cancellation, and Dr. Baker would be available in an hour. This never happens, so I jumped on it. As Dr. Baker was checking her out, and gave me her diagnosis, he said to me,

"I'm glad I was able to see her today. These bugs have been hitting hard already this year, and this could easily have turned into pneumonia by the weekend."

What if someone else hadn't cancelled their appointment at the last minute today? What if I hadn't been prompted to call the doctor in the first place? What if I hadn't hesitated long enough to hear the nurse say I could bring her in, just in case? But none of that happened...

Take the incident today on the highway. I have absolutely no idea how I was able to avoid an accident. I have been a fender bender, but I have never been so close to being in a major, high speed accident in heavy traffic. This was the lunch time rush, headed towards downtown Harrisburg, and there was absolutely no room to maneuver. I don't know how the other driver was so oblivious to me, but she was, and yet I was somehow able to slow down enough, and maneuver my car back and forth, so she didn't hit me, I didn't hit the wall/guard rail, and I didn't either of the two cars to my left. I have NO IDEA how I did it. I don't even remember the moves, I just remember a blur of tires squealing. It could have gone so horribly wrong.

What if I hadn't seen her coming into my lane? What if I hadn't been able to slow down enough? What if I hadn't been able to swerve back to my left, before I hit the railing on my right? What if the other cars around me hadn't seen what happened, and adjusted their driving as well? But none of that happened...

In each of these scenarios, what could have gone horribly wrong... just didn't. And I know for a matter of fact, that it's because we are being protected by a force much greater than our own. We have been blessed beyond measure, and so many times in the last few weeks, I have just sat down and wept at the thought of it. I've seen so many small miracles in my life this last month. And I am so thankful for it. I'm thankful for it all, because I'll take an irritating, annoying, or minor set back ANY DAY, over any one of the major catastrophes that could have happened...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Here are lots of pics from our recent trip to Ashcombe Farms. It was such a fun day! Sorry there aren't many pictures of Emma's actual face. She hates sunglasses, loves hats, and hates the sun in her face. So... there's lots of pics of her really cute hat. Enjoy, I know we did!!