Friday, November 5, 2010

A "Bad Day" in Perspective

We all have hard days.  Some are much harder than others, and by that I mean the things that make some people's days hard are composed of much more significant things than what make other people's days hard.  Sick children, troubled and broken families, failed marriages, terminal illnesses:  these are the big things.  And believe me, I fully get it.  My dad died of an inoperable brain tumor when I was 18.  It was the most horrific, hellacious year of my life.   There are this very evening over 1.3 million people in Haiti riding out Hurricane Tomas in flimsy tents.  With cholera-infected water swirling all about them.  Can you even imagine?  No, really.  Think about it for more than two seconds.

Can. You. Even. Imagine. 

So perhaps I need to have a teensy reality check when I get on my soap box to whine about my bad days.

Sometimes I feel that with the privilege of a blog comes the responsibility of balance.  I like to be funny and silly on my blog.  I like to write about making many varieties of delicious food and about throwing away things like whey and giblets.  But the reality of it is that the world is a rough place.  There are people that would literally kill each other over things like whey and giblets.  And I am sitting here in my warm living room with in a feather down chair with my feet propped up on an ottoman, typing on a fancy laptop.  My children are clean and fed and tucked into their warm beds.  I don't have a CLUE what it's like to live the way that a large majority of the world lives. 

With that said (and with great and grave emphasis on how GOOD I have it), on the scale of bad days not involving a major issue like poverty or terminal illnesses, I had a real doozy of day.  It started off by stepping in a pile of dog poop in the dark hallway (barefooted) at 5:30 AM and kept getting worse until Matthew was full-blown choking in the grocery cart at Wal-Mart at 6:45 PM.  (I caved and bought some M&Ms in the check-out line.  He somehow managed to get the torn-off corner of the wrapper in his mouth and was choking.  Eyes bulging.  Blue lips.  Red face.  Silent.  CHOKING.  I was digging though my messy purse looking for my wallet to pay when, through my peripheral vision, I saw him struggling. I had to yank him out of the cart, jerk his foot loose from the blasted cart cover I insist on using because I'm a germaphobe, and flip him upside down.  I was whacking him on the back. It was a scene.  I'm saying, "Come on, baby.  Cough it out.  Come on, Matthew."  People are gathering around.  I'm about to lose it.  I could see the wrapper in his throat but I knew sticking my finger in there to grab it would only push it back further.  Timothy was getting scared.  "JESUS!  HELP ME!", I cried out.  And here it came.  A waterfall of vomit, lead out by the torn corner of the M&M packaging, followed by partially chewed M&Ms.  I have never been happier to see vomit. I was so relieved that I sank to the floor and cried.  Right there at register 8.)   

In between those bookends of events were things like seeing a squirrel get run over right in front of me, losing sight of Matthew in the rows of books at the public library for about 30 seconds, and while spacing out at the gas pump and hearing the "click" of the automatic stop thingy on the next pump over and mistaking it for my own pump being done, pulled out the nozzle from my car and got sprayed with gasoline.  It was dripping off of my arm and pooled in my shoe. 

It's 8:43 right now.  I am so ready for this day to be over. 

But when I pull back the covers of my soft, warm bed tonight, you can bet I'll be giving thanks that all my problems were remedied today and that tomorrow will be fresh and new.  And I'll be praying for those moms in the Haitian tent cities trying to keep their kids warm, clean, and dry in the nightmare of their situation.

You can also bet that we won't be having any M&Ms for a long time.


Anjie said...

I needed some perspective....
sorry about Matthew...bless his heart!

Heather-Gathering Spriggs said...

Oh my goodness!! you poor dear! Hunny!! This was an amazing post. Thankyou! For sharing your true self... and then i just realized in midst of your horrific crisis of a day you took time to leave a comment on my blog! oh sweetie! im so sorry. i ache for you.. with you.
You are an empress of beauty and strength. Which reminds me I read a quote recently, I think its Simone Wiel from the Ransomed Heart daily readings that said:something like:
Beauty and affliction are the two things which pierce the human heart.

I think about this often. Sharing your story today has pierced my heart just as much as creating your granola and savoring it in my mouth afterward. This is raw, real life. Its beautiful and tragic all together. And part of that beauty is being able to share it with others. I really think that there might be a third piercing ... when either beauty and affliction are shared with others. It moves our hearts when you are moved.
You are brave, you are full of strength and grace walking in your calling day to day.
Thank you for letting us in too.

Unknown said...

I'm so thankful you posted this. Veda had a similar incident today with a tortilla chip, and I kept thinking of your post ~ otherwise, I'd have noooo idea what to do. She ended up yakking the chip and a nice gob of avocado all down Mylon's arm. Gross, but so glad it turned out okay.

.. anyway, thank for sharing your story, so I'd know what to do!!

elizabeth said...

wow. i totally cried reading about what you went through, and I'm not even a mom! I'm so so so very glad your sweet boy is okay, AND have to say that you are one brave lady.