Friday, February 10, 2012

Target + Gratefulness

On Tuesday I went to Target with Emerson. We had just gone to Toys R Us, just for Emerson, and were excited to enjoy some Target fun. When in the Valentine's section with a fellow Mom and I laughing about the intensity of all the Valentine's, while Emerson asked to buy every pink heart item in sight. Target had done it's job and got us excited about celebrating another holiday together, and then we turned around. We turned around and bopped into Claudette- our favorite ICU nurse from Children's Hospital Oakland.

Claudette was wonderful. When we were informed Makenzie may not make it out of ICU, she rubbed my back and said,  
"Erin, you have a strong daughter here. She is fighting something rare but she only feels all of your love and her entire friends' and families love for her."  

Those words stuck. 

They helped each moment of the days in the hospital.  When I felt my skin crawling with nerves, Claudette would ask me to share special stories about Makenzie. She asked what she was like as an infant, what were her favorite songs, what did she and Emerson do together, my favorite memories of becoming a Mom with Makenzie as my gift who gave me the "Mom" title. While Makenzie didn't recognize me, Claudette assured me she could hear my voice and knew my touch.  She took time to care for me, as much as she was focusing on taking care of Makenzie. She explained each procedure, tube, obstacle and challenges Makenzie was facing.  Claudette helped me realize my voice as Makenzie's Mom was to be the loudest voice and I was the biggest advocate for her...and for that I am forever grateful.

To see Claudette was funny - we knew we were both familiar to one another, but couldn't remember where. I thought she worked for Jack, she thought our kids were in school together and then she said she worked at Benioff, but had worked at CHO. Boom, we both remembered immediately and hugged.  Claudette asked how Makenzie was, remembered so many details of her personality and her strengths as a patient. And then I cried...

I teared up as I looked straight into the face of a woman who helped give my daughter back her life. How do you put words into that sense of gratitude? There are none.  
There are no words that can describe the intensity of emotions when looking at a person out of context, who was one of your child's genuine life savers. 

It was a wonderful meeting and one I'll remember for life. For on Tuesday Makenzie was moved up to another level in gymnastics and was given the green light to do uneven bars, having made a full "recovery",  sans 2/3 of a pancreas, for her little body.  I got to share that with Claudette, and for that, she said she was grateful to see us. She saw a miracle live out and survive.  Makenzie's story is one she can now share with other parents who are in ICU. One of survival, strength, and courage.  

Little gifts can be found in Target, not just that of "$100 bottle of shampoo"...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Apple, Lemon, Sunset & Flips

Last week was a do-over. Do you ever have those?  It was actually the month of January, the first month of 2012, where I kept thinking, "I am in the movie Groundhog Day".  The hope is with waking up everything is going to align and the goals for the day will get accomplished.  Or maybe the point I continued to face was, "Will they ever??".

Last week I had to go to Apple in Emeryville...5 times out of 7 days. Yep, no joke, for some reason my sweet MacBook wanted to go play again and again with his "Genius" friends at Apple.  So I let him, hung out at the Apple store and enjoyed some time chillin' in Emeryville.  While browsing through Barnes & Noble waiting for one appointment, I grabbed a stack of magazines including Sunset. Don't you ever peruse the pages in Sunset and envision having 5 different houses with gorgeous interior design, full of walls and angles that make you want to hug them? I do. I truly do, I look and close my eyes, dreaming that I can click my flips and hop into the pages to live in some of the coastal homes. Then I open my eyes and realize I don't, like I did when I was waiting for Apple.

Now with Apple it wasn't just the juggling to go there for hours at a time, but that our sweet little Lemon, aka our VW Pasaat Wagon, was in the shop again. We laugh how we are more used to not having her then we are to having two cars. We know we've paid for two cars, that we should have them parked in front of our house for when we need them, but for some reason little Lemon has enjoyed playing with her peers at German Auto a bit to much.  To the sound of one year of College tuition.  But she just decided to finally come home and is hopefully now fixed this time. We cross our fingers and sprinkled Pixie Dust throughout her when she returned. 

Each day I kept thinking, "This is it!  It will change today, I can feel it". Then I came to the realization for some reason that week was just stuck in a warp and there was no choice but to roll with it. What else can you do? If you whine ALL DAY you are annoying to everyone including yourself. If you complain every hour about things you can't control, you are wasting energy. Sure, it was a challenge but fun too. I had to race the clock walking like Jane Fonda pumping my arms and tucking my butt under to get E to school on time (2.5) miles away. It wasn't my norm running E to school since I'm post surgery, but I felt like I was a in a 1990's video and should have worn a sweatband and leg warmers.

I seriously had to downsize my to-do lists for the week since my time was "to be spent getting the computer ready for taxes". But in the upside down week, I was out of my own post surgery daily life of physical therapy and training day in, day out. I got to chill in Emeryville, hang out in Apple and people watch.  The opportunity to venture off the "island", oh H$&L to the yes, to go hang out with computer kids of all ages.  The reality that, "It's a great day if only one eighth of the errands got done. If walking E to preschool so she could be ON TIME and enjoying coffee while responding to 45 emails are the biggest feats of the day, it rocked".

For some reason these weeks have to happen; that reason is called Life. We ALL have weeks (and months) like mine. Everything you map out gets turned upside down, just like your kid pouring milk upside down on a freshly mopped floor. It happens and while frustrating you just gotta go with it, laugh, and ride the week out. If you don't laugh and get mad, it only makes it worse.  While I have great hope that February will bring only joyful perfection rollin' in love and daisies, I know if it doesn't I can just flip through Sunset Magazine and click my flips to escape.