Friday, March 13, 2009

Slice of Life

I recently had a medical episode (for lack of a better term) that, at first glance, really seemed to stink! I woke up in a hospital, hooked up to machines, not even sure how I got there. My family gathered around my bed, concern etched on their faces. I missed a full week of school, and the week I went back, I could only work half days. My doctor has curtailed my driving privileges for the time being -- no driving for 90 days. The episode happened at school, and I do worry about the lasting impact on any child that might have witnessed it.

However, when I got over my little pity-party, I began to realize that this episode, for all the stinky parts, has many silver linings as well.

Silver lining #1 - Since I can't drive right now, my husband takes me to work each day. As we make the short commute to my school, we chat about what lies ahead in each of our days. We touch base with each other in a way we never did in the mornings before. When he drops me off at school, we kiss each other, say, "I love you," and then I head into the building. What a wonderful way to start my day.

Silver lining #2 - On the weekends, I now do errands with my husband. We go to the grocery, the bank, the library, and the bookstore together. He even took me shopping last weekend for spring break clothes -- you would have to know my husband to know how much love that shows on his part! We spend much time in the car together, chatting about a wide variety of topics. Much different than the days when he had his errands to get done and I had mine; now, we have OURS, and it gives us some wonderful time together.

Silver lining #3 - When my husband can't drive me, I have a wide group of friends who have willingly offered to make sure I get where I need to go. One group of friends each took a day of the week that I could call on their services. Another friend at my school brings me home from school every night. In addition to being grateful for the rides, I've gotten to spend lovely time with people talking, laughing, hugging, and catching up with each other, these past few weeks. What a gift!

Silver lining #4 - The chuckle I get each time I arrange a ride for myself. After many, many years of arranging carpools for my daughters, I now find myself in the humorous situation of arranging carpools for me! :)

Silver lining #5 - My youngest child is a senior in high school who normally thinks the world revolves around her. She has impressed me throughout this whole thing. When I was in the hospital, she was there, even when I wasn't aware of her presence. Since I've been home, she is yet another taxi service and errand person. You don't realize how much you run out to get little items for dinner until you can no longer do it; now C does it for me, and without one complaint (ok, maybe once in a while, but not many). Having her be more responsible around the house is not a bad thing at all for our entire family.

Silver lining #6 - Even though I worried about scaring the students, I am so grateful this happened at school where the people around got immediate medical attention for me. If I had stayed home that morning because of my cold the week before, I would have been all alone. How grateful I am!

Silver lining #7 - I've worked at my current school for the past twelve years. I know I enjoy being with my colleagues, and my 5th grade team is the best, but I think I had started to take some of that for granted. After I got home, my school friends and colleagues overwhelmed me with their kindnesses. Their outpouring of caring and concern was amazing! I feel so fortunate to work in a setting where people care about each other like that.

Silver lining #8 - Because the car hasn't been available to me, it has forced me to have a much more calm, relaxing life at home. I putter in the kitchen, I grade papers, I read, I blog, I watch TV, I talk to my family. I have found that this pace of life is quite enjoyable.

Silver lining #9 - The food! Oh! My! Gosh! The food that has flowed into our home has been phenomenal, both in quality and quantity!!! Let's just say we haven't gone hungry recently!

Silver lining #10 - I saw my doctor last week, and I'm going to be just fine. This was just a bump in the road.

**editorial comment: I really want to stress that I am fine; what happened was a fluke. This "slice" is more about finding the silver linings in difficult times, NOT about a serious illness. **


  1. You're my kind of gal! "Stuff" happens to all of us and I am happy that you CHOOSE to see the silver lining. So glad to have you back...and well!

  2. I love this post and was anxious to read how you are Karen. So many silver linings for one bump. So glad to hear you feeling better.

  3. I love this....a lovely reminder about the important things in life....and how sometimes it takes a "bump" to remind us.


  4. What a great piece of writing. Hopefully your husband follows your blog...thanks for sharing about your recent journey and letting us all know you are doing well. Rest and continue to see the silver linings in life.

  5. Gratitude. I've become more conscious of having an attitude of gratitude daily at school and at home. You post is filled with gratitude. Thanks for reminding us of to be thankful. Shelly

  6. Finding a silver lining always helps. I loved your Slice of Life and the reminder to focus on the important things in life. Hope you continue to feel better each and every day!

  7. I'm glad it was just a bump!

    I am another fan of the 15 minute morning commute with loved one...

  8. I'm glad to see all that silver sparkling here!!

  9. Love those silver linings!

  10. Somehow I missed this during Slice of Life but I am glad to see it husband had a seizure my first week of school and my students had to see my reaction to hearing the news that he was in the hospital and really bruised and battered. He'd never had one before and just 10 minutes before was driving. He too was surrounded by people that took good care of him until I could get there. He too is fine----but diagnosed with a mild form of epilepsy. I used all the brain scans and MRIs later in the year for our human body unit.
    Glad to hear that you are well and back to reviewing books!!!