When I was a little girl, I got a TON of stomach aches…strangely occuring on Monday mornings before school and most severe at the end of holiday breaks or summer vacations! 🙂 I eventually outgrew the nervous-tummy attacks (when I graduated from college! Ha Ha) and haven’t given my strange childhood disease much thought since then until this morning when I woke up with those familiar nagging symptoms of “the nervous tummy”. It has been brewing for a week or so as I anticipated facing today but, to be honest, I’m really surprised by the way I’m feeling.
Today is the one-year anniversary of Rudy’s initial diagnosis at a routine ultrasound when I was 27 weeks pregnant. I actually expected to approach this significant date on our family’s calendar feeling deep gratitude and joy over the fact that Rudy is with us and that our family made it through what turned out to be the greatest series of challenges we’ve ever faced. The reality, though, is that I’m feeling pretty sad today…there’s a big cloud hanging overhead and that nervous tummy is just churning away. Ironically, Rudy has an appointment with his cardiologist today making the memory of our first meeting with Dr. Harake and the grim confirmation a year ago even more vivid.
Not being one to dwell on the negative and because there is so much to be thankful for and celebrate, I feel a little blind-sided by the heaviness and grief. I’m sure there are many layers to what I’m feeling today…but I think that as much as today signifies the amazing steps Rudy has made in his journey of survival and recovery; it is also a vivid reminder that he still has only half a heart, that, just like last year at this time, we have an open-heart surgery and all the unknowns associated with it ahead of us and that we still need to make the conscious effort to take life one day at a time.
This is a little tangential but…I sat on the couch yesterday evening with tears pouring down my face as I watched the news coverage of Laura Ling and Euna Lee being reunited with their families. I felt so deeply the relief that Laura’s mom must have experienced when she hugged her daughter after months of unimaginable worry and it dawned on me that that’s what’s missing…after all these months with Rudy, we haven’t had our “sigh of relief”…and given the nature of Rudy’s defect, not sure we ever will. Hmmm, I’ll think about that another day.
Note to self, though, if I had had the presence of mind or the energy to do so, I would have planned a trip to Knotts Berry Farm this week…there’s nothin’ like a Knotts Funnel Cake or two to distract you from the blues!!