Gobbling up posts and pictures circling my upcoming 20th year high school reunion and connecting with friends and business associates, I find myself quite frequently on FaceBook of late. I don’t read every post or consume every meme (although many are hilarious), but I do try to keep up here and there. But I must say, there was one friend that captivated me more than normal this week. Why? Because she’s been cataloging her day to day events (some seemingly hour by hour), while in – the hospital.
I don’t believe she’s chronicling a life threatening disease (thankfully!), but she’s not there for a routine visit either. Her friends and family know that she’s quite spirited, always on the go, and the queen of all things delightfully dramatic…but these posts – complete with clever snippets, videos, and loads of appreciation – have a very different tone. One of…vulnerability. Consistently honest, as is her trademark, she remarks about observations, frustrations, complications, tribulations, and revelations. Okay… I’m just an -ations kinda girl. You know I love words (smile)…I digress.
I just watched all of her videos (they’re short ones) last night. But I’ve been cracking up at her antics for the last few days. While in the hospital, she’s enjoying tasty morsels from loved ones. Cookies and foil wrapped plates and other culinary delights. She’s “coloring” – although we’re both nearing our forties. She’s donning blinged-out accessories, complete with face and head gear; sparkling more than a glitter fanatic at Hobby Lobby.
She’s engaging in her therapeutic walking (with a walker) while adorned in stylish red flats, which accompanied a stylish red purse brought by a friend. She’s also having praise and worship service with a sister on the left (that means song time in church) while a nurse is working with an IV in her arm on the right. I’m cracking up. And that’s just a fraction of her hospital “festivities.”
Now as I’m reading these, I’m thinking, “This girl is crazy. Who has that much fun in the hospital!” Weighing in the seriousness, I know that she’s a ridiculously great singer and performer – who I believe was in the middle of a show…but, she’s having respiratory challenges. Big ones. Then I’m feeling a bit guilty/shameful.
Because I was also in the emergency room this week – with respiratory problems and laryngitis (a big no-no for a speaker!)- and when my husband posted my pic on FB on a breathing machine, I was incensed. Too self-conscious about how it looked to share with those who cared about me most. To worried about hair out of place and the fact that everyone would see my blankie.
Oh yeah, babe. Carla’s got a blankie. A big, pink and red, oh-so-soft, you-better-not-touch-it blankie that I sleep with on my side of the bed under our shared cover every night. I was all wrapped up in the Emergency Room…because it was cold! And I was scared… And I was not FaceBook ready for that. So I instructed him to promptly take that picture down!
And then I saw, Aisha… In her hospital bed, tubes in nose, hair all wrapped…smiling. Not attempting to show she was fearless, but faithful to who she is… I felt warm, fuzzy, and thoughtful all at once. But that wasn’t the kicker. It was this list she posted a few days later…
Now on this one I laughed and almost cried. Talk about being a realist!
A little housekeeping…I realize my readers come from around the world – and for that I am humbled and most appreciative! – but… I did white our her last name for those who may not already know her. Those who do already contact her. The point is, I think her story is worth sharing on every continent…
I’ve appreciated her silliness for many years as I met her in sixth grade. But today, how she’s chosen to face one of her scariest moments has given me pause. It took me to a place that I don’t go often enough. One of thankfulness.
The boss who I love the most, and still talk with regularly (because we’re more like family) is one of the most successful women I know. She’s in her 70s, still as fierce as ever, but has been plagued with illness since childhood. When experiencing problems like she had for just a moment, I was so overwhelmed, I thought I’d never make it through…and to think, she’s been doing it all her life.
#catchthis: Life will offer us many things – good and bad. It would be foolish to assume we’ll get everything we want. It’s never about what you get. It’s always about how you handle it. Aisha’s handling it like a trooper. I think I’ll hang on to my little asthma pump and follow suit.
We have so many things to be thankful for. We should focus on them more and being fickle less. On that note, flowers never smelled so good. Why don’t you stop and smell a few today. #countyourblessings, #catchyourdreams, #pursueyourpassion, #bethe1
Picture: Stopping the madness to savor the memories.