I saw the story in my newsfeed a couple of months ago — a local news reporter suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, and despite being rushed to the hospital right away, she didn’t make it. She left behind two young boys and a husband.
Just last week I was met with a similar story of a high school softball player who suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, causing her to collapse on the field. She, too, passed away in the hospital shortly after.
It seems like just yesterday that my parents sat me down to tell me the news — my mom had a brain aneurysm the size of a golf ball above her right eye, and had to immediately be rushed to a hospital five hours away for emergency surgery. I was 11 years old, the oldest of four kids, two of whom were under two. My life had been turned upside-down and suddenly I felt like it was my duty to take over for my mom while she underwent one of the most challenging battles of her life.
I hadn’t really thought about that time in my life until just recently. I suppose I put those moments in the back of my mind because although my mom survived, it was an incredibly painful experience for all of us.
I had to grow up quickly during those months while she recovered. I wanted to take care of my siblings in the way that my mom took care of us. I desperately tried to take care of my mom, too, just as she took care of me. I learned a lot about myself at just 11 years old. Lessons that I didn’t realize would stick with me, ones I didn’t know I needed until I became a mother myself.
I remember that doing anything routine with my sister during the time my mom was away was what felt best to me. It was the normal day-to-day activities that I enjoyed and cherished the most.
When my mom returned home to recover, I remember that all I wanted to do was lay in bed with her and cuddle. I wanted to be with her when she was in the kitchen cooking dinner. I wanted to sit on the couch with her and watch a movie. I didn’t have grand plans for how we would spend our time together, what mattered the most was that I was doing anything with her and that she was there right next to me. These memories of my mother and I doing seemingly normal things have taught me to appreciate all of the small moments with my children.
So now, with three young ones of my own, my mom has taught me to make those ordinary moments with my children extraordinary. I let them give me one extra kiss at bedtime or I sit down and read that extra book. They help me fold the laundry, even though I know I’ll have to go back and re-fold it all again well after they are asleep.
We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. So why not make the most of today?More On