Over the last week I have found myself noticing the small things. Things that may seem small to those doing them, but to the one person they are making the difference for, those things are huge.
On Wednesday, I was uneasy, I was worried, and I just knew that something was not ok. It started with the simple gesture of my work mama requesting that I keep her posted after Charlie’s appointment. A last minute appointment that had me all kinds of on edge. That gesture comes easily for her, she says it to me often, “let me know when you get home” in the thick of a snow storm, “let me know how your presentation goes” when she knows I’ve been planning for days, and that simple hug that I deny more often than not, but is always available on the off chance I wish to request it, which I did.
The next gesture came from Charlie’s dear PCA. That girl has been such a blessing to not only our children, but to me. She instantly offered to accompany me to his appointment. I don’t know that I’ve ever wanted someone to be at his appointment, to just offer moral support, and help me control his crazy. But that day, I needed that back up, I needed the sense of ease that she offers, and I was willing to accept her help. That day, my anxiety needed her.
And following that appointment, I had my mom. My mom waited in the waiting room while Charlie went into his appointment, following which she went to pick up Mya. And when I got home and got that phone call that Charlie needed to be admitted to the hospital the night before Thanksgiving, I needed my mom. Now I know that for my mom, that’s what it is, it’s simply being my mom. But to me, she was there in a moment when my PTSD enraged, and I was on the edge of falling apart. She laid out clothes for Charlie, she cleaned up what she could, she took Mya to a safe and comfortable place, and she held me as I sunk into her, full of tears.
And though not all of you will understand this, being told, “Got the P man on it.”, by a kind soul, I appreciated the shit out of that gesture.
In the hospital, we received what I would consider exceptional care. I can honestly say that not once was I frustrated, annoyed, or irritated with the quality and general caring and compassion that was shown to Charlie or our family. In a time that was challenging for us, what we needed from the hospital staff, was exactly what we received. Simple for them, their job maybe, but for me, displayed a level of understanding and excellence that was beneficial in keeping me calm and in control.
And Joe, as minimal as it maybe was, walked to Midtown Global Market to get me Taco Cat. If you know me, you know I love me some Taco Cat, and that is food that touches my soul.
On Thanksgiving morning, no less, I received the second of two calls from Charlie’s primary doctor while he was hospitalized. I don’t know that I could ever explain to that sweet man the role he plays in our lives. He may not always have the answers for my complex child, but he never pretends to, he seeks out answers, he never stops trying, he never stops caring, he never thinks I’m crazy, and he always checks in, always. Even on Thanksgiving.
The moment I realized how much all of these small gestures were adding up, was when I walked down the hall to warm up my left over Taco Cat for my Thanksgiving Dinner. As I walked the hall with my plate of reheated food, I noticed two doctors and a nurse practitioner walking in the hall, with their Tupperware containers that they had just warmed up their Thanksgiving dinner in. I wasn’t the only one spending my Thanksgiving the non traditional way. They were all missing dinner with their families, instead, they were spending it with mine. A tradition we have carried on 3 of 4 years now.
Do you know the impact that your phone calls, texts, and messages have on me? You all comment so frequently that you aren’t sure how we do this. Well, you play a big part in that, every time I get a notification that someone is praying for Charlie or thinking of our family, it keeps us going. Knowing that we will always have that support and that outpouring of love for Charlie, those small gestures mean a lot. And this past week, again, you reminded us of that. Thank you.
Upon our Thanksgiving afternoon discharge, we surprised the afternoon nappers. We were greeted with hugs, smiles, questions, and love. Oh, and cheesecake and wine, can’t forget the important details.
On Friday, Charlie and I headed off to the cities with anticipation. We were given the disappointing news we expected, and then some. And in typical Charlie fan fashion, you shared your love and encouragement. My sister, in her own chaos took time to check how I was doing. My friends extended their non-judgmental hearts to me. And my Mama tribe, they came to show by letting me be real, unfiltered, and showing up with hot chocolate Rumchata.
Saturday, I reached out to a friend who was going through some anxiety of her own. The conversation only brought our souls closer together. And in that conversation, I grew. She said to me, “I have a lot of healing to do around Peyton. Working on it. Know that praying for you and Little Man helps me SO much.”
The thing is, these experiences, these pains, they are not something you heal from. You grow from them, you evolve. You can’t be expected to heal from a pain like that of hers, losing her son. Especially if one has trouble healing from the pain of giving up their “normal” child for one with a broken heart. I’m not passed that. I’m not going to stop wishing some things were different or easier for him. But I’m going to let what he has to offer grow me and help me become who I’m suppose to be. Because, he is exactly who he is suppose to be.
So in those days, in those moments when I should be feeling pain, I should be feeling sadness, I do. But then, I allow those bad feelings, the ones I hide, I allow them to evolve. They become the small signs in the hallway, the gestures from friends, and they appear in the most chaotic, excited, life loving little boy you’ll ever meet.
From among the small things, the big things are made.