You’ve heard the phrases a thousand times: You just never know, do you? Make every day count. Time flies. In the blink of an eye. Life is short. Carpe diem.
Yesterday morning, my stepmother was at a regular check-up at her doctor’s office when she started to feel queasy. The doctor ordered a shot of anti-nausea medication and the next thing she knew, it was today. She woke to find herself in the ICU with a ventilator doing her breathing.
It likely wasn’t an allergic reaction, as she’s had this medicine before with no side effects, but rather a near-lethal combination of medication in her system. Don’t ever doubt drug interactions; they are a very real danger.
In between her passing out in her doctor’s exam room and waking up in Intensive Care, we watched and waited. We didn’t know if it was a heart attack, stroke, embolism…or what. All we knew, was that there were a lot of doctors attending to her, she wasn’t regaining consciousness or breathing on her own, her blood pressure was perilously low, and a minister had asked my dad if he wanted a Catholic priest to be called. We honestly didn’t know if she was going to live or die.
Tonight, she is fine. I was there this afternoon and she was off the vent, alert and talkative. She was lucky.
On my way home from the hospital tonight, I was thinking how quickly this all happened. That’s how it goes, you know? No one knows what the next minute will bring.
The sun was setting and the sky was a deep pink. The same color that makes me think of my step-niece, who must have been looking down from heaven on her grandma yesterday.
I turned on the radio and the station was playing “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”, which is one of my dad’s favorite songs. The man who, just yesterday, was devastated to see his wife in grave condition.
I thought of my niece’s death, my stepsister, my stepmom, my dad, the fear, the tears, the events of the last day, and how precious and fleeting life is.
Then I started singing.
I sang the song that reminds me so much of my dad. I sang to myself, to the sky and to the passing cars. I didn’t even care who saw me. Because, why should I? I sang because I can, because I have a voice, because I’m breathing, because I’m living.
All of those phrases up there are completely true, but don’t waste your time uttering them. Just sing, people.