Is this thing on? ( this post began in July of 2019 as I contemplated these issues- and tonight April 3rd I completed it)
As I type it is just after two am, I am sitting up counting the number of times my heart has thrown an extra hard, early or double beat in a minute. I know it isn’t Atrial fibrillation again, because my heart has slowed down to a respectable 98 beats per minute with only 6-8 of those beats being wonky per minute. I lost you at 2am didn’t I ?
The thing is, my heart , while only just this past year diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension- has a long history of pulling pranks and the rug out from under me. I say pranks because I don’t think my health is completely to blame. I’m going to give you three instances of my theory and let you make up your own mind.
The first time it happened I was just 28. Married for 9 years 1 of them happily… ok that’s exaggerating. Make it an even 8 months and that’s closer to the truth 😜.
I knew without a shadow of a doubt by the third or fourth year that my husband really really didn’t love me. He was really good at proving that point so it wasn’t rocket appliances to figure it out. By year nine I was only coping. One foot in front of the other for the sake of the children, one of whom was only six months old. I’d had some weirdo heart stuff happen during his pregnancy, but nothing major showed up so I went on with life as usual. One night before dinner I was reaching my hand up toward the fridge when this unbelievable pain and pressure moved from under my jaw to my chest and back again. My back felt like an elephant had sat down on it and I sucked in air through clenched teeth and cried out. At the hospital I was given blood thinners and beta blockers and put on some fancy drugs to slow the whole world down and lots of good doctoring. After the days in the hospital I was really excited to come home, be near the children and sleep in my own bed again- except when I went to go to bed that night I paused. I had this irrational thought that what had happened before could happen again, and this time my husband would call 911. The 911 guys would come into the house and I had left laundry baskets in the hallway! I went to get those and move them out of sight. I’d left a pot to soak after dinner- I washed and put that away. I lay down and then considered what I was wearing.. what if a paramedic saw me in this tattered night dress? I put on my flannels with the matching socks. Lay in bed and thought about what someone would do if they had to come in and raise the kids without me. Would they know where the kids bed sheets were? I should organize those tomorrow… and in my head for the next hours I mentally went through their needs and what I needed to prepare.
I was home little more than two months when the second elephant sat down on my chest. That meant more tests and a longer hospital stay and more long nights planning the plans and sorting my children’s lives out. We had a young woman from the church come and live with us and she helped with the kids and I grew more convinced that my husband was just waiting for the happy luck that might be my eventual end.
Spending a stormy night at a friends place two years later , my friend commented ” do you ever sleep? I could hear you roaming through the house half the night”
In the interim I did everything I could to regain and remain healthy. The gym, my happy place was my guarantee that no more elephants would come home to roost and I started to sleep a little easier.
Flash forward to my precious little Thaniels arrival and the new fear that not only would I be leaving children behind to a man that wasn’t as chipper as I was about having children- but I’d be leaving that little boy behind alone. Premature Ventricular Contractions began six months after he was here and continued off and on for a year. Not all day- no. Just at bed time, when I’d be putting on my flannels with the matching socks. Roaming at night is a past time few really appreciate 😐.
Now here we are…2:38 am heart rate ticking along at 100 clicks- every 9th or 10th beat an off one. And I’m despairing that the pajamas I brought along are missing their matching socks. I was speaking with someone earlier in the day who mentioned my penchant for late nights and they posed this question ” are you afraid to sleep?”
I’d never asked the question, never ever considered the question, didn’t think there was an answer until I blurted out ” not afraid to sleep no, I’m afraid I won’t wake up”
Now look- believe me when I tell you that I am not afraid to die. I’m not. I am not. I know whom I have believed in and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day. I know where I am headed- and it’s home. I’m not afraid to die. I’m afraid I won’t wake up. After a couple hours sorting that out- I see the difference. Dying means seeing heaven and living for really real. Not waking up means not being in control of what happens to my children and their futures and their precious priceless lives. Not waking up LEAVES them alone. Leaves Thaniel utterly alone.
But is that really true though? Would I be leaving that little boy alone? True he doesn’t have a dad- but he’s completely loved by our whole family. Did having everything planned out mean that I could control my life and leaving too? Nope- no matter how many matching socks I put on before bed, I won’t add a minute to my life by worrying about it. I’ve been sitting here thinking about the positive steps I’ve taken to gain peace. Back in February I had a will drawn up and made provisions for one of my daughters to become Thaniels legal guardian in the case of my leaving. I thought long and hard about that and I know he will be so loved. I’m also remembering the truths I am learning each day. That God really is in control even when the rest of the world is out of control. That my brother will care for his family like he always has, going out of his way to do whatever he can for them, and his family includes my kids. My parents may be retired and not young kids anymore but they have given more love than most people I know and will know and there’s no reason to believe that will change when I am gone. I have been loved in this life- so much and so well, I just now that that will continue on for my children. I understand nothing is in my control except my desire to do better each day, my ability to use the next day to give my best to the people I care about if I am given another day. That’s what I know. Those are my truths at 3 am on a Friday morning.
Heart rate at 98b. Throwing the occasion wonky beat and it’s all good .
I’m going to go ahead and publish this before I sleep and put the whole thing out there. Forgive my grammar and spelling mistakes please. Good night everyone.
I am not God. You are. I am not in control. You are. I am not supposed to have the answers, You are. I am not alone. Those truths are real for me tonight, please Father, wake them up in each heart reading. Let everyone who’s eyes are skimming these words know that You are at the centre of every storm, at the wheel in every circumstance and at the heart of every important matter. You are not surprised. Gracious Father- please speak to the heart that doesn’t know the absolute peace of assurance, that sure and certain knowledge that when they leave this world, they will be with You. By your Holy Spirit draw them to Your side. I can’t wait to see You face to face the Lover of my Soul.