The dictionary defines a Life Event as the following: noun. A major event that changes a person’s status or circumstances, such as giving birth, marriage, divorce, death of spouse, loss of job. Life events are very often discussed in terms of stress. I’ve managed to live through most of these events in the recent past with the exception of a few. The most recent one really threw me for a loop though. Just when things are settling down, I’m working (loads), my husband was getting ready to retire, the fire we had earlier this year and subsequent damage has been finally settled and repaired to the tune of more than $10,000 out of pocket expenses (hence the working loads part) and I was maintaining my remission – the longest ever! And then the bottom suddenly falls out again.
I may have mentioned in an earlier blog that my husband is quite a few years older than me. Consequently, he has been looking forward to retiring finally after a few delays (mostly caused by me). In the beginning of the month, he formally presented his letter of retirement in and set the date, April 30th. He was looking forward to the many plans he had been making with friends who are retired as well. Day trips, overnights, gardening, car shows and an ever-growing honey-do list! Well, perhaps he wasn’t looking forward to that last list! And then it happened… about two weeks ago as I was working at home, he went outside to change the tags on my car and when he came back in the house after a short time he was obviously short of breath. Of course, as he usually says when asked, nothing was wrong. A short time later he went up to lay down, thinking that I hadn’t noticed. When I finally finished work I went up to check on him and he was sleeping peacefully. A short time later he came back downstairs to ‘play’ on his computer. He is a newbie to Facebook, something he swore he would never be part of; and in short time he has become quite an addict! The lure of chatting with friends and Classic Car Groups has captured him quite fully, much to my amusement! Consequently, I am constantly being bombarded with questions about posts on his time line and why I haven’t liked or commented yet! I rarely read my personal Facebook feed so I am quite behind most of the time in the “Like – Share – Comment” area of Facebook. I hope no one takes offense!
But back to the life events! While he was busy chatting I happened to notice his color was still off, and decided now was as good a time as any to broach the subject. I asked the open ended question, “What’s wrong?” I received the usual reply “Nothing.” Something snapped inside and my temper flared (which is not something to be ignored), and I continued on. Questioning and nagging, I finally had come to my wits end because I hate to be ignored. He finally responded with, “You’re right. I’m not myself.” Of course, me being me, I needed details, for which I received. He hadn’t been feeling well, didn’t want to bother me, everything exhausted him, he had to retire because just getting up and dressed exhausted him. Now, knowing his previous heart issues, panic mode set in. I made him promise to call his doctors, specifically his cardiologist, to make appointments and let them know what was going on. Five days later we had an answer. There was something different on his EKG and Echocardiogram, which along with his symptoms signified a major change. Possible blockages were noted, in addition to those that had already been repaired. He was scheduled within a week to have a Cardiac Catheterization with the possibility of Heart Bypass. Needless to say, this was a definitive life event and our world was thrown into that abyss of the unknown. Every waking moment I worried and stressed over what would be. I’m not very good about handling other people’s health issues with the calm that I can deal with my own. The day before the scheduled procedure we had the talk… in the event something untoward should happen, we reviewed his living will, burial options, where the important papers were, everything you hate to think about but should have in place and know. Life events.
I could not even imagine life without my husband and the worry and stress was all encompassing. I worried when he was awake and seemingly fine, I worried more when he slept, spending every night watching to make sure he was breathing and sleeping peacefully. Fortunately, all went well and Bypass wasn’t necessary, 5 stents and one repair and a new lease on life. We could breathe again and the life event became a non-entity. Our wedding anniversary was a few days after the procedure, no gifts were needed as we had received the best gift of all, time. Slowly life returned to normal or as normal as can be. Celebrating the little joys, a new plant, a funny movie, breakfast in bed, a walk in the woods, breathing and just being.
I’ve decided Life Events should be just that… Life as the event. I’ll leave you now with a few songs that have been traveling through my mind the past few weeks. Some old, some new but all have a place in my heart. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts on life events! If you like the songs or the story, please share and leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!
It started with a song…
and ended with a smile!