The seizure

It was September 17, 2009.

It is a hard day to remember.

It was 7:05 am and I dropped by my boss’s office to say good morning and then take my lunch to the lunch room, but I never made it there.  I glanced at the clock and remember thinking, “It is only 7:10 am and I am getting a really bad migraine.”  That was the last thing I remember until 7:55 am.

I had a seizure.  Apparently my lunch box flew.  I went face down onto the cement floor and seized.  My chin ripped open in the fall, I broke four teeth, and I stopped breathing.  Thankfully my boss was there.  She got help, I got CPR, and the ambulance came.  Someone frantically called my husband, who had stayed home that day, and woke him up.  He said it was a horrible thing to wake up to a phone call from your wife’s work.  The first thing I remember is the paramedic asking me who the President of the United States was.  I answered his question and said, “Can we move on?”  I had been answering the questions but I have no recollection of it at all.  How can our brains do that?  I don’t know.

But as we drove to the ER, I realized that something bad had happened.  And I was 14 weeks pregnant with my first child.  I wasn’t worried about me, I was worried that I had ruined my child.  I was worried about my husband driving to see me, I was worried that I was going to have to be making some crazy phone calls and yet, I didn’t even remember what happened.

It was a really hard day and a really humbling day to realize that life is so precious.  One minute I am saying good morning and then I am sitting in the ER the next.  Everything turned out just fine.  My baby girl was just fine (good thing I had some nice padding for her!), my chin got stitched up, I spent a lot of time at the dentist, and I was not allowed to drive or be by myself for a period of time.  It was another part of the humbling experience.  My independence was suddenly taken away from me.  I felt like I needed to process what was going on, but I was always with someone.  I am so grateful for so many people who helped me during that time.  I am grateful for Val, Doug, Scott, Terrie, Denise, Eric, and our parents who would call and check up on me from time to time.  Part of me realized that I was learning a big lesson, but the other part of me still didn’t grasp what had happened.

Through all the neurological testing that came after, there were NO answers.  It was a “fluke” and because they couldn’t figure it out they wanted to put me on high doses of medication that I felt that I didn’t need.  I didn’t take anything, I didn’t have any more seizures, but the memory of that day lives on.

The question for me was never, “Why Me?” but the question has always been “Why am I still here?”  I don’t think that I have all the answers to that question still.  Seven years later and I am still finding daily little puzzle pieces, but I am so grateful for the time I have been given.  I try hard to send something to my two heroes that saved me that day, but I don’t feel like it is ever enough.  How can you truly give something back to people that gave you your life back?

I am thankful for that day, seven years ago when I was able to remember that my life is in the hands of God.  I am thankful for that day, and for the many blessings and miracles that I have been able to be a part of.  I am thankful for that day, and for the many days that have happened after.  But most of all, I am thankful for life, for God, and for His love for me.  I have felt His love for me, in many tender times.  I am grateful that He is there for me, even when I turn away from Him and need to humble myself to feel His hand in my life.  What a blessing to have many hands lifting me up so many times. I use this day to remember the many people in my life, who have lifted me up and who continue to lift me up.  Thank you.

Just a homemaker

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In the Fall last year I went to get my haircut.  Not a big deal, right?  Well, I went to a salon I had only been to once, but I REALLY needed my hair cut, I had a coupon, and a few minutes without my kids.  So I sat down, explained what I wanted done with my hair and the hairstylist starts cutting.  Being the introvert that I am, I wasn’t exactly chatty and the hairstylist looked like she was having a long day.  But I attempted to start up a conversation.  Turns out that she had an outpatient surgery that day and was working her second job of the day, so she was tired.  Well, she asked what I did.  My response was, “I am just a homemaker.”

Now, before I proceed, in my head I was running through this amazing dialogue about a response that I would love to here after I state that I am a stay at home mom.  The purely magical response would be, “You’re not just a homemaker, you definitely do a ton.”  Followed by a great conversation on motherhood and the joys and difficulties of the hardest job on earth.  On another side note, a couple of years ago I saw this blurb on a social media site that was interviewing people for an unnamed job.  It showed the interviewer Skyping with potential applicants and telling them a little more about “the job.”  They were told they would never have a day off, there was no sick time or leave offered, they had to work every holiday, and they would always be on call.  Most of the people were totally appalled and many asked if that was legal.  Then the interviewer told them what “the job” was, it was the job of a mother.  All of the applicants smiled and it ended with all of them saying a big thank you to their own moms.

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Well, my dreaming response was cut short with the response of the hair stylist, “Oh, well did you do any thing before, or did you do anything else with your life?” Truthfully I wanted to jump up and scream, but that would not have been good.  So I swallowed my pain, hurt, and angst and told her what my job “used” to be.  I asked her about having kids and then my heart hurt.  Yes, she has kids but in so many words, let someone else take care of them and put them to bed because she preferred that.  I am not trying to talk bad about this hairstylist and I definitely don’t know her situation at all, but it sure has made me think a lot since that night.

I love being a homemaker.  I remember when I was 7 months pregnant with my third baby and was trying to tie a quilt on the floor, my back was screaming, my other two kiddos (ages 4 and 2) were running around probably hitting something they weren’t suppose to, but being so happy.  I remember sending my cute husband a text, “I love being domestic!”  Haha, that makes me laugh.  But I really do enjoy being home, taking care of my home, and enjoying my time with my kids while they are little.  With that said, we have definitely had to make some sacrifices for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom.  There are too many to even talk about, but I am so grateful for a husband that is a strong supporter of family.

One of my favorite things on motherhood especially, is from Elder Neil Andersen.  He gave a talk about having children and how they will ultimately bless your life.  Read this little blurb: “Many voices in the world today marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family. My daughters recently referred me to a blog written by a Christian mother (not of our faith) with five children. She commented: ‘[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.’ She then adds: ‘Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.’ Now I am not totally saying that every minute of being a homemaker is glorious and perfect or that my children are perfectly obedient.  But being a mom is definitely what God has given me time for right now.  It is an amazing experience that has blessed my life in so many ways.  I love when my kids are all clean in their jammies and we are reading scripture stories or the last Winnie the Pooh book, then every one lays down and I sing them songs.  It is a cherished time for me and I hope it is something that they will remember.

When I was little, I loved to read, and I loved when my mom read to me.  I don’t know if my mom just got sick of me asking for bed time stories or if she was just tired and wanted to go to bed herself, but she recorded many tapes of her reading stories.  I took one of those tapes to college with me.  It was those little things that meant so much, that I want to instill in my kids.  We have long since digitized those old cassette tapes and now have a play list for our kids with both of their Grandmas, one Grandpa, one set of Great-grandparents, and Scott and me reading stories. I am so grateful for those small things.  Many times I find myself reflecting on all the crazy things I put my mom through and you know what, she still loves me.  I hope that as the years continue, that my kids will know how much I am grateful for this time to be their mom and what a blessing it is to be with them. I want them to know also, how much I rely on God to get me through some days.  I pray that they will pray for that help when they need it.

This past week my oldest started 1st grade.  Seriously, it has been hard.  I miss her and I miss all the kids playing together.  The first day, Jake (my 4 year old) and I were wandering around the house because we didn’t quite know what to do without Jenna.  Jake keep asking when Jenna was coming home, and the first time he asked she had not even been gone for an hour.  Tessa, my 2 year old, was confused when Jenna didn’t come back home with us after we dropped Jenna off at school.  “Where’s Jenna?” and I would have to remind her.  Jenna on the other hand, said she missed us but I think she was doing just great and having a wonderful time in first grade.  It is definitely an adjustment for all of us to have her gone.  The sad thing is, is that this week was early out so she hasn’t even been gone for as long as she usually will be!  My mother heart aches, but is exciting for her as well in her new adventure.

Since that Fall, I have often thought about changing my response when people ask me what I do.  But, you know what, I have the best job right now.  I am a wife and a mom with a family that loves me.  Julie B. Beck said what I know is true, “When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children.”   Why would I want to change my response?  Now, I say that I am lucky enough to stay at home with my kids, because I really do feel lucky.  I am blessed to “JUST” be a homemaker.