For the next week-and-a-half, I was confined to my hospital bed, unable to communicate with the outside world, or anyone for that matter. However, when my parents brought me my cell phone so that I could check my text messages from all of my friends and family who had been texting me, I still knew what to do with it. Though I could not respond alone, with the assistance of my parents, I was able to send simple replies back to the numerous messages. The outpouring of support was and still is overwhelming to me.
The date was now July 4th. What used to be the pinnacle of summer – cookouts and parties with family and friends – was not supposed to be spent in the hospital. Luckily however, Yale-New Haven Hospital does a great job in providing the utmost care and comfort for their patients. The nurses did their best to make me at home and bring humor back into my life in this time of despair. As the night crept in and the sun went down, I could begin to hear the fireworks going off in the near distance but there was no chance for a front row view this year…or was there?
Within minutes, I had the most comfortable seat in the house. My nurse came in and she turned my bed toward the window, opened the curtains and raised my bed up so that I was sitting upright. With my mom and dad sitting beside me, I had my front row view after all! There were no mosquitoes attacking us that year or large crowds to fight for a good seat. To top it all off, I scarfed down an entire dish of brownies that were brought to me. I am still told to this day by those who were there with me that the crumbs were everywhere…my sincere apologies to the nurses and cleaning staff at the Yale NICU.
Thinking back to that night and the ensuing visits from my family and friends during those next two weeks, I feel overwhelmed to know there are so many people who care about me. But there is one person who is deserving of an award for all her love and support then and now – my mom.
She came to the hospital every single day and always made sure I was comfortable and offering to get me anything I needed. Thinking back on that summer, her lovingness and ability to inspire me comes as no surprise. I watched my mother go through her own courageous battle with breast cancer and this gave me the courage to get through my battle. She overcame surgery, radiation and chemotherapy and never missed a beat. At the time, my sister and I were in high school and my brother was in elementary school. Yet, she managed to keep everything under control while raising three wonderful kids, being a great wife, working, keeping the house in order and living life to the fullest. Her courage and will to get through such a difficult time inspired me and always will.
Despite all of my difficulties, all it took was my mother’s love to show me what a wonderful world it still was…