It was a year ago today.
My first blood clot. My leg got stiff and then painful, and then our world sort of fell apart. One year ago today I met Jane, and Dr. F. and many others who would care for me in the coming year.
One. Long. Year.
I went today for my usual blood draw to test the clotting of my blood. Virginia took me back and asked how I was doing. I told her of my little anniversary. She said, "Well, you must be very grateful, I mean, well, after all that with the woman in the news."
I didn't know what she meant. I don't watch broadcast TV or see much news.
"There's a mama that had a DVT (deep vein thrombosis, or blood clot) and it caused a pulmonary embolism and now she's brain dead. Apparently, the family wants to let her go, but the state is keeping her on life-support to save her baby."
I tried to focus on the calender on the wall.
"Yes," I said, "we are so grateful. I have been so blessed." I don't remember if we talked anymore after that. I think I told her "See you next time".
I walked through the hall pressing my thumb into the cotton ball taped to the crook of my arm. I walked fast as tears filled my eyes, like they are now as I think back on it. I got to the van and drove home through a few more tears. Needing to be mothered, and Francine not picking up, I called Ruth, who doula-ed me long distance as I made my way home. I mean, of course I knew I was okay, but having heard that story, having spent the past few days reviewing in my mind all that has happened, and having a close friend lose her sweet baby this week, all spiraled into the perfect emotional storm.
Walking into the house, Guy saw my cry-face (tear streaks and puffy eyes, and rudolf nose). I told him. He held me. I cried a little more. "We were very blessed," he said, "Not just blessed, we saw miracles." And then he held me some more.
When I think about how often we were held during that time I am so truly grateful. We were held by God, by loved ones, by excellent caregivers, by dear friends, and by untold numbers of strangers. We were held in prayer, in thought, and in hand, as so many participated in the day-to-day upkeep of our spirits and our family needs.
This afternoon Adam found the little olive wood cups filled with shells from the Red Sea that Ruth's mama, Marta, brought back from the Holy Land. I showed them to Kathy and told her how Marta had been praying for me at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem while I was in the middle of it all. What a sweet reminder, all those tiny shells, all of the prayers. What a blessing.
I know that we will face challenges in the future. We have not reached some magical difficulty-deductible. There have been and will be more, but I know that God knows our family, and yours, because we are all part of His family. I know the comfort and peace that come amid the tempest.
Whatever your storm, whatever your trial or challenge, Heaven knows you. You are loved. God will not waste your pain. Peace, peace, be still.
I am a blessed woman. So blessed. And so are you.