Posted on | September 13, 2012 | 4 Comments
J had his first dose of anesthesia when he was just three months old. I remember holding him in my arms, snuggling him close, while they injected the medicine into the tiny tube attached to his forehead and swallowed down sobs as his eyes rolled back in his head and he went limp against me. It didn’t take long for them to finish the MRI and he woke up angry and hungry to the face and eyes of two relieved parents. We’d both been so scared. We were together, united in fear and love; us against the world.
The second dose of anesthesia happened when he was one, a set of tubes that took about fifteen minutes. Although the doctor told me he’d be back before I noticed he was gone, I ached through every minute. Because when someone has your child, you feel every breath differently. I sat in the room with my then husband and watched the seconds tick past on the clock, gripping his arm with a clutch of death. It was us against the world, again.
At 8:15 yesterday morning, J went under anesthesia again, this time for a second set of tubes and the removal of his adenoids. Unlike both of the previous times, this was a procedure I had to face on my own… or so I thought. But the night before, a friend called to find out what time she needed to be at my house to ride with me and told me she planned to stay until we were safely home. Just before bedtime, a friend texted to tell me she’d left a gift for J in our mailbox. At 8:20 the next morning, a friend showed up to pray with us before the procedure. At 9:00 my brave boy climbed out of my lap and walked with the nurse through the heavy wooden door and for twenty seven minutes, my friend stoically sat beside me and kept up a stream of conversation, distracting me from the darkest thoughts in my heart and head.
When we got home, she made a quick trip to the store for medicine and when we were snuggly settled at home, she went back to her office to do work that pays in something other than gratitude. At just after noon, a co-worker brought me a 12 pack of Diet Dr. Pepper. At just before 3, a friend offered to come and sit with us for a while. At 5:30, a friend called to see if we needed anything. At 6:00pm, a friend brought us pizza for dinner and stayed to chat and amuse.
So far this morning, I’ve received six text messages from people checking in, asking if we need anything, asking if they can help in any way.
So far this morning, I’ve cried three times with the overwhelming outpouring of love and friendship that has accompanied this minor little blip on the radar of our lives. So far this week, I’ve felt the warm, tight embrace of friendship in a way that I have never felt it before. And I am so thankful… for all of you. For the Facebook messages, for the Twitter mentions, for the Text messages, for the phone calls. When I was married and trouble crept in, it was us against the world… my husband and I. And I was so scared that being single meant being alone in times like these. But it doesn’t have to, does it? It doesn’t have to be us against the world… maybe, just maybe, it can be us WITH the world… all of us together, working together, to make each other feel a little less alone.
Because in reality, this is really big planet we’re living on… and we are only as alone as we let ourselves be.