I had big plans for 2020.
I had “goals”. In my mind that meant writing regularly, pitching more articles to editors, growing my social media following, and self-publishing an anthology of essays. (I had a book outline and everything!) But then a global pandemic hit, and these things didn’t feel like priorities anymore.
Surviving became the priority – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We all had our worlds turned upside down and found ourselves living lives we thought only existed in science fiction films. We were forced to isolate and stay home. Our school, work, and social lives were completely reimagined. We endured personal losses, heartbreak, and setbacks. We worked to find a new normal.
The other day I shared a great article from PopSugar about how teaching your children the phrase “A gift is a thought” can totally reframe how they accept presents, regardless of the contents.
I loved the essay, and it has stayed with me since reading it. I wasn’t sure why I felt it so much. After all, we have always been taught “it’s the thought that counts” when it comes to presents. Nothing groundbreaking, really. But something about the way it was worded got me. I think now I realize why.
I think it’s because I have always felt, for me, that a THOUGHT is a GIFT.
Last Thursday I texted my dear friend to see if Evalyn and I could FaceTime her family to wish them a happy first night of Hanukkah. My family does not celebrate the holiday, and I didn’t want to disrupt their traditions so I figured I would ask first.
“Of course!” my friend said. “We will light our menorah with you tonight.”
“I’m honored.” I responded. I had never been a part of a menorah lighting before.
“We are grateful!” she replied.
I’m often pretty casual when I talk about them.
My daughter’s medical issues, that is.
When listening to me, some people may think I’m being flippant or minimizing serious issues like “surgery” and “hospitalizations” and “heart valve replacements”. And you know what? When I listen to myself sometimes I guess I can hear that, too. But it’s actually not the case at all.
When you have a child with a serious health issue, “routine” appointments are never routine.
Tomorrow we will be traveling for Evalyn’s cardiology check-up. Last November at the age of 8, she underwent her 4th cardiac catheterization where the stent in her heart that began to close up was ballooned open again. The cardiologists had hoped to put a new pulmonary valve in at the time as well, but were unable to, due to her crowded cardiac anatomy. The risks of performing the valve replacement at the time outweighed the possible benefits.