Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Power and Thank You's

I have always wanted to be the kind of person who sends handwritten thank you cards.  I've been on the receiving end plenty.  I've received cards thanking me for a ward choir program that touched someone, a dinner offered after a baby, a shower present given.  And no matter the occasion, the thank you card reminds me that I really want to be one of those people.

But I'm just not.  I'm also not a drop-everything-to-have-emergency-surgery kind of person.  In fact, after I had been told that my gall bladder was not working and would have to be removed, I asked the surgeon what, theoretically, would happen if I chose not to get it out.  For, say... two days.  Or a week.  (Or, in my mind... until June.)  Kirk said he watched me as the surgeon explained that I'd be in pain, that there were risks of complications, etc., but that when the surgeon mentioned that it could rupture and release toxins, Kirk thought, "Ding ding ding... you've just said the magic word."  Kirk is pretty accurate in assuming I'd have postponed if the only threat was pain.

I cried when they told me they were admitting me to the hospital.  Actually, sobbed is more like it.  I had class Tuesday evening that according to university policy I would be dropped from if I missed a night.  I've never missed a day of music since I started teaching at NPA.  Adam had his first piano recital on Wednesday - what if i had to miss that?  Not to mention after-school theater and show choir rehearsals and Dickens Festival.  Yep.  Sobbed.

But what could I do?  The surgeon had said toxins, and I was committed to the removal of one redundant organ.

A side story:

The previous Sunday had been pain-filled as it was leading me, unaware, to the whole gall bladder out thing.  Skye and Michelle had come over to hang out, and Skye suggested that I get a priesthood blessing.  I declined the offer, and then tried to explain my own personal feelings of when the power of the priesthood is necessary.  It was hard to explain, and I found myself saying lame things like, "Well, I guess Heavenly Father's power is probably infinite, but it feels like if I ask for a blessing over a little thing, that it may be taking attention away from someone else's big thing."  Sounds dumb, yes? But I'm just not a little thing priesthood-blessing person.  I could handle the pain.  And it was a Sunday, and I had nowhere I had to be.  I like to think Heavenly Father likes it when I handle what I can handle.  (Don't get me wrong... I think those who are able to rely more fully on the gifts Heavenly Father has given us are amazingly strong in their faith!  It's just not my way.)

Back to the main story:

Now, pre-surgery is definitely on my time-for-the-priesthood list.  My dad, father-in-law, and husband all came over to give me a blessing, and I was so grateful to have the priesthood there in so many great men who care about me.  I asked my dad to give the blessing, and he delivered the perfect words straight from Heavenly Father to me.  I was blessed that I would be calm.  And I was blessed with the knowledge that there would be many people who would step in to do the things that I could not do.

Those words were such a comfort to me as I thought through my commitments for the week and realized there was much I would not be able to do.  And a few things that only I could do.  I knew that Heavenly Father would help me through the essential tasks and would provide someone to do the other things on my list.

And so this week, more so than any other week, I should be a Thank You card person.  I apologize for the absence of handwritten, USPS-mailed notes.  But here is my public thank you to the individuals who were an instrument in the Lord's hands, sent directly to me to fulfill the blessing I was given.

My father-in-law:  Thank you for taking care of the kids until 3 am on the night I was in the emergency room.  Knowing my kids were being looked out for made it possible for me to focus on being in the hospital.

Michelle: Thank you for picking up the kids at the hospital on Tuesday morning and keeping them all day until we were able to get home.  I really needed to see them before my surgery, and it was a huge help that Kirk didn't have to leave to take them back home.

Skye: Thank you for the dinner on Tuesday.  It was the only reason we were able to turn around and get Adam to his game and me to class on time.

My mom: Thank you for handling after school theater without me.  I know it wasn't easy to rearrange the schedule to make it so I could miss.  Thank you also, for rearranging your Wednesday plans to attend Dickens rehearsal to be my backup.  I felt a lot more confident knowing you were there to look out for me.

Ben: Thanks, Ben, for picking me up at Adam's game and taking me to class.  I did not have enough energy to drive, and the meds I was on probably wouldn't have made it safe.  Thanks also for carrying my laptop case to and from class so I didn't have to lift something heavy.

Substitute Teacher: Thanks for rearranging your lesson plans so I could leave class a bit early on Tuesday night.  Thank you for recognizing that some things transcend university policy.

Perry: Thank you for your taxi services!  Thank you for driving Adam to school on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so I did not have to get out of bed so early.  Thank you for driving to rehearsals all week so I didn't have to make myself a hazard on the roads.  And thanks for all the little things you did to prevent me from needing to lift or overextend myself.

My visiting teachers: Thank you for the Thursday dinner.  Let's be fair: Kirk cooks almost every day anyway.  But by bringing in dinner, you freed him up to concentrate on taking care of me and the kids, and to straighten the house and keep up with the laundry.  Plus you brought rice crispy treats, which made my evening.

Shawna Pierce: Thank you for not only arranging to take home Adam and Alex from school but for insisting that Kirk bring Dylan in so you could take him home, too.  Thursday evening's quiet home was just what I needed to prepare for Dickens rehearsal.  And the kids needed to be somewhere where they could get lots of attention.  Thanks for giving them what I haven't felt up to giving.

Jenecee Pierce: Thank you for hurrying down to the multi-purpose room to respond to Mrs. Fife's need for help.  Pushing play on the CD player to save me from having to walk to the back of the room repeatedly literally saved me during show choir.  It may seem like a small thing, but I could not have done it without you.

Cindy Whitehair: Thank you for the Friday meal.  It was delicious!  I didn't want to give up making Dylan's cake or finishing up costumes for a Saturday party, and your offer to bring food freed me (and Kirk) up to do those once-in-a-lifetime tasks.  You played an integral part of making D's 3rd birthday party happen.

Logan Gifford: Thank you for lending your energy to my orphan rehearsal on Saturday morning.  You helped those kids have a rehearsal I just didn't have the energy to give them.  Thanks, also, for being the kind of person who acts kind of like a battery.  Being surrounded by people like you keeps me charged.

Carmen Gale: Thank you for being willing to sub for me in primary today.  Child-chasing was just not in the cards!  It is great to know that I have back up and support and don't have to do everything myself.

Amy Jenkins: Thank you for responding to my last-minute call to play the organ.  That was the hardest help for me to ask for, because I certainly could have played.  You were a direct answer to my blessing, and exactly the sort of help Heavenly Father wanted me to use.

The Moms of Mom Row: Thank you to the moms who sit in on Dickens rehearsal and cast me glances that say, "Are you okay?"  I know that if I had needed anything, you would have been right there, stepping up to help out.  It is always nice just to know you are there.

Others: I am certain I am missing some.  Thank you to every person who has taken a moment to make my life easier!

My husband: Where to start?  Thank you for getting up early every morning to make the kids breakfast before you went to work.  Thank you for listening to a prompting on Friday to take the day off and look out for me.  Thank you for bringing me flannel pajamas and a quilt to the hospital and holding my hand while I was scared and crying.  Thank you for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in bed whenever I haven't felt up to venturing out to the kitchen.  Thank you for gentle reminders to take my medication and nudges to ask for or accept help.  Thank you for letting me do the things that I needed to do and letting me complain about how hard they were.  Thank you for being there for me all week.

Sadly, I don't think I am quite in the clear yet.  I had to stay home from church today and slept for the entire three-hour block.  But I feel blessed and grateful and ready to try.