When bad days become good ones

Wednesday was a pretty rough day for me.  I started feeling sick on Sunday afternoon-- achy body, extra tired, and a painful headache.  This continued all day Monday and Tuesday with my headache getting progressively worse.  By Tuesday afternoon, my head was exploding with pain behind my eyes which worsened anytime I moved my eyes side to side, up or down, bent over, or looked out the window at bright light.  Tuesday night, I developed a fever and was up during the night unable to sleep much, so by Wednesday when the headache was no better than the day before I was a pretty unhappy camper to say the least.  Oh yeah, did I mention to top it all off I'm also 26 weeks pregnant!?!  Ugggghhhh.

Here's how Wednesday went down: Justin got up with James since he had a free morning and I slept in since I hadn't slept much at night.  I woke up for good at 10am and drug myself out of the bedroom.  Justin left to go do some work at the gym at 10:30 and said he'd maybe be back later in the afternoon.  I mostly laid on the couch, but did what I needed to do to get James a snack/lunch and down for a nap around noon.  James mercifully slept a good long time for me while I watched Netflix on the couch and he woke up around 2:30 pm.  Justin came home shortly after and we agreed I should go to the doctor and get checked out to make sure it wasn't something serious.  I dragged my sorry butt out the door and squinted the whole way to the doc while my head pounded incessantly.  After an hour of waiting and a short consultation with the doctor I left the clinic with nothing to show for it except a prescription for Tylenol (which is not available over-the-counter here).  As soon as I got home Justin headed back to work for the evening and wouldn't return until 10 pm.  My dear friend and next door neighbor, Anna, graciously offered to watch James (along with her one year old twins!!!) until his bedtime since she knew I was sick and on my own with him for the evening.  So James went next door and I fell asleep from around 5:30 to 7 pm.  When my alarm went off at 7, I went and got James, chatted with Anna for a few minutes, then went back and got James ready for bed, put him down, and resumed laying on the couch.

Objectively, as I look at the day now, I had a lot of help, didn't have to do that much to care for James, and was afforded plenty of rest.  But on that day, in the midst of my sickness, I had a miserable attitude.  All I wanted was to lie in bed all day long and have someone (cough, cough, Justin) take care of me and handle my son for me so I wouldn't have to.  I ended up having good help with James, but had to be alone most of the day, left to wallow in self pity, think about only myself, and wish someone would just come take care of me.  I wasn't ready to be the responsible super mom who just sucks it up because moms can never really have sick days of their own.  I wanted my mom to come take care of me!

And then, while perusing Facebook, lying on the couch drowning in throbbing head pain and sorrow and selfishness and other icky gross sinful feelings, I read something that made me absolutely bawl.  And it completely changed my perspective.

I came across the blogpost of a mom who was writing as her 5 year old son was dying of cancer and had only days to live.  (Definitely worth a read, especially if you're in the mood for a good cry!)  According to her most recent blogpost, I just learned he actually had passed away that very morning (here).  I completely broke down upon reading how this mother was so gracefully and painfully pushing through the the last few days she had with her son on this earth.  I. just. lost. it.  I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.  I cried for the mother, father, and siblings who were losing that poor little boy.  I ached for the so many others in the world who have experienced such a loss or are walking through it right now.  I bawled as I realized how my day hadn't been so bad after all.  My sickness was just a temporary inconvenience and I would wake up in a few days back to normal with a happy and healthy husband, son, and baby on the way.

When I stopped crying I snuck into James' room and I sat down next to his crib and just stared at him in the dark.  I watched him sleep so quietly and perfectly for a while.  And I sat there filled with a fierce love and thankfulness for my precious child and the blessing of his well being.

When Justin came home late that night I sat across from him at the table and recounted what happened through more tears and apologized for my attitude earlier in the day.  I explained how I realized it's all a matter of perspective and that my circumstances were not ideal, but not so bad and I had so many things to be thankful for.  He was also pretty shaken by learning of the little boy dying of cancer and though he didn't respond with tears like I did, his words also resonated with how I had been feeling, "Makes me feel like an idiot for ever getting mad at James."

So friends, treasure the ones you love and be thankful for every moment you have with them.  Even on the bad days, look for the silver lining.  We have so much to be thankful for, if we would just fix our perspective on the blessings God has so graciously and generously poured out on us.

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