i know this is probably one of the worst cliches, but i promise it's true.
august 18, 2006.
the morning started off pretty normal. it was a friday morning. i had taken both children to the pediatrician to see what might be wrong with the goo. she was having a lot of problems nursing. while i was in the office, my cell phone was ringing. it was buz. he never calls my cell. so to use my cell phone etiquette while in the doctor's office, i pushed the ignore button. continued my conversation with the doc. rang again. ignored again. rang a third time. UGH! SERIOUSLY! at this point, i'll be honest -- i was a little annoyed. (and trust me, so was buz at this point.) so i answered it, and it was buz. i asked the pediatrician to please excuse me for just one tiny little second. i felt so disrespectful, but i decided if buz was continuing to call, it must have been important. buz asked if i was in a place where i could hear him. he said he was in the ER. buz works in a hospital, so he is in the ER very often, seeing patients. i didn't think a thing of it...until he told me he was a patient in the hospital.
there. you have my attention, dear.
the three of us left the pediatrician's office in such a blur. i don't even remember if i told the pediatrician anything other than i had to go. really. quickly.
he told me he couldn't talk for long, but that he had chest pains that morning while he was interviewing someone for a job. he had to excuse himself to go to the ER. two hours later, his boss called me to tell me that he was ok, he was alert, but that they were going to admit him.
ummm...i have a 3 1/2-WEEK-old. who's nursing.
so, after calling my bff and unloading every bit of anxiety onto her shoulders, i nursed the goo and then (almost literally) dropped my two children with my sweet sister-in-law. moment's notice, people. that is family. and i got in the car for my hour-long trip to the hospital. (oh yeah. i failed to mention that buz worked at a hospital an hour away from our house.) but that hour gave me enough time to talk to Jesus and emotionally and spiritually prepare myself as best as i could for what i was about to face. the whole way there, i was thinking to myself, "how am i driving to see my 36-year-old husband in the hospital? could this be serious? could i be left as a single mother of two under three?" i know that all sounds dramatic, but i couldn't help but think the worst.
i get there and go straight to the information desk to ask what room he's in. because he told me a certain number but that number is in the cardiac ICU. ????? the helpful information assistant confirms my fear. he's in the ICU.
the sight was one of the worst i've seen. buz lying there with a LOT of tubes and wires and oxygen, etc. "be strong. be strong. don't cry. screw that. he's my husband and my very best friend. cry like a baby. he'll understand."
i spent the night there on a cot, pumping every three hours. the cardiac floor had never had breast milk in their patient refrigerator before. or so i'm guessing.
my sweet father-in-law came in from new mexico the next morning to "relieve me." honestly, i didn't want to be anywhere else. but i had two little people who needed their mommy. so i went home and picked up the kiddos and came back home. i can't even describe the emptiness of our little house. my sweet friend biscuit came over that night to clean my house and help me put my kiddos to bed. (her OCD/germophobia came in so handy that night. thanks, biscuit.) that night was BY FAR the loneliest i have ever felt. waking up every three hours with a newborn. feeding her without my husband. hoping and praying that big h didn't have any nightmares. praying that the goo fed ok during the night. and above all else, praying that my husband was ok. praying that the nurses were taking good care of him.
the next morning was a sunday (the 20th). and it just so happened to be my birthday. (insert "poor me" face here. i know, i know...this story is definitely NOT all about me. ) i couldn't, i repeat COULD NOT be alone this morning. so somehow we managed to get out the door and make it to the 9:00 service. i literally cried the entire service. the poor lady (probably around my mom's age) asked me a handful of times if i was ok and if i needed anything. i just wanted my husband back. we went to dunkin' donuts afterward. and because it was AUGUST and i had a baby four weeks ago, i was blistering hot in my cute little maternity number. but nothing heals a broken heart like sugary sprinkles on top of some donut goodness.
that night, my bff came over with hamburgers for us and helped me put my kiddos to bed. seriously, i have the best friends and family ever! bff spent the night with me and woke up at the BUTT CRACK of dawn. (sorry to swear, but people it was early. and bff doesn't drive in the dark, so this was a selfless act of love.) she headed home with the goo in the backseat of her car. it was so weird to watch my daughter drive off with someone else. but i knew she was in good hands. bff, i love you. and my sweet sister-in-law kept big h for me again. i promise big h felt like he was at camp wisner. i will never be able to repay my brother- and sister-in-law for the way they just stepped right up and said, "we'll do anything." you guys are the best!
that monday morning, buz had a cardiac catheterization and angiogram. i spent time in the waiting room with my brother-in-law who couldn't imagine not being there. it was there that they realized that buz had had a heart attack.
we got to take him home that night, and buz and i picked up the goo from bff's house on the way home. one of his very closest friends from high school came up to spend the evening with us. big h stayed the night at camp wisner again. i promise she looked older and bigger in the day i was gone. (new parents: you know what i'm talking about.) it was so strange to be in the house, just the three of us. buz, the goo, and me. that was the only night i have ever been in the house without big h. so weird.
and now it's a year later. and i can't being to put into words the love my heart has for this man. God has blessed our marriage immensely. God is sovereign. He has given us each other. He has made sure two sweet little kids have a daddy who is out of this world. this is corny, but big h and i have been watching cinderella lately (a very weird version, i might add). but as i've watched, i've thought, "oh, what a dream come true for her. how lucky. she got to the ball and danced the night away with the man of her dreams. then, he was out of her sight. and then they were reunited, and they lived happily ever after." (yes, i'm actually going to use cinderella as an analogy tonight.) i really thought there was a possibility of losing my sweet prince. but we were reunited. and we are living happily ever after. (i know...you're vomiting from all the sappiness. we're gross like that.)
i can't believe my life is so rich. thank you, Jesus, for buz. thank you for everything he does for me. thank you for everything he does for our family. thank you for his good (and improved) health. thank you for the daddy he is. thank you for the husband he is. and thank you for the man of God he is.
i love you, buz. thanks for sticking around for us.
(oh, and because i know you were wondering. no, my belly is not ALWAYS that big. just when there's a baby in there.)