January 10, 2010 is a day I’ll never forget. My life was forever changed when my young, fit, and healthy husband suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage. Out of the blue. I still vividly recall looking at my husband’s brain scan in the ER and thinking that it was the end. I was 11 weeks pregnant with my son at the time and prayed that he would not grow up without knowing his father. Thanks to the incredible staff at Northwest Community Hospital, I’m privileged to say he has made a full recovery. Even so, I don’t often like to talk to about the events of that fateful day. I won’t get into the details, but you are welcome to read his inspirational story here. Instead, I wanted to once again acknowledge the amazing team of doctors and nurses that made his recovery possible and to share what I learned from the experience.
I recall his neurosurgeon, Dr. Foorohar, telling me she wanted us to resume our normal lives and forget what happened. But I choose not to forget, for remembering is what inspired me to change. I realized that while words could never express my gratitude, my actions could. So, I vowed to embrace some of life’s lessons we often forget.
It reminded me that life is a precious gift and we are to never take things for granted. I relish in small family moments, like before bedtime when my kids love to wrestle with my husband. Whenever I start feeling annoyed that he is riling them up when they should be winding down, I take a step back and look at the sheer joy on their faces. And I realize the few extra minutes are well worth it.
I learned to prioritize. Unloading the dishwasher can wait, watching my daughter create her next masterpiece cannot.
I learned to never leave things unsaid. I always say “I love you” to my husband and kids when I go somewhere. Even though they already know, I want it to be the last thing they remember.
I will always say “thank you” to anyone that offers help and make sure my kids do the same. Even if someone is just doing their job, I want them to know that it matters, whether it impacts my life in a big way or small.
I try to live each day to its fullest. That’s not to say I don’t have my share of bad days that leave me angry or frustrated, and sometimes I almost forget. Almost. But then I realize how fortunate I am and how things could have been. So, I do my best to see the bright side in every situation. And if you look hard enough, you can usually find it.
I also realized that I don’t want to live with regrets. I’ve always wanted to write a book and just completed my first novel. I aptly wrote about perseverance in the face of obstacles and to never give up on love. The process has brought out a passion I never knew existed. We all have dreams. There’s no time like the present to start living yours.