"Each day we are given a gift of 24hrs free of charge. If you had all of the money in the world, you could not purchase a single extra hour. Make the most of every opportunity."
This is one of my favourite quotes and one of the first to ever grace the walls of my desk area on a little blue post-it note in my first flat. It has since made 'The Desk' of every home I've had since, however old and tattered the bit of paper has become, but I just can't trace where I found it. I know that I've written the origin of the sentiment to be from Colossians 4 : 5, which quote the 'make the most of every opportunity', but it's the first part that really strikes a chord in me.The words are so very true, yet we rarely adhere to what they are saying.
As a mum to an incredibly active one year old, who all too often has to do the solo parent thing, whilst my husband is away with work; I can confess that prior to recent events, I would far too regularly reach that witching hour in the afternoon (usually approximately 4.30pm, when nap time feels like an eternity ago and bed time just as far away in the opposite direction!), when I would count down the minutes until bedtime when I could have two minutes to myself to make a phone call, reply to a message or simply have a wee by myself without a small person's company and babbling commentary!
After having to wait for the gift that is our precious Florrie for many years, (throughout which time there were many points when we thought a child for us might never be possible)- I had promised myself I would savour every minute with my child should God ever bless me with one. However, I'd still foolishly find myself wishing away those precious minutes for that elusive peace or 'me time' a parent to young children craves.
This issue was bought into focus for me recently when after being admitted to hospital for feeling a little unwell following my recent miscarriage, I was told I had a blood clot on my brain.
After a late afternoon CT scan, I was told the news on a Friday evening and subsequently had to spend the next three days in a gut wrenchingly stressful and worrying limbo, whilst I was given blood thinning treatment until the specialists could meet together on the Monday to decide what to do with the clot.
As I awoke in hospital early for my 6am observations on that Saturday morning, I found an incredible peace in the usually busy ward and took this opportunity to take some time to think and pray.I pulled out my pen and prayer brook and scribbled a pretty frank and desperate prayer as I watched the sun rise outside my window and thought about the news I had been told just a few hours ago.
The prayer's primary request was that God may look after the light of my life that is Florrie and that I may be blessed with being able to continue to be her mummy. I've re-read that prayer almost everyday since to remind me what is really important. When the chips were down and I was facing one of my most daunting days yet, it was Florrie and my family I was caring about and praying for more days spent together as a family doing simple things, spending priceless time just being with one another.
Over the coming days I would be separated from my little pickle and was indeed able to do all of those things I was wishing for prior to their pivotal moment in my life- I could wee in peace, text (with two hands!) and even indulge in some time to think and take my mind off things with a bit of tele!
What I wasn't able to do however was experience the craziness and chaos that is and surrounds my daughter. The little time I was able to spend with her when my husband brought her into my room to see me, was spent frantically trying to keep her entertained enough to sit on the bed with me instead of applying her newly acquired skill of running in a busy hospital ward. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and weak also and even a short time with her would leave me having to lay quietly for some time to recover from the contact with her.
Even upon being allowed home after the specialists reassessed the scan of the lump on my brain and determined it not to be a clot so I could be treated at home whilst they investigated further- I could not be alone with my baby as I would collapse and have visual disturbances too often to be safe alone with her. After getting a little stronger, this week has been the first that I have attempted to spend time alone with my gorgeous girl since this whole saga began.
Far from wishing away the minutes until bedtime, I have now found myself just staring at my little miracle in absolute awe and amazement that she is mine and that I should be privileged enough to have this time with her.
This is not to say that this was a new sensation, rather that the whole situation had brought into focus just how lucky I am and what I have. Florrie at 14 months is like a little sponge and each day amazes me with her growing physical skills and ever increasing vocabulary.
Each day is a gift.
One that I am striving more and more to appreciate and say thank you for.
This is not to say that I don't ever have my moments of exasperation and exhaustion, (all parents do!)- but that when I do, I remind myself of how much I missed her when I was apart from her and when I feared I may not be with her to have the incredibly blessed role as her mummy.
As for the brain- 'the blob' as I am affectionately naming it until it's nature can be determined, is being examined and assessed by all manner of folk, so I am confident that it will be treated (or left alone) whatever is appropriate very soon.
In between my periods of feeling unwell I am much stronger and back to my regular levels of living.
I'm acutely aware what this limbo period of not knowing is doing to those who love me, but I am just grateful that it is not a clot and that I have each amazing day with my nutty nurse and general entertainer of my days.
I love you my baby girl! x