The Bright Side

Today has been mixed for me. I find lately that when some sort of hurdle is thrown in my way, my ability to leap over it emotionally has been drastically reduced, and I have a big stumble before I’m able to get up and move on. I seem to be suffering from frayed nerves. (I wonder why?) I startle at loud noises. When Gavin falls down (which is often) I cannot help but scream and rush to his side even though he hasn’t hurt himself. Tears come, everywhere, unbidden.

As I was packing my bag today to head out to our first physio appointment at Bloorview, I came to a depressing realization. I had no idea where my iPad was. My iPad was a gift given to me by a most generous group of my friends, the Mamas. This is a circle of incredible women who shared the first months of Gavin’s life, as I shared the joys and fears of their first experiences of motherhood. This gift was so thoughtful and kind and became my constant companion in the months of isolation. I was able to keep up with my blog, send emails, and read books in the dark as Gavin slept beside me. During our time in ICU, I spent many hours playing mindless games that kept my brain focussed elsewhere and allowed me a rest from the constant, frantic, consuming worry and fear. I recorded many bits of information about our hospital stay in various notes. Information about Gavin’s blood counts and medications. Gavin learned to use it himself within about three seconds, and the only way I could leave him alone in the room to run out to the bathroom was to set him up with the “Cupcake” app. Anyone picking up the iPad would immediately be able to get into my email as I never bothered to secure the device at all.

The only place that it could be was on the plane. With my mind ticking ahead at 1:00 am to the busy day and reunion with Gavin, I left it behind. For the first time in my life, I left something on a plane. Why couldn’t it have been a book?! And of course it has not been found and turned in. Because, sadly, in our society, when you carelessly forget a personal item, it’s your fault that the next person who comes along decides to keep it. I admit that I cried and felt guilty. I’ve certainly never owned something quite that techy and cool.

If you are paying attention though, life has a little way of pointing you in the right direction. I arrived at our physio appointment glum after an annoying conversation with a Westjet rep, but immediately began to feel extremely small. At Bloorview, the norm is to be in a wheelchair or walk with a walker. An NG tube, head-scars and a lost iPad, is nothing. Gav munched on crackers and ran away from me, shouting, I’m running away, hahaha! After a quick chat, Gavin’s new physiotherapist, Gail, got right to work examining Gav and doling out practical advice. He climbed stairs and went down the slide, threw balls in a basketball hoop and finally, rode a tricycle (for the first time!) up and down the halls. He was pretty pleased with himself. Gail was pleased with him too and noted that she doesn’t see any signs of low muscle tone or ataxia, so it looks like we just need to work on strengthening him and getting him where he needs to be. We are going back for weekly appointments for the next little while and will take it from there. An encouraging start.

Beanie and I popped in to see Auntie Loz on the way home and invited ourselves for dinner. (Thanks, L0) We finally arrived home after being out most of the day, and I found a little note from our neighbour telling us she’d spotted a gift basket on the front porch that she didn’t dare leave there. Mystified, Bean and I went over to collect it and then spent some time taking everything out and looking at it. It is from an anonymous friend who has been so generous to us, I am truly humbled. This basket is stunning, with flowers, chocolates, gifts, and a note that made me cry. Gavin pulled out the things that were for him and said, Wow! A brand-new shovel and bucket!! There is a bird-feeder that we can paint together, which he immediately wanted to fill with bird seed and put outside, but I convinced him to wait for daylight. He was especially thrilled with a little box of puzzles, and said Awww, this is so cute! (Where did he get that expression from?) Today, with my dark thoughts, this gift was so very appreciated. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for always thinking of us!

The moral of the story is this: If you find something that’s been lost, get it back to the person it belongs to.  AND. Random acts of kindness and generosity are what makes the bright side shine brighter.

4 responses to “The Bright Side”

  1. Auntie Melanie

    Grandma always believed in “the silver lining” of a cloud – I have always tried to do this myself. I would just like to say that you amaze me Erica. I love your writing and I love you! xoxoxox

  2. Anonymous

    Last week I was so rushed and frazzled that I withdrew a hundred bucks from the bank machine, took my card and left the without the money! Of course no one returned it – and the bank refused to help even though they had the information all on camera. So I hope that the person who got it either really needed it, or got butt boils for taking it 😉
    Big hugs,

  3. Janet

    So sorry that you lost your Ipad; I hope you will be able to get another.
    Are you still trying to get Gavin to get more calories? If so, has the hospital told you about Caloreen? When Colleen was little, we added this powder to her milk and juice and beefed up the calorie content that way. As I recall it took about nine months post-surgery before she would eat semi-normally again, and got the tube out once and for all.
    Don’t know if I mentioned it, but Colleen’s nickname when she was little was “Beanie”.
    Hugs from Janet and Paul

  4. karena

    I swear you make me a better person…

Leave a Reply