Take a little time to smell the roses

March 27, 2015

Pat Mauer - Bits & Pieces

Pat Mauer – Bits & Pieces

One of the things I brought home from the hospital with me Tuesday was a little ceramic angel, a gift from friends of son Don who have “been through and come out the other side.”

I know exactly what that little angel meant to them, and what it means to me now.

The length of time we all have on planet Earth is so uncertain. God, in his infinite wisdom, has given me another chance at life and I intend to make the most of it.

I have COPD and used oxygen just at night for several years now. Unfortunately I wasn’t maintaining or managing my COPD like I thought – I haven’t been sick, at least not to realize that I was. Haven’t even had bronchitis (once a real problem every year) in about three years.

Now realize that this is me talking… everyone around me in the family could see how much my breathing had deteriorated in the past five years or so. I just didn’t want to admit it.

It is easy to be complacent – and stubborn. I am a former long-time smoker, from the “Mad Men” 60s era, when everybody lit up morning ‘til night. You just never realize, or admit to yourself what you might be doing to your body in the meantime. After all those health risks are for everybody else not you, right?

Long story short? I caught something then complicated things on March 14 – that long, cold and windy Irish Festival Day when I spent the day “pushing myself” to get everything done – just like I have every year for the last 25 years…
Problem is I’m not in my forties anymore, not even close.

By Monday I knew I had to do something. Called the doctor, got a prescription for antibiotic and some cough medicine. Stubborn me, I thought that would take care of the problem.

But that didn’t work and by Tuesday afternoon, I knew I was in real trouble.

I don’t remember much of anything after 4 p.m. Tuesday, until I woke up in the Midland ICU late Thursday afternoon.
I completely lost two days and two nights from my life, and found out a bit later that I almost lost all of the time I have left as well. Daughter Lisa took my hands in hers and said through the tears, “I’m just not ready to lose you yet Mom.”
She said if I had waited any longer “to do something,” I wouldn’t be here now at all.

Friday, I started the long haul back to “healthy” hopefully. From here on out, I have to learn how to breathe correctly, eat correctly and take better care of myself for my own sake as well as for my family. I just don’t want to see that look on my son and daughter’s face again for a long, long time.

I want to be here to see all my grandchildren walk down the aisle, if that is their lot in life, or see them earn their degree if that is where life will be taking them. Whatever their choices are, I want to be there to see it happen.
I want to spend some quality time enjoying life, instead of always worrying over what I have to do next.
I want years and years left to spend with the love of my life.

God willing some of this will come true. I know I will remember to be grateful for whatever I am given from here on out – even if it only means taking a little extra time out to “smell the roses.”

When I got home, there was another little ceramic angel waiting for me to go with the first one. They are watching over me from a little shelf in the living room.

My newest angel is holding a bouquet of roses…

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