Sunday, November 21, 2010

Celebration and Sorrow

It has been 15 days since my last post. What a confusing, maddening, happy, frustrating, disgusting, loving, tiring 15 days it has been. I've had such a mix of emotions. Shortly after my last post came Drake's birthday. I cannot believe that my youngest son is 10. Drake had such a rough start to his life...a few weeks before he was born I was rushed to the hospital because I was bleeding out...bleeding to death. I was home with only Tiff, Kait and Gage (ages 13, 9 and 2 respectively at the time)...Mark was returning the truck to his work and coming home soon. When I lifted Gage to give him a snuggle I felt a gush. I thought for sure that my water had broken. When I went to the bathroom it was a different story. Blood had gushed so heavy it bled through my jeans. Deep, dark blood. I immediate controlled the situation and Mark got us to the hospital in time. They delayed labor and assessed the situation and determined that I had a previously undetected complete previa and had been bleeding internally...when I lifted Gage, I dilated and the blood all came out at once. So came weeks of bedrest in the hospital with a two year old at home, with his older sisters - while Mark worked and tried to get us moved into our new apartment. A very sad, lonely and scary time for us all. Born at 36 weeks and two days, Drake was the largest baby (7lbs, 7oz.) in the NICU - he was intubated - I was told he might "expire". But he didn't - after 8 days in the NICU, pulling out his tubes and his IVs, two doses of surfactant, blowing out some of his aveoli - we were released. But here we are ten years later, stronger and healthier. Drake is an amazing little boy - he fascinates me. He is strong and strong willed. He is smart and a smart alec. He collects shiny things. He accepts everyone for who they are. He's not afraid to wear fairy wings. He's not afraid to climb trees. He's not afraid to get dirty. I love him for all of those things and more. He is an incredible ten year old, who again, I am so proud that he chose me to be his mother.
The sad part of Drake's birthday is that he felt jinxed. The night before his seventh birthday he got seven stitches over his left eye. Certainly scary but not life threatening. This year his birthday was different. It started with normal birthday morning kisses, delivering treats to the class (yummy homemade pumpkin muffins with homemade cream cheese icing with vanilla and cinnamon) - and then Mark and I went off to work. Then, I received a call from my Dad. I could tell from his tone that something terrible had happen. I know this is going to sound morbid...but I have this list in my head. The "hello Shelby, this is your Dad/Mom/Mark/Uncle and so and so has passed/is in the hospital" list. I's horrible that this list exists but there are certain people in our family that aren't in the best of health or are very elderly and I would imagine that sooner than later we will be receiving the dreaded call that something has happened...but again, this time it was different. My dad continued to say that my Aunt Lynn, my 57 year old aunt, was struck by a car and killed instantly. The story began that she and my uncle were walking my cousin's dog on a beautiful, clear day, just as the often do...and the story ended with learning that a "man" who had taken ambien, valium and geodon and was overly concerned about his "missed cell phone call" had veered so far off the road that he struck my aunt with the driver's side of his car, throwing her body 50 ft. in the air, nearly struck my uncle (if it hadn't been for the dog pulling him to the side) and as Lynn crashed to the ground - my uncle didn't even realize that was his wife for the past 15 years of his life. Mother to his stepdaughter and stepmother to his children, grandmother, best friend. He ran to be by her side...but it was too late and she was gone. What makes this man feel like it is ok to drive in this condition? At what point will he learn his lesson? Did I mention that this was his THIRD accident this month? One accident he hit a woman's car so violently that it pushed her car off the road into a telephone pole, another accident the other driver said that he saw Forshee (the driver) coming up behind him and braced for the impact you would think Forshee would immediately stop his vehicle - instead he continued to accelerate his vehicle for a while before coming to a stop. This man needs to be rehabilitated but he also needs to be jailed for his actions. This "man" has a wife and children - he has already killed someone - could you imagine if his family was in the car and he killed them?! Or if they had to experience this horrific accident? What if he would have killed my uncle as well? I don't understand how much has to happen to make this asshole realize he has a problem.
In addition to this accident, another Chittenango HS grad's car went off the road and rolled and she passed away and yet another Chittenango grad, a soldier in Afghanistan was killed by a roadside bomb...I know that this strong town will recover...but right now they are suffering from such extreme devastation. I feel so much sorrow for my little hometown. But here is what I believe and what I told Drake...his birthday is certainly NOT jinxed...we could have died on his birthday...but we didn't. On his seventh birthday he could have lost his entire eye and instead he only got a few stitches and his scar makes him look handsome, rugged and tough. Finally, although Aunt Lynn passed on Drake's birthday - if she had passed just two months earlier, she wouldn't have been able to make it to her daughter's wedding, or take the trip to China with my uncle to visit my cousin and his partner, or make a work trip to Vermont to see my other cousin and his partner...while it is unbelievable, heartbreaking, devastating that she died, I believe that when it is your time it is your time and fortunately she was able to leave her children and grandchildren with such wonderful memories.
So here I sit, watching Elf, on November 21...four days prior to Thanksgiving. Normally, such nonsense is boycotted until after the Thanksgiving holiday...once Black Friday arrives, I'm all about Christmas...but this year, I think it has hit me a couple days early. I think I just need the love, snuggles and warmth from my family that the holiday has been an extremely hard week. After we got back from NY I worked about 60 hours. trying to catch up and spent the weekend working a holiday event and giving away light bulbs.
I could really use a break right now.


  1. It's been a crazy couple weeks...kind of a whirlwind of highs and lows. But the highs get us through the lows and keep us fueled to keep on keeping on. Love you!

  2. wow, i'm so so sorry to hear about your aunt. ugh. not jinxed, but certainly have a lot of hardship. i love the story about drake - what a gift of a little man he sounds! indulge in all the holiday stuff, cheesy or not, you can and want!

  3. Thanks Hopeful...Drake is an amazing little man. I have five children and when we all get in the room together it is so loud with laughing and teasing and loving and I couldn't imagine it any other way.