Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15, 1999

On this day, 15 years ago I was on my way home from high school. I was 15 years old myself and of course anxious to get home. When I pulled into the driveway I noticed my Dad was there. My parents were divorced at the time and it wasn't my day to go to my Dad's so it was odd but then again my parents are great friends so I didn't think too much about it.
Dad got my brother (Brandon) and I together who was a senior in high school at the time. Dad went on to tell us that our mother was in the hospital, it was raining that day so I assumed a car wreck. He went on to say that she has suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm and is waiting to hear about when her surgery will be scheduled. All of Mom's family at that time was called to the hospital and on the way to Memphis from Atlanta. I knew then it must be something serious. My 15 year old mind couldn't comprehend the seriousness of having a brain aneurysm but hearing all of Mom's family was on the way scared me.
That night Dad took us to the hospital to visit my Mom. She was so strong and didn't want us to be upset, she was in a terrible amount of pain but amazingly she had a conversation with us. I remember one vivid moment at the hospital. She asked Brandon and I to step outside of the room so we sat in the hallway on two metal chairs, next to each other. We had a chance to talk about what was happening and from that point on our relationship changed, we relied on each other. Mom asked my Dad to stay in the room with her. Years later I was told that Mom told him everything she wanted him to do with us if she didn't make it through. We were told she would not make it but as a mother now, I could not imagine having that conversation with my children's father. What a blessing Mom had to be able to speak to him and at the same time I can only imagine the thoughts both of them had. Dad never left our side, he was amazing and was there for us through all of the difficult times we had.
Mom's surgery was scheduled for the next morning so we all went home for the night and came back early the next morning. I don't remember much about that day but us all being in the waiting room for the whole day. My aunts, uncles, grandmother, Dad, Mom's co-workers all stayed the entire day. The doctor's came out to speak to Brandon and I to explain what all happened. Mom suffered another ruptured brain aneurysm on the operating table which that one would of killed her if she was not in surgery at that time. As you can see, God has His hand in this whole ordeal. She is literally a walking miracle! The doctor's explained to us that she would not know who we are, she would have to relearn everything from walking to talking to eating and everything between.
After surgery, Mom asked to see Brandon and I. After talking to her and seeing she was ok, I knew we all would be ok. She beat all of the odds. Everything they prepared us for she did the complete opposite. It was an amazing and hard time! They tried to keep our schedules normal while she was in the hospital recovering but I couldn't do it. I wanted to be by her side all the time so that's mainly what I did. After she was in the hospital for only one full week, she came home! Her long recovery process started at home and it took her years to recover. She is now thriving and is a reminder each day that miracles happen. So many people we have met throughout the years have died from this evil medical problem and I'm so blessed Mom was not one of them. It could of easily been Mom but God had more plans for her life at that time! He was not over with her life.
I look back as a Mom now and think of all of the terrible thoughts she might of had knowing she could of died. She was so strong and is still so strong to us all! She was only 38 when this happened. That is only 8 years from my age right now. I encourage anyone who has lost a relative to a brain aneurysm to get tested yourself. No one knows exactly why aneurysms happen but they do know they can be hereditary. I get myself scanned every 5 years. I actually have a very small aneurysm but it hasn't grown in the last 10 years we have been getting it checked so it will likely never grow and never become an issue.
Aneurysm awareness is the best. Always trust your body and it will tell you if something is wrong. Mom walked into the emergency room from the worst headache she's ever experienced. She had just passed out at work from this headache and that saved her life. Her co-workers dropping what they were doing to rush her to the hospital.
Hug the ones you love the most, we are not promised tomorrow!

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