All I ever wanted to be was a mom.
There’s a half moon shaped scar on my left leg where I slammed my shin into the sharp serrated metal step of a shuttle bus.
Out of breath from running, dragging my suitcase, frantic after a six-hour flight to the East coast.
I was pretty much inconsolable and incoherent but determined in my resolve. All the way across the country, I said over and over, “I just need to get to him. I just need to get there.”
I was literally running out of time.
I didn’t even know I was injured until the next day.
It was sliced to the bone and I never felt the pain, never felt the warm blood dripping down my leg, sticking to my socks, drying hard on my jeans.
I’m sure it needed to be sutured, but that constant pain, like the pain of the C-section that brought my baby into the world, is a wound I’ll always associate with birth and life.
You see, my life almost ended on April 29, 2014.
When I think of 2014, there’s really no other moment in time that so defines my year. Or my entire life.
Up until April 29th, the sun would rise and the sun would set; my tugboat man was either home or out to sea. I shopped, went to the gym, shopped some more. Life was pretty much uneventful.
Six months later, from the perspective of time, I can see that my life was split right down the middle; before the phone call and after the call.
In early April, I had an amazing road trip that culminated at Zion National Park; hiking and camping and finding joy in the magnificent beauty of nature.
But that one particular day stopped me in my tracks.
It was one of life’s pivotal moments. What if we had been out of cell range? What if we hadn’t made it in time? What if he hadn’t had the surgery in time? What if?
It could have gone either way.
The path not taken probably would have caused my disappearance from the world of blogging, of social media, and maybe you’d have thought to yourself, “I wonder what happened to Princess Rosebud?”
I wouldn’t have survived. I’m not being melodramatic; I’m stating this as a simple truth. I would not have survived.
All I ever wanted to be was a mom.
I was one of those little girls who always had a doll. I didn’t so much want to play house as I wanted to be Mommy. I wanted a baby of my own one day to love and nurture and care for and take care of — and protect from all harm.
It didn’t matter how smart I was or how well I did in college; it
was is my calling.
Lucky for me that my dream came true when I had my Angel Boy. From the very beginning, he was my amazing joy. His smiles, his bright eyes; they sustained me like no food ever could.
Even now, a phone call or an email from him makes the sun shine a little brighter, my day a little happier.
Oh, he was sick from time to time with the normal childhood illnesses; he broke a bone or two from skateboarding, but he grew strong and tall and his mind was a whirl of shiny brilliance and creativity.
No one clipped his wings.
I always told him he could do anything. He has no limits.
He was limitless.
You know how you think you’ll be when you’re a mom, but no one prepares you for the reality of it; the limitless love, the fierce primal desire to protect from harm and pain and sadness — and most of all the fact that none of those feelings end when they’re grown up and on their own.
That’s still how I still define myself. I’m Angel Boy’s mom.
That 3:00 a.m. call that propelled us to the airport for a six-hour flight that caused me to run and trip on the metal step of the shuttle bus so we could rent a car for the final hour-long drive to the hospital to see my Angel Boy’s face before his emergency surgery was the most horrible moment of my entire life.
Nothing else mattered. Nothing else matters.
We were all thrust into a vortex of a limbo world. Waiting to get to him, waiting for the emergency surgical team to assemble, waiting by his side as he was prepped — watching his body contort in agony that I couldn’t do anything about, his eyes filled with pain — but I could feel each spasm in my own belly — and finally waiting for the surgeon to appear. Not really talking, not watching the TV that was mounted at an odd angle on the wall in the waiting room; a desolation of uncertainty.
For three hours I was stationed in the hallway, the first to hear and then see the elevator doors open, my eyes fastened on the surgeon’s face.
He wouldn’t even need to speak; I knew his face would reveal everything.
And the huge smile on the surgeon’s face lit up the universe. No words were needed.
Everything was going to be OK. He survived. It was tricky, worse than we thought, but he was fixed.
He was whole.
My Angel Boy made a complete recovery. He’s healthy and happy.
I see the scar every day and it’s a constant reminder to not take anything for granted; that I almost lost everything — but I didn’t.
All I ever wanted was to be a mom.
Cheers to a healthy and happy 2015!
POSTS ABOUT THE SURGERY:
1. That Dreaded Call at 3:00 a.m.
3. Full Circle From Hell to Happiness
4. What Does a Cosmo, the Trauma, Unit, and Mother’s Day Have in Common