#21 ~ Breathe in. Let it go…

I’ve been a little silent here lately. I’ve had something on my mind and wasn’t quite sure how to wrap it up in a nicely packaged blog post. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should share it. I can be a bit old school when it comes to divulging certain info, especially anything to do with money. I don’t mind reading about it on other blogs (because I’m nosey like that, er, I mean I’m intrigued), but somehow putting things out there for the world to read just makes you a little more vulnerable … and more human, I guess. Somewhere along the way, we have learned that being human isn’t a good thing. Shameful.

So, last week we got the news that my husband was receiving a rather ginormous pay cut. And by ginormous, I mean extremely-overweight-bloated-dinosaur sized. Cutbacks and pay cuts have been slinging all over the place. We’re blessed that he has a job in the midst of these harsh times.

We live in one of the worst hit cities by this horrid economy. People are losing jobs like little kids lose teeth, yet the tooth fairy is nowhere to be found. Homes are foreclosing left and right. Strip malls look like ghost towns. Fear is everywhere. Stress can easily be seen in the eyes of those passing by.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we started investing in real estate when we were practically babies. Again, that chapter has slammed shut. I’m aware of this on so many levels.

Over the weekend, I walked around the house thinking about the cold hard facts that this economy is dealing us. Stress started to fill my already clouded head. I began to fold laundry (my husband’s t-shirts) when it hit me all the sudden. Five years ago, I would have begged to have the promise of today’s worries had it meant that my husband would live…

Five years ago, my husband almost passed away.

Very long story short, he was given a medication that nearly killed him. He had an allergic reaction which caused pulmonary edema, double pneumonia and his liver started shutting down. At one point, the doctors also thought he had a heart attack. He was 30, in the best shape he had ever been in (thankfully so, since he lost 22 lbs in less than a week) and, at the time, nobody knew why his body was failing so quickly.

I was warned several times that he may not make it. I spent hours crying uncontrollably. In the ICU waiting room, I fell asleep in the arms of concerned loved ones while tears drained down my face. I didn’t even have enough energy to pray.

My husband had completed his EMT certification so he knew medically what was happening to his body. He tightly held my hand, looked me straight in the eyes and said things to me that are only supposed to be in movies…because what was happening to us at the moment surely didn’t feel real. He knew he might not make it.

I remember coaching him through what seemed to be hours of breathing. He avoided being put on a ventilator several times, although he actually begged for it. I’ve never witnessed someone struggle so hard to breathe. I literally had to tell him when to breathe in and when to let it go.

At that time, I was trying to mentally prepare myself for a life without my best friend and man of my dreams. I couldn’t wrap my mind around what it would be like to spend a single second without him by my side. I didn’t know how I would get through the following 30 seconds, much less the next 30, 40, 50 years without him. I would take ANY struggle in life as long as it was a life WITH him.

Praise God that prayer was answered.

As I finished folding the laundry, I smiled, held back a tear and reminded myself that this economic hardship is nothing compared to what we went through five years ago. This is merely a detour on a road trip that will provide stories that will last a lifetime. I’ll enjoy the scenery (because flowers will still bloom) and send postcards along the way. I’ll also think of those who have it so much worse and try to do my part to encourage them to keep going.

Breathe in. Let it go…

So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body. ~ Ecclesiastes 11:10

Working on an update for the ‘project’…things are moving along…

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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33 Comments »

  1. Wow Melody. I can’t begin to imagine what you went through five years ago.
    My husband has been laid off for four months now, thank goodness for unemployment or we would be in worlds of hurt. It’s scary and hard, but you have each other. Like you said, it would be worse to go through it alone.
    I’m glad he made it through, and that you both have each other’s hands to hold during this time. And as hard as it can be, my husband and I have learned to trust God and each other more than ever before.
    I will pray for your family during this difficult time.

  2. Eliza said

    Wow! Y’know, my hubby and I were having this conversation just yesterday…that we have our health, a great marriage, a beautiful healthy baby…so what’s left to complain about, really. Wonderful perspective.

  3. I am so glad your husband recovered from the horrible allergice reaction. I send my best to you and your husband during these hard times. I count my blessings daily and thank you for this touching reminder.

  4. Lara said

    This was just what I needed to hear, Melody. It is so easy to get caught up in our circumstances, but really we don’t have it that bad. We just went thru some very trying times financially and your blog is helping me to get thru it all. Thank you for being so open and honest. You being ‘human’ is just what the world needs.

  5. Julie said

    Love this entry, it is so touching! It is way too easy to lose sight of what is important in life; we all need an occasional reminder to help us keep perspective, so thank you for sharing this. I always have to remember that when times seem tough, the best thing to do is count my blessings!

  6. KellieS said

    Mel,

    I’m so glad that you decided to share that story. It is such an important reminder of what is truly important to us in this thing we call life.

    My husband just had a ruffling of sort on his job as well. It’s a kick in the shin, but we’ll make it through…just like we always do. That goes for you, too!

    Kell

  7. Roni Marie said

    You are so correct Melody…when I worked with John he told me and Frani that story about how you “told” him when to breathe and what had happened to him…I knew you two were a spectacular couple before that, but once I heard that story…well, you know…just sayin!

    It’s so ironic how lately your blogs have been just what I needed to read…the banana mush, especially and now today with this…I just (before reading this) told my BFF that I need to snap out of my pity party and focus on my blessings because I really do have so many and not think about what I don’t have. i.e. employment, health insurance, and a bit of stability…I know I will have all of those thins again, but what I do have around me is so important. I’m in good health (except for my occasional melt downs, but those are temporary) my son is in excellent health and so on…just sharing here!

    We all have a lot to be thankful for and I want to thank you for the timely reminder…

    I’m sure you will find all sorts of ways to make your cash stretch, just like I have…maybe that could be a collaborative blog…penny pinching mommies to the rescue…drop by, leave a tip (not cash).

    Thanks Melody, I love you~!

  8. Heather said

    Melody,
    Your blog has brought me to tears. Your story reminds me of when my husband had a brain tumor several years ago. When you’re that close to losing someone whom you hold so dear, the little things that seem to bother us seem to melt away. Time to free yourself of any worries…let God deal with them. You have many blessings to be thankful for.

    Chin up,
    Heather

    BTW, Roni has a good idea there with sharing tips on saving money:)

  9. Rayne said

    Hey Melody,
    I remember that time in your life and I can’t imagine how hard that was for you. I have recently found out Keith has sleep apnea…yes I know not quite the life or death situation but it could have been. Had it not been for our plans to adopt and him having to go to the doctor I would still be worrying whether he was breathing at night. I used to be able to wake him up and now that I work overnights I get worried. Thankfully, he has a machine now. Even though it’s annoying when the hose shoots off in the middle of the night and wakes me up because it’s blowing on me or that he is constantly adjusting it and making loud noises with it, at least I don’t have to worry that I will come home from work one morning to find him asleep forever. You have had many ups and downs but you and John have a great life, family and support that I know you will get through this struggle just as you did with John’s hospitalization and Hope’s. Keep your head up Mel. You will be fine. My prayers are with you now and always.

  10. Tiffany said

    How can it be 5 years already since John was so sick? That was such a frightening time for you and your families. You two have gone through so much during your marriage…. and not once has it kept you down… you guys get through it, stronger and more inspiring to the rest of us. I truly feel blessed to have you as my friend for all these years…… and you married a great guy that I consider an equally great friend.

    We love you guys!!!

  11. Courtney said

    You could have warned me not to read this while at the dentist! Blessings, blessings, blessings. Everything we go through has it’s purpose, even though we don’t understand it. Keep sharing your stories…they are truly inspired.

  12. Chris said

    I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this. Thank you for sharing your story and please keep sharing.

  13. Oh, Melody. First of all, what courage it took for you to share that concern with all of us. I will be praying for an answer.

    But what a beautiful perspective you have found. Truly. I can’t imagine going through such a thing and the fear you must have felt.

    Perspective, perspective. Sometimes we have it and sometimes we don’t but you, my dear, most certainly have it right now. My thoughts are with you and I will lift you in prayer!

    What a great verse you included by the way!

  14. OH – one more thing…

    Thank you SO much for taking the time to wish my beloved Meemo a Happy Birthday!!! She was thrilled!

  15. Roz said

    That is such a story to share Mel! Thank you for that! I think we all often get lost in the basic gloom of a second and realize it really is nothing compared to some of the real struggles out there! Thank you again, for sharing!

  16. Crystal said

    Wow! I almost started crying thinking about you almost losing your husband. My friend lost her husband over a year ago, and it sounded like the same kind of thing. Bad reaction to some meds. Such a sad story, she was 6 weeks pregnant with their second child when he died. Then to make matters worse, she had to be on bedrest almost her entire pregnancy. Anyway, what a blessing that your husband survived. And I LOOOOOOVE that picture of you guys. Such a beautiful couple.
    Sorry to hear about the pay cut. Rough times right now, but I’m sure something good is going to come out of this whole experience. I grew up really poor, and I look back on it now and I’m grateful because of what it taught me.

  17. Thanks, Melody, for this big reminder of what’s really important in life.

  18. Andrea said

    Melody, It’s great that you can keep everything in perspective. To know what’s important in life can be so rare with a lot of people. Thank goodness all is well with your husband now! It’s very scary to think about moving along with life after they are gone!

    Enjoy your weekend with your family! I’ll be thinking of you and sending you good thoughts!

  19. Kristin said

    We’re facing some struggles ourselves and I’ve been having a really hard time wrapping my brain around how I was going to deal with it. Thanks lady. Life is precious and we’re lucky to be spending it with the ones we love. Thank goodness your hubs is still with you!

  20. This is a powerful post! We, too, have experienced a pay cut. Thank goodness we’re all healthy! (Stopping from SITS)

  21. Thank you for opening up and being transparent. These are definitely tough times here in Las Vegas and the US, but it is how we as Christians that walk through it is what will set us apart. One of the simple differences between us and those that don’t follow Christ, is our hope. Here are 2 verses that gives me hope:

    “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—”
    2 Cor 4:8-9

    “For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off.”
    Prov 23:18

    Thank you, Jesus for the hope we have in you.

  22. Kerry said

    I remember when you told me about this time in your and John’s life together. I believe it was over sushi! Of course! 😉

    I was blown away by how scary it must have been and amazed by how strong you both came out on the other side.

    You shouldn’t hesitate to share this kind of thing on your blog. It’s inspiring to all around you.

    I love you Mel. And John too!

  23. MandyP said

    Wow. What a beautiful post. And what an amazing shift you made when you remembered what the struggle with your husband’s health had been like. I’m impressed you held back a tear after finishing folding laundry, because I couldn’t!

    ~Mandy

    (Found you through Natalie at Mommy on Fire)

  24. Losing money is nothing compared to losing the love of your life. I’m so glad you had a positive outcome.

  25. Charlotte said

    I just found your blog on LBS and am so happy to have stumbled in. Your writing really helps put things into perspective. Life will continue to surprise us but I find it’s the challenges we are handed (like the one you experienced five years ago) that show us what is truly important in this world.

    I am happy (and hope you are, too!) that you decided to blog about this. It’s a topic that so many can relate to, and I tend to think that some of the best writing comes from these painful points in our life. I wish you and your husband all the best of luck now and in the future.

  26. BK said

    Hey Melody, thank you for putting everything back in perspective, of what are more important in life.

  27. michelle z said

    wow, your blog spoke to me on so many levels tonight. I was just released from the ICU in which I had been for the last 5 days…who knew one could live on morphine for days due to intense pain. I now have a huge understanding of what it is like to live for days in pain and only semi-coherent. What an amazing lesson you and I have learned about being grateful for life and people we have in our lives.
    Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life.

  28. Such a thoughtful post!
    I have to remind myself that things really aren’t that bad. My family is happy and healthy, yes more more income and less debt would be nice but I am just grateful for my family and our well being!

  29. Such a blessing that your husband is healthy now – and great that you can put the current struggles in perspective.

  30. Mysti said

    speechless
    love to you…thanks for typing

  31. Michele said

    I hope you realize how in your journey…. you are helping others. Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

  32. Sometimes we get too wrapped up with what’s in front of us… I know I do.

    What really helps me is I ask myself, “Will X matter in 10 years from now?” If it doesn’t, I try not to lose any sleep over it.

    BTW, thanks for letting me know that link was broke on my blog… Here’s what it was linking to http://blog.exploringuruguay.com give us a shout anytime…

  33. Oh goodness, I just can’t imagine what it was like to almost lose the one you love unexpectedly. I am happy though that you are using that to stay positive about something unfortunate but much more bearable!!! Prayers to you!!!!!!

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