Thirty-one: Breathe


For me, it is OK as long as I can breathe, as long as my heart is pumping, as long as I can express myself. ~ Ai Weiwei

It's been a long couple days.  Oh, wait, it's only been one day. 

On Remicade, my immune system is compromised, so when Alia uttered the words, "I'm going to puke," I had a moment of panic. Then I woke my husband and he dealt with the mess. I had slept maybe two hours at that point, and it was nearly 5AM. We got out the vinyl-encased camp mattress, sheets, blankets, the small washable pillow, a puke bucket, and water to sip and set Alia up in the dining room for the little time that remained of the night. Her bedroom upstairs and the bathroom downstairs, our dining room is the nightly sick room.

My husband returned to bed while I helped Alia settle in. He was sleep in seconds. Upon returning to bed, I tried to sleep once again and failed, my mind racing with the what-ifs of everyone getting sick. So I did what I always do. 

I took deep breaths. I prayed. I thanked God for a husband who cleans up puke and a child who handles herself so well despite her belly not feeling so good...and that it was one puking child. Only one. Please, only one. 

And I started writing. I wrote and wrote, about a lot of things. I got out and worked through my concerns. It helped calm my nerves and put things into perspective. 

Just when I was sleepy enough to drift off blissfully, the alarm went off. If I hadn't needed to make it to an appointment, I would have ignored it and slept, but I willed myself awake and reluctantly and quite slowly began a new day. 

Throughout the day, whenever my OCD kicked in about the what-ifs, I took deep breaths and centered myself in the present. I took naps. I watched Into the Woods with my children. I communicated to my children what I needed to get through the day and listened as they told me what they needed.  I pretty much ignored my to-do list. 

I gave myself an afternoon to simply breathe. 

Sometimes we just need to take some time to breathe. 
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