Friday, April 9, 2021

The Moments That Matter

 Indy was out with Grandma Dee—showing off her mad scooter skills—when tragedy struck. She shot down a big hill and turned on the newly cleaned street. Seconds later, Indy ran inside, bawling, and I knew she’d broken her wrist by the coloring and how it bent unnaturally.

So I rushed her to the hospital and what happened there is quite unforgettable.

“Mama, can you hold me?”

Indy is 11, and she hasn’t asked me this for a couple of years. But I got onto the hospital bed with her and held her in my arms. She’s so precious—all of my kids are—but this was just one of those moments I’ll never forget. 

We were at the hospital for over eight hours and during that time we were able to watch a romance on my phone, tell stories, play one-handed Cats in the Cradle, and anything else we could think of.

We’d been there for a while when the hand specialist finally came in. By this point, Indy was hurting pretty badly and little tears had started to fill her eyes.

“Can you tell me what happened?” The doctor asked, looking from Indy to me.

“Well, you see...we were swimming,” I said and Indy’s eyes began widening with bemusement. The doctor pulled out a notebook and started writing things down. “When out of no where this huge shark barreled toward us! I thought we were goners! But not with Indy around.” I gazed at her and grinned. “She socked that shark right in the nose. Tore its head clean off!”

At this point Indy started laughing sooooo hard! The doctor removed his glasses, then started laughing too. “I can’t believe I started writing that down!” He shook his head. “Now Indy, can you tell me the REAL story?”

“Yes,” she giggled, “I went down a hill I’ve never tried before, and I fell. Then my brother said to get up and that I was fine. But I really think I broke my wrist.”

He showed us the X-rays and explained that Indy would need to be put under so her could pop it back in and place a splint. So, Indy bravely went into the room with the sedation team, and they let me watch through the window. I cried, tears seeping into my mask. But I’d told them I was brave enough to watch, so I wiped my tears quickly and regained my composure. Within minutes, everything was done and the ketamine began wearing off.

“Mama!” Indy cried. “Where are you? Mama?”

I shot into the room before they even told me I could, and I held her left hand. “You’re okay, baby.”

“It’s all blurry. You have so many eyes. Everything’s all wrong!” she sobbed.

The nurses nodded, deciding that I could stay while the medicine wore off.

I pressed my forehead to hers. “Just close yours eyes.” Then I started singing to her. It reminded me so much of when she was a baby, as she slowly calmed down and placed her arms around my neck. I tried not to get emotional again, but I just loved being close to my little girl. I sang to her for a long time and when I backed away, her eyes could focus, and it seemed that the sedation had fully lost its hold.

“I love you, Mama. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“I don’t know what I’d do without you!”

And it hit me for the millionth time how these moments are what matter in life. It’s not the stupid things we use to stack ourselves against. We might try to measure ourselves with accomplishments, but the greatest accomplishment is when those closest to us know how much we love them.

Mike came to the ER after that, so worried about both of us. After hugging Indy, he turned to me. “How are you feeling? Are you okay?”

I nodded, stunned. For all that time I’d forgotten about the cancer, the pain, and all of it. I’d just been enjoying time with the precious little girl who can bring light into almost any situation.


  1. A child who is unwell, in pain and or frightened they will usually feel better if mum is near

  2. I will come back and read your posts, I've been very busy and now I have to eat. My type 1 diabetes does not allow me any breaks from eating. But I just wanted to let you know that I read your comment and I'm so glad I brought a little joy to you. I'm super bummed out about your illness. I feel like hitting all those keys on my computer, you know the ones on top of the numbers just to let you know how bummed out I am. But I will restrain myself and I will also come back and read your latest posts. Sending lots of love to you and to your family. And of course to Dee as well.

  3. Looking back over my life, I've come to see that love is really all that matters. Love in the moment, love across time.