This week has been challenging all the way around. I always envision the last week or two before going back to teaching as idyllic, lie around the pool with a glass of wine kind of dreamy days, yet every year I find my system is kind of shocked back into reality with a couple of really challenging weeks just when I think I’m going to get that time off I promised myself all summer. Yesterday was no exception. I worked all morning on a few projects that needed to be addressed immediately, and I had this hazy thought of just hanging out by the pool this weekend, enjoying not working and reveling in how easy and fun life and vacation can be. And then the world happened, and I had to step up and turn my mustard seed of faith into a freakin’ mountain in a minute.
We got a call from our friend, MaryAnn, letting us know her husband had taken a sharp turn for the worse and asking if we could come sit with her. As it happened, we were on the way to get the pool ready for a day of relaxation and fun today, but we just passed the house and kept on going, spending the entire evening with our friend, whose husband had truly turned a bad corner. But that time of sitting with MaryAnn and Alex and observing his condition deteriorating and her feeling of utter helplessness made Dan and I both become creative and assertive, and before long, we’d been able to give MaryAnn some much needed strength and support to become assertive herself. In these days of HPPA and patient confidentiality, it’s almost impossible for a non-sanctioned family member to assert herself, and though we may be on the sanctioned list with Alex and MaryAnn, the staff didn’t know it, and we didn’t want to take away all of MaryAnn’s power. Instead, Dan and I worked as a silent team to help give her hope.
This is where the gift of faith came in for me. In order to give MaryAnn a kernel of hope that Alex would make it through the night and be okay, I had to have faith too. And while I may have been really good at the whole faith thing when I was a young girl and much better at practicing Catholocism, I am never any more confident in my faith than I am in my ability most of the time. But I needed MaryAnn to believe, and so I had to believe too. And I am delighted to say I rose to the occasion, watching the nurse give him an injection of an antibiotic that I believed in my heart would turn things around and make him come back to us today. It was a gift of faith and a gift of hope, but mostly faith because I really, truly had to believe for her that he would improve.
Of all the gifts I have given this month, I think this may have been the most challenging for me – although I suspect I say that nearly every day in my head. Though intangible, it was a real gift because it meant that I had to back it and believe it one hundred percent. Oh, the power of that gift of faith. It made me feel practically invincible today, and it made me believe that everything will work out – not just for Alex and MaryAnn, but for me, too. So maybe I didn’t get to lay in the sun by the pool yesterday or today, but I am confident in my ability today, and I have faith that I will get my work done and find time to relax and enjoy a few morsels of summer break before the sun sets on the summer, and I’m back at work again.