I was speaking with a friend and I felt like she accurately described what happened to me. It was like the universe held a stop sign in front of my face and said, “Okay bitch, if you are not going to slow down, we are going to do it for you.” And it did. Big time.
I keep thinking about my life before the heart attack and how much I loved it. When you get to do what you love for a living, what could be better? When your kids are doing well (for hormonal teenagers anyway), what could be better? When you have established a routine of health and wellness for your life that includes a community of people you can’t live without, what could be better?
I am grieving my life as I knew it as I struggle to get out of bed every single day. I will never have another day again like I had before. The thing about that though that I am slowly realizing; it does not mean my life is going to be any less meaningful or that I will be any less vital.
The word vitality, the state of being vital has been very present for me. I know the dictionary definition of vitality however, to me, I feel like it is more than those words. It is a feeling from the inside out, a feeling about myself I worked so hard to establish since I started taking better care of myself over three years ago. And just like that, on that one Sunday afternoon, the feeling was gone and has escaped me ever since.
I have had glimpses of feeling vital since that day. Maybe it was a compliment by a stranger about how I looked or a kiss I shared with someone or a moment of showing up for someone else when they needed me or when my kids told me the cupcakes and cookies I baked actually tasted good. Maybe one can’t feel vital all the time but these pockets of vitality are what is more important because they may culminate into something I never saw coming.
My reality remains…..I am sick. I have heart disease. I am currently battling a blood clot in my heart that scares me every day I am fortunate to wake up. I feel afraid to do anything for fear of having a stroke. A current reality. There are still many days I contemplate whether to get out of bed or to not. When I do not feel like I can get out of bed, my dog reminds me why I need to get up.
He is a perfect of example of what “more will be revealed” means. I adopted Archie a year ago. He is almost ten years old, blind in one eye. I wanted an older dog, a dog that needed love and a home and a place where he could enjoy the end of his life.
Never did I plan for my dog Archie that he would see me have a heart attack in my living room, see me faint in my shower covered in blood or not see me days on end because I was admitted to the ICU again. Every time I come home or walk in the door he is just the happiest to see me and doesn’t leave my side. He always has to have a pulse on where I am at and what I am doing, especially if there is even the remote chance I could give him a cookie.
I feel like Archie is teaching me how to be vital again in a different way. Every day I get out of bed, we get to go for a walk together and every day we get to go for a walk, I heal. He heals.
We are healing together.