Life As We Know It

I sit here on the other side of fear. We went through a scare last week where initial results from some medical tests proved curious, then concerning then frightening. Everything is fine, more than okay, now. But for those few days we lived in a parallel universe. There was a proper debate on the NHS (National Health) in the UK and what a gift it is to be protected like that. Americans have no understanding of what that actually looks like, feels like; yes, your taxes are higher and yes it has tremendous flaws; but yes it provides outstanding care for emergencies, children and those afflicted with disease. Your first thought isn’t about whether or not you’re covered or is this going to financially cripple us; you get the best care offered in the Nation for free. So if one of us is seriously ill, do we move? These were strange and uncomfortable thoughts to be having.

When we got the call that we were in the clear, I wept. It was a crescendo of emotion that had been so carefully controlled and choreographed over the last few days that releasing it came slowly with every exhale. This past weekend was also my son’s birthday so Husband’s arrival wasn’t ever questioned, in fact the boys grabbed him into their lives and didn’t let go till they went to school that Monday. There was no time for anything other than various birthday celebrations for three days – typical of our family – and that was probably a saving grace for our heart strings. After Husband left for the airport, the weeping didn’t stop. And all of last week I was incredibly depressed. I have come to realize that my mood, what I was attuning myself to, was the reality of the other phone call, the one we didn’t get.

I can only just imagine what it must feel like to have one’s life stolen in a phone call. It’s not a death sentence by any stretch, but it’s a moment when a doctor tells you that the focus of your life now is going to be about chasing the demon cells inside you. My soul shifted last week, I felt the pain of the possibility, and that alone rocked my world. To have the other phone call…to those that did…I’m humbly suffering on their behalf.

This week I am on the other side of the drama, the trauma. If you called me, you’d never know that I have a rash on either hip as big as grapefruits housing my emotions as my body tries to slowly expel them. Life as we know it is simply just that; nothing stolen, nothing changed. I can once again focus on my son’s ridiculous obsession with Minecraft and let my biggest problem be how to steer him away from video games and candy and rootbeer. I am once again free. And the gratefulness I feel is crushingly real.

About Jennifer

Jennifer is from Beverly Hills and has lived between London and LA since 1994. She's been a writer for over 20 years in the world of film, tv, travel and magazines and has been a class rep eight times and counting...
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