A Day in the Life of a Mom

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A day in the life of a mom.

We could learn a thing or two from these Albert Einstein ‘lifeisms’ when in reflection over a day in the life of a mom.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes a day in the life of a mom can stretch into a week, a month and then it all catches up with you.  Well, I am not just a mom, but a grandmom, too.  So of course, life and what life sometimes throws in my path can be both fulfilling and challenging during a time when life should be more calm.  I have chosen the responsibility of raising my daughter’s children after losing her to complications from sleep apnea.  Life is not always kind, right?

A day in the life of a mom

Some older vehicles look like I sometimes feel, lost in time.

I am also a commuter from way back, having spent 7 years driving 200 miles to and from work every day there wasn’t a seat for me on the commuter plane to Phoenix.  You could say driving is in my genes and I take pride in being a defensive driver, having taught those classes for 8 years (it was a much needed side income too) when my children were all younger and I was supporting them following my divorce.

Two weeks ago was a marathon driving day that spilled over into Friday with a tragic and frightening phone call received early that morning, yes, the wee hours.  I had already been on the road hither and thither some 290 miles. From my home on one side of Tucson to a community way east and south, then a trip to Phoenix, then a small jaunt to the UofA.   Yes, I agree that was a bit much, so many miles under my belt and all within the time frame of 10 hours.  Some would say, that I am crazy but it is a matter of being there for my grandchildren.  It is also a matter of keeping my word.  I’m guessing we all have days that tax our reserves and test our metal.

The fact of the matter is, I often times try fo find ways for the kids to be with one another, share a fun experience and the created memories, like when this past summer I took five of my crew to the Grand Canyon, taking the train from Williams and just making a day of it.  What I hope is that they look back on my gifts and the trips we have taken with insight and appreciation for the meaningful roll I have tried to have in their lives.  Someday, when those brain cells finish developing around 25 years of age, these kids will begin to capture what it means to sacrifice for those you love.  At end of the day, I’d have it no other way as children and grandchildren are important in my life, as I know they are in yours.

In my community, we have an annual event called the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and the oldest of my grandchildren was going to be in town for that event.  I was excited to see her.

A day in the life of a mom.

Beautiful “rock”.

Of course, there are a bunch of activities that surround having a conflagration of people joining our community for this event.   We spent the last day of her visit catching up with each other and then off she and three friends went headed for home.  But….an early morning call pulled me from rest into a stark and frightening awakening.  She had been in a traffic accident, was being airlifted to a hospital 120 miles from me, and I couldn’t get out of the house fast enough.

I needed to put support in place for my special needs daughter and be able to get on the road, but it was 4:10 am in the morning.  Once the teens in the house were apprised and I was on the road, I was able to contact our respite provider, calling her around 7 am.  I am blessed to have a wonderful young woman who loves my daughter.  She is a most welcome part of our lives, providing me with support and a much needed break from time to time while providing my daughter with plenty of social experiences like trips to the park, the mall, to see trusted friends, and to help her with ‘habitation’, learning skills she needs like dressing herself and brushing her teeth that we still struggle with.  She wasn’t working that Friday for someone else so could come to the house and be there for Shiloh.  I was relieved.  The teens are not as thorough in looking after their sister’s needs as our respite provider is.  I knew she would be safe while I went to her cousin’s side at the hospital.

Thursday was a nutty day with travel and I was pretty beat when I finally got to bed.  I had gone some 70 miles to pick up the visiting granddaughter so she could see her cousins before going back home.  Once they were handled I was off for a 180 mile trip to grab another granddaughter.  We had made arrangements for her to do a visit to the University of Arizona as she is considering their nursing program as her next step in her education.  I had made my commitment to her and she had her UofA Arizona Experience scheduled for the very next morning.  When we got back to Tucson, of course, everyone was hungry, so I fixed one of my Sonoran fish dinners.  It was a nice time in the kitchen with my granddaughter who helped with the salad.  Along the way, she told me that her friends were coming to pick her up soon as they needed to get back to their homes and their jobs.  Good grief, it was already 10 pm.  I was concerned.

Now you know I had already spent hundreds of miles on the road when I finally laid my head on my pillow and I quickly fell asleep, despite the noise and hubbub in the home with the children still visiting.  Much later, she came in to give me a great big hug as her friends had arrived and she was heading out.  I went back to sleep as the morning would come all too soon and I would need to get my granddaughter up and get her ready for school.  That routine was not to be.

NTSB (National Traffic Safety Board) animation of a rollover accident. It is a known fact that SUVs and vans are prone to rollovers.  I don’t know what kind of vehicle these young people were in, but I know that experiencing their accident through them has given me much to think about because I travel with my kids quite allot.  Did you know that rollover crashes account for 33% of all passenger vehicle crashes and that you are 75% less likely to be killed in a rollover crash if you are wearing your seat belt.  That is a significant piece of information since so many people in back seats choose to NOT wear a seat belt.  I have always taught everyone needs to wearing it.  Just think, a 200 pound person thrown about in a crash and against other passengers is going to seriously injure them.  Its just not okay to not be wearing your seat belt no matter where you are in the car.  Here is a NHTSA reenactment of a rollover you may find interesting.

That Friday morning as I hurried up to the hospital I thought about that hug I had received from the oldest of my grandchildren and was grateful she woke me to say goodnight and goodbye.   A horrendous 120 miles later I parked the car and hurried into the Emergency Room being then escorted to a consultation conference room after checking in.  What in the world could that mean, I wondered, waiting anxiously for word from the hospital staff.  And then, into the room a nurse wheeled my 20-year-old, groggy from the pain meds and discharged from the hospital.  Relief.  Thankful.  A rush of questions as I assessed the situation and determined the hospital had done all the necessary and important tests for head injuries and ruptured internal organs.  Her blood pressure was stable, she was in pain and would be for days, the car had rolled five times, but she was alive and not seriously injured.  Are there words for the gratitude that washed over me?  Most words fall short, very, very short of defining my relief.

A day in the life of a mom.

profoundly felt the words of this wise soul as I contemplated this event in our lives.

So, then, her friend was also released.  We already knew that one of their car group was pronounced dead and fear reigned in their hearts that the other young person,  severely injured, might not make it.  In fact, we learned later that he never made it out of the surgery intended to save his life.  Now here I was with these two young people who were hurting in so many ways, both physically and emotionally.  They seemed disoriented even though trying valiantly to be strong.  Now with great sorrow in their hearts, it was my job to take them to family, my daughter and her dad, on the way to meet us from the California coast.

It was after some sleep had been afforded them while we drove west that the full weight of what had happened cascaded like a torrent of an ocean tsunami.  The horrific event and all of the sorrow of this horrible traffic accident that took the lives of two young people completely enveloped the young man who was not as injured and not on the same pain meds as my granddaughter.  His tears were inconsolable for such a long time.  It was an emotionally draining time, all we could do was hold him as he cried.  Every day since then I send out my heartfelt feelings to the families and friends who are suffering the loss of their loved ones!

A day in the life of a mom.

Peaceful sunsets can bring solace to our hearts, if only we take the time to take them in.

I have a saying, don’t know where I found it, it may be original it may have its roots in the wisdom of another:

“Life becomes what your choices have been – choose wisely!”

I wish I could ingrain these words in the hearts and souls of my grandchildren, several of them now growing into adulthood. There are good choices and in my estimation, a few very bad choices that these young people may make that could impact their lives forever.  I am glad that this day in the life of a mom, which certainly could have also been a day in the life of a dad, did not end in me losing someone I love so dearly in a tragic rollover accident.  I join with the other families in mourning their loss.

May you, dear friends, find in this day, the love you need to do what you must and the fortitude to sustain it.  Life is precious and we only get so many days in this system in which we live.  Until better days are introduced by one whose power is greater than you and I, may you have insight and peace.

With this, I’d just like to send you my appreciation for your time in my website and ask that you forgive my absence.  The work I do here in my blog is important to me and I have several things cooking and hope to soon release as I finish the research.  It’s the research that has also become a major time consumer and doing thorough research is VERY important to me especially because of the weighty nature of the subjects and the impact it can have on decisions we are making as parents. I am committed to providing you with well-researched articles that offer you solid information from which you can either find peace in your journey caring for your special needs children and to also have a good foundation from which to make your decisions.

So I am sending you smiles across whatever miles separate us.  Thank you for being a part of Special Needs Advocate Power.

A day in the life of a mom

Smiles Across the Miles!


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