Living in the Moment in the ER, or at Least Trying


I ended up in the ER the other night with my son. I was supposed to be somewhere else that night, but these are the moments that remind us how little control we really have over life. We were there for several hours and, in the end, everything was fine. But the sitting, waiting and worrying crept up on me again like an old nemesis.

I keep bumping into that wall – the fear of not knowing and having to wait for answers. It didn’t help to be sitting in a hospital room, the site of so many bad memories. It was just a few hours, but a significant microcosmic reminder of what I went through from September, 2008, throughout 2009 – the year plus from hell. It’s funny how it brings it all back and all you can do is try to rationalize how it’s not the same. But, emotionally, of course, it’s exactly the same. How can I not recognize that threat of something bad brewing while I sit here desperately trying not to panic?

I attempt to calm myself by focusing on the here and now. By being present and not wandering off too far into what was, I can try to take it one moment at a time. I also remind myself that I never had complete control, life has always been messy. In fact, after my first child was born, I started referring to my new mother life as a “beautiful mess.” This memory helps put cancer in perspective – it’s certainly one of the more dramatic examples of life having its own trajectory, but it’s hardly the only example.

So, I am reminded again of Woody Allen’s quote, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” My plans are to keep going, attempting to be aware and accepting of what is, and despite my emotional memories, to keep myself as focused as I can on the here and now. I am hearing a definite guffaw from above.

Survival > Existence,


Image courtesy of boxer_bob

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