First published in the Portsmouth News, Tuesday 1st April 2014.
Every so often, life throws us a curve ball. This might be something wonderful, like a lottery win, or it might be something terrible, like kidney failure.
In my case, the lottery win was only £10, but the kidney failure, which belonged solely to my husband, was 98%.
One day he was pottering along as normal, and the next he was admitted to QA. The doctors never discovered why his kidneys failed following his first minor operation, but fail they did: catastrophically. The night that he was assessed for intensive care is etched in memory for me. He lay, barely conscious, telling me that he would die that night, and asking me to look after our little girls once he was gone.
Throughout all of this, our friends and family pulled us through. We rolled with the punches that life was throwing, and our nearest and dearest cushioned the blows. My husband recovered fully, though the emotional trauma of that time took its toll on all of us. In the long-term we dodged this particular bullet, but there will always be others.
A friend of mine, Karen, has recently been dealt the curve ball that is known as ME, an illness that the public are often derisive of because they cannot ‘see’ it. Karen is a workaholic and this particular ball has hit her hard. She has been writing a blog about her experiences (www.whatwillhappentome.wordpress.com) and she describes how her illness is affecting not just her, but her family. Illness is far-reaching; we stand like tiny skittles in the cosmos, and when one of us receives a direct strike, the ripples are felt by us all.
However, in amongst all of this, we manage to carry on, and we manage still to appreciate the little things. Today, Karen posted a beautiful picture on Facebook of some flowers that her husband had given her: they were stunning. When my husband was in hospital my friends, Alison and Jodi, drove through the night just so I could wipe my nose on their shoulders; nothing extravagant, but gestures that mean the world.
With this in mind I am joining the #100happydays Challenge: each day, post a status on Facebook or Twitter about something that has made you happy; a walk with the dog, a good book, a glimpse of sunshine. Follow mine on Twitter (@lushnessblog) or, better yet, join in. It’s all about the little things; let’s celebrate them more.