Saturday night, 5:55 pm. I was in the kitchen, finishing up dinner preparations. My husband, Paul, was still at work. My son, Ryan, was busy in the living room, working on a sketch.
And then … a shooting pain in my left hip, down my thigh, and stopping at my knee.
Pain that left me hunched over. Pain that forced me to lean on the furniture as I tried to carry Ryan’s glass of milk to the dining table.
I didn’t want Ryan to see me like this … crying, incapable of standing without leaning on something, feeling as if I was going to crumble down to the floor and be unable to get up.
But Ryan did see me. He must have heard me slowly shuffling to the table, putting things down one-by-one. He came over to see me and asked, “Are you okay?”
I was honest with him. “No. I’m really hurting, and I don’t know why. I’m not sure what happened.”
Because I’m always trying to keep things going, to maintain as regular a routine as possible, I did the only thing I knew to do — I carried on with dinner. There really wasn’t anything we could do. If I needed help, my parents were just a phone call away. And Paul would be home from work in about thirty minutes. So Ryan and I carried on and began dinner.
But then, he surprised me. Ryan got up from the table and got the iPhone. He did some swiping and tapping until music began to play. (We often have music playing during dinner).
“This will help you feel better,” he said as Sade began to sing.
The music didn’t make the pain go away, but Ryan’s sweet gesture did make my heart feel good. Because when I’m in pain like that, there’s usually no rhyme or reason to it. I don’t always know when it will strike or how long it will last. (Saturday night it lasted a few hours). And there’s really no way to make it better.
So Ryan did what he could. He acknowledged my pain, my discomfort. And he did something that he knew would make us both smile. The mood was lifted, and It wasn’t just the power of music or Sade’s smooth sound. It was the power of our family’s love.
I’m also proud to share some publication news with you! Two of my personal essays have recently been published on The Mighty.
Click here to read “How My Identity Has Been Affected by the Changes in My Hands Due to Illness,” and you can click here to read “10 Life Lessons I Taught My Kindergarten Students That Also Apply to Chronic Illness.”