Two weeks ago today, I sat in a chair by my husband’s hospital bed and cheered him on as he drank a cup of broth- his first real food in four days. I watched him lick his lips and savor each drop of that warm, salty liquid. Sometimes, it’s the little things that mean the most.
That was pretty much the theme of our entire experience at the hospital. It’s the little things. The week before he wasn’t feeling very well and thought he was catching a virus. His energy was quickly depleting, his blood pressure was running low, and when his feelings of light-headedness progressed into nearly passing out, we went to the ER. It was there that he was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer, presumably caused by one of his medications. In 24 hours he lost over 3 units of blood and within 48 hours he was down a little over 4 units. A quick surgical procedure repaired the hole and a transfusion of 2 units of blood helped him start the healing process. A tiny hole, half as thick as a ramen noodle brought the strongest man I know to the brink of death. Literally. If he had been his usual stubborn self and refused to go to the ER that night, he would have bled out and died in our bed. It’s the little things.
It’s the little things that can cheer us up. It’s the little things that can tear us down. When life is turned up side down, it’s the little things that we miss the most. When life is plugging along blissfully, it’s the little things that trip us up. It’s the little things.
It’s also the little things that help us remember the big things. While Bob and I were both miserably uncomfortable in the hospital, neither one of us wanted to complain about it too much. We were just so grateful that he was alive. Grateful for friends who stepped in to help with the kids so I could be there with him. Grateful that the doctors were able to locate the bleed and repair it. Grateful that we knew we would be going home soon. Grateful that we have insurance that will pay for it. Grateful that he was receiving good care. Grateful our children were safe. We were just grateful. Why? Because it’s the little things.
This is a picture I took while sitting with Bob at the hospital. I think it will always be one of my favorite pictures of us because it reminds me of the little things that I so often take for granted. It’s so easy for us to get hung up on the things that go wrong in life. There is pain and evil and disaster lurking around every corner, it seems. It’s easy to get discouraged and to feel like giving up. It’s easy to fall into a trap of complaining and whining, or worse, becoming angry at the circumstances of your life. That’s why it’s so important to be remember the little things. That’s why this picture means so much to me. In the end, all that mattered to me that day was that I was there by his side. Yes… it’s the little things.