My family had a big scare last week. My niece was rushed into the emergency room on Saturday unable to breathe. She was immediately put on a ventilator and by the following Friday, she was still unable to breathe on her own.
My sister (her mother) lives in Texas, 1500 miles away from her daughter in Michigan, and we were scrambling to get her a flight to be at her daughter’s side. In the midst of searching the Internet for a flight that didn’t cost as much as a mortgage payment, she had a heart attack.
Stress can have such a powerful effect on us.
Meanwhile, back in California my granddaughter and son had birthdays coming up, and they wanted to go camping to celebrate. And my granddaughter wanted Nana to come.
As wonderful as that sounded, a big part of me wanted to just stay home and worry.
I know how to worry with the best of them, and staying home glued to my phone waiting to hear that my niece and sister would pull through seemed like the right thing to do.
I even thought it would be a betrayal to go off into the mountains away from cell service and have fun celebrating life. What if something happened? How would anyone get ahold of me?
But then I thought of that 8-year old girl with the sweetest smile who adores me and wanted her Nana there on her birthday.
And about her Daddy who still says, “I love you” every time he gets off the phone with me.
So I said yes to camping in the wilderness and celebrating life.
Worry wasn’t going to fix my niece. Stress wasn’t going to help my sister get better. And if the worst happened, not getting the news immediately wouldn’t change a thing.
Instead, I said yes to life. Yes to a celebration and yes to calm. I said yes to sitting around the campfire early in the morning with a cup of coffee and no phone. Saying yes not only made my granddaughter and son happy, but it also helped lower my stress level.
And by Sunday morning as we were coming down off the mountain towards home, I got the good news that both my niece and sister were out of danger.
I smiled as I read all the wonderful messages waiting for me and knew I had done the right thing.
Life is full of reasons to worry as well as reasons to celebrate. Worrying won’t change the outcome of whatever I am stressing about, but celebrating will change everything.
I learned a valuable lesson, and I’m going to keep saying yes to celebrating life.