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The Hand We are Dealt

I just wrote the following brief note to a friend of mine who is a full-time caregiver for her husband:

“Hey there – hope you are hanging in there.  My Dad somehow developed sepsis and we are in ICU now.  He seems stable now, so things are looking up. 

Anyway, after bantering with the ICU nurses and then the doctor, on his way out of the room the doc turned to me and asked if I was in the medical profession.  I smiled and said no, just many years of dealing with ailing parents and I learn fast.  He laughed.

I’m not sure if I should be proud, or sad about that.  I’ll take the positive path here.  Figured if anyone would, you would appreciate that.”

And then I actually paused for a moment and thought about what that meant.  Which brought many deep sighs and then some tears.  And it inspired me to write about it a bit, so wanted to share my thoughts and perspective on all of it.

(Disclaimer:  I 100% understand that I am NOT the first or last person to experience all of this. So this is just my perspective – not Gospel.)  🙂

As I sent that email and what I wrote sank in, it caused me to wind back a bunch of years and realize just how many times I have been to various medical-related facilities over X number of years for both parents.  It can really be entirely overwhelming if you think about it that way.  Lots of memories of bringing Mom to all kinds of places, transferring her in and out of the car, ER trips with Dad, etc.  I could write a book I think on all of that – maybe I will someday.

But that’s not the point really – this isn’t a rehashing of the past and a “woe is me” email.  That’s not really my style anyway.

This is about the title of this blog – “The Hand We are Dealt”.  I suppose I could play the “poor me” card if I really wanted, but that’s not really productive or helpful at all.  And it gets old fast anyway.

This is about how we handle the “hand” that life/God deals us.  It’s like the half empty or half full analogy.

I choose to believe that what has happened over the years has not worn me down, but actually made me a stronger person.  I choose to believe that it has made my kids better people and improved my marriage as well.  I spoke about that specifically at my friend Dolores’ event in the Fall.

Good has come from all of this – no question in my mind.  It’s been a bumpy, and sometimes very rough, road.  But at the end of the day, I will come out the other end in better shape, as will my family.

Yes, it is pretty funny, in my opinion, that an ICU doctor thought I was in the medical profession somehow.  It just means that I pay close attention to what is going on around me – that’s all.  But amusing, nonetheless.  I appreciated the laugh, which was much needed.

Bottom line though is that if I didn’t choose to be positive about all of this, I would have been dead long ago.

Optimism?  Survival mode?  Insanity?  As in my email to my friend, I’ll take the positive path here.

🙂



  • Eric

    Good read Joe. I hope your Dad recovers fast.

  • Paul Loyd

    The outstanding support you gave to your mother, my sister, is greatly appreciated.

    • aeroimages

      My pleasure – I tried my best.

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