I grew up in a family of practical jokers. Sandwiched between boys, it was common place to be the brunt of a punchline. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger mentality. We never took things too serious, the boundaries were always being stretched. My father was right there as an instigator, although he would deny it. During my high school years he thought it was comical to slip a bread tie into our sandwich while my mom was making our lunches. Yes, a bread tie. So while talking to friends, catching up on the days after school activities, homework or sports and testing schedule, you would bite down and feel a crunch. The visual of a half dangling bread tie outside of your mouth and half in was mortifying to any teenager but it did make you chuckle a little too – just on the inside. At some point I began to roll with the punches – and declare “oh, that’s my dad, just trying to be funny”. I learned to always check my sandwich before devouring it but, then the day I would ease up and forget, it would be there again. Uncanny sense of timing.
Libby is on an overnight beach field trip with her school. An event she has been looking forward to since 1st grade. They travel as a collective group, explore battleships, marine biology, spending countless hours with each other and bunker down at a campsite. Her enthusiasm was contagious, at first how exciting, wonder what it will be like, but then I heard a report on the camp food as being described as “wonderfully delicious” and thought maybe this trip was being over sold. We all became excited for her, the hope of something new and unexpected.
The overnight bags were packed for a solid week in advance. Double – triple checking constantly. Water Shoes – check – Sweatshirts – check – Pillow – check – Camera, Money, Outfits and Sleeping Bag – check! As I tripped on the overflowing duffle bag and backpack for days, I thought, what could I leave in her bag that would remind her of us. Some moms leave loving notes or pictures…… some leave threatening reminders “to behave”……. I had decided, I was leaving my loving note in the form of a snake / serpent, tucked in her dark sleeping bag- sure to evoke a shrilling scream as she placed her tiny legs inside to sleep. It was also a reminder that when she laid down to close her eyes she had comfort knowing, we can’t be with her physically but she’s always on our mind.
Life is full of unexpected surprises and last night as my youngest and I lay there and wonder if Libby had “discovered” her love surprise and if she had, why we couldn’t hear a ear piercing scream all the way in Raleigh, my phone beeped with an email. Here was our unexpected surprise…. the FDA has issued a recall for the DBS (deep brain stimulator) cap manufactured by Medtronic‘s. Seriously, a recall? We JUST had the surgery… how can this be? It’s not like taking your car in to have an airbag replaced. There are no “loaners” to request. I am not sure to date what our path will be to make the correction, but it takes me back to my family and the lessons they taught and we hope to teach, of expecting the unexpected and trying to roll with the punches.