Sunday, January 18, 2009

Life Goes On


I'm going to get personal here, even more than I may have ever done in the past. Today, it doesn't matter whether you're a gardener, a bank executive, or a social worker. It doesn't matter whether I am either. For the past ten years, this weekend in January has always been an important one in my life. Because of my life. I'm still living it.

My neighbor asked me the other night how I can remember dates so well, when we discussed what happened ten years ago. I told him, "When you've been given a second chance at life, believe me, you remember it."


I've spoken before about the illness that nearly took my life. If you've ever experienced bacterial meningitis (Neisseria meningitidis) or know someone who has, you know the seriousness of it. There is a commercial on TV right now that shows children on a playground, seemingly healthy and happy. The voiceover says, "This is what bacterial meningitis looks like just 24 hours before it takes a life." It's true.


I won't go into the details of that weekend. For one thing, I spent half of it and a day, unconscious. But I remember how I felt before everything went black and I remember how long it took to recover.


Two comments people say to me on a regular basis when they learn of my miraculous healing, are "I'll bet you live your life differently now," and "God must have had a bigger plan for your life." Perhaps. I have always been one to be watchful for opportunities and take them when possible. But I do have a new appreciation for those that live with chronic pain, the one remaining effect I have that has indirectly been blamed on the meningitis.


As far as the purpose for my life - I am convinced that God didn't answer those hundreds of prayers that were said on my behalf, for my own purposes. Without me, Romie would have been left to raise two teenage daughters on his own. Jenna was 16 and Kara was 18. What a daunting task that would have been.


So on this, the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the rest of my life, I thank God for the many, many blessings that have come my way. I can't begin to list them all, but as I look back over these years, I think I am the most thankful that I was here to experience the transformation of our two girls into lovely young women.
















Together with Romie, we have experienced their high school and college graduations, numerous sports accomplishments and awards, relationships that culminated in marriages, and success in their chosen fields. They are good and happy girls who love their families and their God. What more could two parents ask for?


I would be remiss if I didn't give my mom a special thanks. She spent three weeks with me, helping me begin my recovery. I have good memories of the time spent with her. We took my first walk outside in the yard on a warmish winter day to cut forsythia branches for forcing. She cleaned my house as only my clean-freak mom can do. (Just kidding, Mom! Want to do it again?) She cooked for me so I would have nutritious meals, helping me to heal faster. We read Winnie-the-Pooh together because she knew I loved it and she'd never read it herself as a child.



Thanks to fabulous doctors, good people praying, and a wonderful family's love, life does indeed go on...



31 comments:

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

I'm so glad you got through that and are here today, Kylee! This month marks 5 years since I was finished with cancer treatment. I am thinking about a post on it but I'm trying to not get personal on my blog:0

gardenerprogress said...

Even as adults it's so nice to have our Mom's take care of us like they did when we were children. I'm so glad you are celebrating 10 years and that your family is able to continue to have you in their lives and them in yours.

Kylee said...

Jan ~ I don't think we can help getting personal now and then, and what better thing to celebrate than life! I'm so glad you are a survivor, Jan! How else would we have ever "met"?

My blog always has had personal touches here and there, because that's who I am. My blog started out to be personal, for my family, and has really evolved into I don't know what, but I don't think I'll ever completely get away from sharing bits of my personal life now and then.

gardenerprogress ~ No one does it quite like Mom, do they? I'm glad, too! As a little sign I have says, "Life is a garden. Dig it!" :-)

Msrobin said...

It's a very touching story Kylee, and I'm so glad you shared it with us. Like you, my blog started out as a personal journal of my life, so that my far off family could see what I was up to. It evolved into a garden blog, but there will always be personal touches in it, just like yours.

nancybond said...

HAPPY Anniversary, Kylee, in the very best sense of the word!

Louise said...

God knew we all needed you. Love, Mom

Ilona said...

So happy that the Lord gave you to the world a bit longer (but not yet long enough! we need for awhile). I know I have benefited from your sunshine online.

Now I know some of the reason behind it and it makes it glow in my mind even more. Hugs.

Kylee said...

Robin ~ I love getting to know bloggers better and whenever they share a bit of their personal lives, I think it also gives a little background on how, why, and what their gardens are.

Nancy ~ Thank you! :-)

Mom ~ Okay, thanks for making me get all choked up. I love you!

Kylee said...

Ilona ~ Oh goodness, now you're making me get all misty-eyed, too! It's been a joy getting to know you better (especially via Facebook!). Big hugs back at you!

jodi said...

There are so many wonderful stories like yours out there, Kylee, and I think that they bring hope to others who are facing health and other challenges. I am sure glad you're still here because I never would have had the pleasure of your friendship across the miles otherwise. And yeah, we're going to have a visit one of these days, in the not tooooooo distant future. As Nancy said, Happy Anniversary in the bestest sense, to you, Romie, the girls and the rest of your family. (((((kylee))))

Cinj said...

I appreciate getting to know people on a personal level. Seeing their flowers and learning about all of their gardening is nice and everything, but it's wonderful to know the person behind the garden.

I suppose that may be a reason that my blog isn't as popular as others, but I consider everyone friends that I just haven't met yet.

I'm glad that you're still here and I think it was great that your mom was able to take care of you so you recover more quickly.

Kylee said...

jodi ~ Be still my heart! Could you possibly be making a visit to Chicago one of these months? :-))) Blogging and friends like you are just more blessings in my life!

Cinj ~ I know what you mean! I like getting to know just about anyone because I just enjoy people. It's kind of like when I used to go shopping with the girls when they were younger. I'd get into a lengthy conversation with a sales associate and when we'd walk away, they'd say, "Mom, did you know her?" I'd smile and say, "No, but she was fun to talk to." They just rolled their eyes. LOL.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Kylee, I have seen first hand what that illness does to a person. Your body must be very strong. So glad you stayed here with us.

perennialgardener said...

What a remarkable person you are Kylee to have survived all that. I'm glad you did so that we were able to get to know you through your blog. You are very blessed to have had your Mom to help you get through this difficult time in your life.

Rick said...

Kylee, here is to the next decade of your second chance. May it be even better than you helped make this last one.
God speed.

Diana said...

Kylee - thank you for sharing your miraculous story with us and giving us a glimpse into the most personal of moments from your life. I'm thankful for friends like you and your story helps remind us to live our lives to the fullest. I'm glad yours is so full.

Kylee said...

Debbie ~ The doctors and nurses did say that my good general health was in my favor. A funny aside - At my six-week exam, my infectious disease doctor said he'd heard I was a marathon runner and that it probably helped me survive. Ohhhhh, nothing could have been further from the truth! Exercise has always been a dirty word to me! But ironically, this past September, I did a half-marathon. Self-fulfilling prophecy perhaps?

Racquel ~ It seems like a long time ago now, yet I remember so much about that whole thing like it was yesterday. Yes, I'm blessed indeed!

Rick ~ Thank you, Rick!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

My hubby had viral meningitis not too long after we were married. It was a terrible experience. I can't imagine how sick you must have been with the bacterial form.

I'm so very glad that God has blessed you and your family with this extra time.

When I saw your title to the post and the first picture, I thought you were announcing other news, (news of the baby kind).

Wayne Stratz said...

I Believe in a God who desires us all to live long fulfilling lives and who was filled with joy to see you survive. Thanks for sharing your story.

Kylee said...

Diana ~ How sweet of you, Diana. :-) I have my wasted moments too, but my life is full enough for me. It really doesn't take much to make me smile, mainly because I marvel in little things!

Robin ~ A co-worker had viral meningitis a few years after I had the bacterial. I remember she had a headache, but was so totally exhausted from it. Brain illnesses of any kind take a lot out of you.

I hope I DO have news of the sort you expected someday! All in good time, I'm sure. We are both looking forward to being grandparents some day!

Wayne ~ I think He smiled when I woke up and wondered where I was. :-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What an uplifting story Kylee. It tells us that we should all live life as if tomorrow might not arrive. Live, Love and be Thankful.

joey said...

I'm honored to celebrate the miracle of your precious life, dear Kylee. 1 year ago last summer, I held and fed my sister through the dark hours of bacterial meningitis (saved because on massive doses of steroids due to mis-diagnosis of Giant cell arteritis after loosing her vision). During her memingitis, doctors discovered bacterial endocarditis (how she lost her sight). She recovered from both then again slammed with fungal endocarditis. Though still legally blind, after 2 horrific years in and out of numerous hospitals/nursing homes/ and living with us, she is known as a 'Living Miracle'. I am in awe.

Kerri said...

I'm sure your husband and family never stop thanking God for your safe delivery through that terrible experience. What a blessing it is to 'know' you through your always interesting blog posts, dear Kylee.
We all have much reason to be grateful for this gift life, but you have cause for celebration on this special anniversary. I'm happy to be celebrating with you.

Rosehaven Cottage said...

Thank you for sharing your powerful story and testimony! Words aren't adequate enough to describe the power behind your writing and your sharing. Thank you, Kylee.

Love and hugs,
Cindy

Carolyn gail said...

Such a heart wrenching story, Kylee. I don't know what it's like to come so close to loosing your life but I can imagine how precious it is when you do.

Your husband and daughters are equally blessed to have their mother and wife. You cannot begin to know what a void there is without one. I lost my Mom when I was four and it's the thing I miss the most in my life.

God bless you and your family and I hope the New Year brings you many blessings.

MrBrownThumb said...

What an awesome post Kylee thank you so much for sharing your story.

greenlegs80 said...

I don't know where I'd be now if you weren't here. I love you so very much and thank God for letting me have you for much more of my life. Sounds selfish, huh? Nah...you're MY MoM! =)

Kylee said...

Lisa ~ Absolutely. It's a great reminder when I think I'm having a bad day. In reality, I've had very, very few truly bad days.

Joey ~ Oh Joey, that had to have been absolutely horrible for you all. I think you told me about your sister before. I know I am so very fortunate to have made such a wonderful recovery. I am so aware of what could have been, even if I didn't die. I wish the best for your sister, as she is reminded every day of her encounter with this horrible disease.

Kerri ~ Thank you, Kerri. My life has been made much richer through the awesome power of blogging and getting to know people like you.

Cindy ~ Thank YOU, Cindy. Your e-mails and comments are always uplifting to me. *hugs and love back!*

Carolyn Gail ~ I'm so sorry you had to lose your mom like that! Four! That's too young to even begin to understand why.

Thank you for the blessings and I wish the same to you!

MrBrownThumb ~ I'm happy that I'm here to share it!

Kara ~ No, not selfish, Kara. Life is all about relationships and the love in them. I'm just so very grateful for our relationship and the love we have for one another.

Gail said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us...and happiest of anniversaries. gail

Kylee said...

Thank you, Gail. Happy I could share it!

Garden Lily said...

What a beautiful story, I am in tears. I am sure that when we get to the "other side", we will find out how many times we were near death, and didn't even know it. Life is a precious gift. I'm glad God spared you those 10 years ago.

I ask Him often to leave me here in this life long enough to meet my grandchildren. My kids are only 10 and 8 now.

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