It was so out of the blue…

Last night at around 8:15 I left the house to go pick my kids up from their father’s place.  He lives about ten minutes away, just off of the same busy street that we do.  It was a typical Sunday evening, not much traffic, a few clouds in the sky, quiet.  As I drove I listened to a radio station that always plays religious music on Sundays.  The station went to commercial and I reached to turn the volume up because I wanted to hear what the commercial was about, although now I cannot even remember what commercial it was.  As I reached for the dial it hit. 

I experienced a sudden tightness in my chest and a heaviness in my head.  My throat felt like it constricted and I suddenly couldn’t breathe.  I gasped for air as the road swam before my eyes and then my vision tunneled and I could not see much.  I knew I was losing consciousness.  I gripped the steering wheel and applied the brakes to slow the car, hoping there was no one behind me, and said aloud, “Heavenly Father help me, please help me.”

My vision cleared and the tightness left my chest.  I took deep, gulping breaths and looked around for a place to pull over.  A wave of dizziness hit and my breathing became labored again.  My vision swam, but not as bad as the first time.  There was a tingling in my fingertips.  Again I prayed, “Heavenly Father, please help me.  My kids need me.  Please help me to get to my kids.”  I was aware that the car was still moving forward, but I no longer knew where I was.  “Please help me,” I prayed over and over, “My kids need me.”  I fought to stay conscious. 

After what seemed like an eternity, but was in reality only about ten seconds, I saw the turn-off to my ex’s street and made the turn.  Still taking deep breaths and shaking I remember thinking, I might have to have Mike call 911.  I pulled into the driveway and called Huh’s phone.  Taking a deep breath I made my voice sound as normal as possible, “I’m here.”

“Okay, we’ll be right out.”

My breathing slowed, and the dizziness left me.  I got out of the car and walked to the passenger side, as I slid into the passenger seat I said a silent prayer, “Heavenly Father, thank you for helping me to get here.” 

Mack came out of the house carrying her bag of clothes.  When she saw me in the passenger seat she got a puzzled look on her face.  “Why are you sitting there?” she asked as she loaded her stuff into the car.  “Are you okay?”

“Do you have your license with you?”  I asked.


“Good.  Do you want to drive?”

“Sure.”  Mack looked at me closely.  “What’s wrong?  Did something happen?”  I just shook my head.  I had been trying to appear normal, somehow my daughter was seeing right through me.  I pulled the sun visor down to look at myself in the mirror.  Sure enough, I was pale.

“You’re shaking,” said Mack.  I simply nodded.

After all of the kids were in the car and Mack was driving us home I told the kids what had happened.  They were quiet.  To lighten the mood I asked them about their weekend.  Huh had attended the Senior dinner dance for her high school and Yawlin had gone to a birthday party, so I asked them both about those events.  Mack finally said, “Mom, you are only 41.”

How many times have my kids told me that I’m old and teased me about my age?  And now the perspective is that I am only 41. 

When we got home there were neighbors standing on our front porch visiting with Hub and Squid.  They’d dropped by to congratulate Squid on his recent call to serve a mission for our church in Uruguay.  My kids carried their stuff into the house and I stopped on the porch to visit with the neighbors.  After the neighbors left I told Hub what had happened on the way to get my kids.  He got a concerned look on his face and asked, “Are you okay?  Do we need to go to a doctor?”

“I don’t know,” I said.  “Other than a slight headache, I feel fine.”

Later on, as I loaded dishes into the dish washer, Hub again asked me if I was okay.  I told him that I was and that all I had was a slight headache.  We finished our evening routine and everyone went to bed.  That is when my mind started to race.  What if I had blacked out?  What if there had been more traffic?  What if I had been on the freeway?  What if it happens again?

This morning I got up at my usual time and made poppy seed muffins for breakfast (box mix).  My headache is gone and I feel fine.  Normal.  Alive. 

As I was crossing kids at my morning crossing a lady walked by with her dog on a leash.  She smiled at me and asked, “Doesn’t it smell heavenly out here?”  It did.  A mixture of lilacs and Russian Olive tree did make my little street corner smell nice.  I took a few deep breaths.  It was nice to do so with ease.  I’m not taking that for granted. 

The incident in the car happened so suddenly, so out of the blue.  There were no warning signs.  It just hit.  Quickly.  It’s a little scary to think about.  Things can change in our lives in the blink of an eye.  I don’t think I am going to be taking things for granted for awhile.  I am noticing the little things.  I truly am blessed.

And I am so grateful for help from above.