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Mother's day is only few days away, and this year I decided to do something special. But as often happens, life got in the way.

The original plan was to take my 89 year-old grandma, along with my mom, mother-in-law and all of my daughters, to Vegas. Our darling grandma loves to sit for hours pulling the handle of a nickel slot machine in hopes of winning enough money so that we no longer have to worry about finances.

With so many people involved, making plans for the trip wasn't easy. But we all knew that this could well be the last time grandma gets to play like an adult, so everyone went out of their way to rearrange their schedules.
Unfortunately, life had other plans.

Yesterday morning I received a call from my daughter who now resides in San Francisco. She was complaining of a bad headache and a high fever. As a mom, I have just about heard it all from my kids. But there are times - such as yesterday - when your child calls and your heart skips a beat because somehow you know it's serious. Within an hour of calling, Stephanie was in the ER going through tests, and for the first time in her life I wasn't by her side.

I had been relaxing in Palm Springs on my annual girlfriend's trip when I received the call. As my girlfriends rushed to help me pack for the drive home, they made me promise to update them on Stephanie's condition. It normally takes two hours or more to drive from Palm Springs to San Diego. With my mind racing almost as fast as the car, I made it in an hour and fifteen minutes.  

During the drive back I must have dialed every doctor I know to ask their opinions. In between, I called my girlfriends to let them know what I had learned. With more than a dozen kids between us, I'm sure that each girlfriend couldn't help but think that this could have been their child.

Despite the high fever and severe headache, the doctors were not worried about swine flu because Steph had none of the other symptoms. Instead, they suspected meningitis, and immediately ordered a spinal tap. As soon as I heard "spinal tap" my heart began to race, everything inside of me did not feel right. I called every friend doctor I knew but was told we had no choice, the lumbar tap had to be done to rule out bacteria.  

Fortunately, Stephanie's boyfriend didn't leave her side, and my middle daughter happened to be visiting at the time and was there to hold her sister's hand through the whole ordeal. Afterwards, she pronounced that she will never be a doctor!

When the results came back positive for meningitis, the doctor assured me that it was only viral and, while uncomfortable, would pass without any consequences. However, he wanted to wait for 48 hours to be absolutely sure. The doctor went on to say that meningitis is very common among college students, and I should not worry.  

Common? Not worry??? Sore throat is common. Chicken pox is common.  The flu is common. But viral meningitis isn't something we hear about on a daily basis. As a mother, how can you not worry when your child contracts such an illness?

Thank God for my mother and the support of all my girlfriends, who continually reassured me that everything would be okay. I'm writing this as I sit on the plane to San Francisco, and I'm feeling a bit more at ease. In 48 hours, Stephanie should be out of the hospital and pain-free. Hopefully it will be one of those nightmares with a happy ending.

When I land I'll call grandma and tell her a little white lie. Something along the lines of "her doctor didn't think it was a good idea to go now with the swine flu in the air, and our trip will have to be postponed for a few weeks." Instead of feeding the slots in Vegas, I'll gather everyone in my house to celebrate this wonderful holiday called Mother's Day. And you know what? Everything will turn out just fine.

I will once again attempt to thank my mother, who has done for me more than I could ever acknowledge. I will raise a glass to all my girlfriends who knew what to do, who to call, and what to say when I needed them most. Women's instinct will always continue to amaze me. You don't have to give birth to be a mother, and I think we all are born with that maternal instinct that takes over when something significant happens and other people need us most.

So here's to all the women in my life and yours. This Mother's Day let's recognize and celebrate our special gift -- the real privilege of being a woman.

p.s. To be continued.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana, I feel so relieved to hear the relief in your “voice.”

      I watched a friend and colleague of my husband’s go through this very thing last year with her son. He had just left Maui for college in Los Angeles. Within the first couple of weeks, he was in the hospital with the same condition. He has fully recovered, made up for lost time in his classes and thank God life has resumed normally for him and his family.

      This will also be the case with your family but I know it’s heartbreaking to watch her go through so much pain.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda Hendricks wrote May 7, 2009
    • I’m glad everything will be alright.... and your wonderful trip for the women in your family sounds terrific... it’s so nice that you all are so close.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tara R. wrote May 7, 2009
    • I can certainly understand not being near your child when she’s sick. My daughter has been attending college five hours from home and I worried everytime I heard a sniffle.  

      The summer before she left home for college she had a meningitis vaccination. After hearing this I am so glad she did.

      I hope your daughter has a speedy and complete recovery, and that you and your women folk finally get to have their weekend together.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bev Schwehr wrote May 7, 2009
    • Once a mom..always a mom. estatic I don’t think our children realize that..they think because they are grown, off at school,in another state or country that mom should not worry. Does not happen!! They are always going to be your babies and you will worry. My mom is no longer here and miss her worrying about me phone calls, her advice, her just being there to have a cup of coffee with or take to lunch.
      When my mother died, ten years after my dad passed, I felt like I had lost the center of my life, like I had no where to go home to even though I have a brother and sister, it was the most horrible, lost feeling.
      Take time for your mom this Mother’s Day..give her a phone call, send her a card...Mom’s don’t need expensive gifts..



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie Hempsey wrote May 7, 2009
    • So scary! Hugs to you and your daughter! I am glad she will be ok! Yana...A very happy Mothers day to you my friend! I have a little something extra to be happy for this year and have a learned quite a few things from “other mothers’ Over these last 8 months since I found Fab40! Thank you for that!
      May God Bless you, your mother, grandmother, bless her heart,your daughters and your Mothers day celebration!
      Friends,
      Ree



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Leeann wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana .. Your in my prays , sending many smiles your way !! Please give your daughter a hug for me. I hope you have a wonderful  Mothers Day!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Foxfire5822 wrote May 7, 2009
    • I know just what you mean sometimes when that phone rings you just know before you even pick up.
      Or as soon as they say “mom” your heart freezes for just a moment. My mom had 7 kids..no wonder she was grey early..
      But I wouldn’t trade my 3 for anything.
      Hope all you moms have a great weekend!!
      Carol



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenni0811 wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana,

      I am so relieved the scare was worse than the situation. As tararobs mentioned, have your other daughters had a meningitis vaccination? Perhaps that would be a good idea. I’m really not sure why this virus is so prevalent among college age kids.  

      Happiest Mother’s Day to You, your mom, grandma, mom-in-law and all the other women in your family. (Let me know if I totally messed up the greeting below!!)

      День Матери



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Softball43smom wrote May 7, 2009
    • So glad to hear your daugher will be ok.  Thank you for sharing this incredible story, It is so easy to get caught up in our daily lives of being “too busy” that we forget to pause and give Thanks for the miracles.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana, thanking God for His divine intervention on your daughters behalf. Happy to know all is well and she is doing better and will continue to do better.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Oceangirl40 wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana
      I am so sorry to hear about your daughter but glad she is going to be ok.  The trip sounds wonderful, I did something like this with my mom, sisters, sister-in-law, aunts and cousins (all women) to Mexico and it just so happened to be my 40Th birthday and we had such a great time.  You will have so much fun when you do get to head to Vegas.  

      A mothers instincts are amazing aren’t they.  I wish you and all the ladies here a wonderful Mothers Day.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie66 wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana,
      I’m so happy to hear that your daughter is doing alot better..Know that you, your daughter and family are in my thoughts and prayers.

      Marie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Andria m. Simpson wrote May 7, 2009
    • With this Mothers Day looming I am reminded of last years Mothers Day with my mom because it was our last, she unexpectedly passed away three (3) days later.  I am finally get through the finally “firsts“, just had her birthday on 4/27, got through the first Thanksgiving which ended up being a horrible day for reasons that will become apparent later, got through my first Christmas, New Years, my birthday, etc.  Now here is the worst part of Mothers Day. I have always been confused and heartbroken by Mother’s Day because my mom was really my maternal grandmother who raised me from birth, her daughter was..is my birth mother and has always been around to always remind me I was not planned, not wanted and a mistake.  My mom was my rock, my everything, my, as Bette Midler puts it “Wind Beneath My Wings“.  She was and is a true mother by total definition and when I sat with her holding her hand, filing her nails at the exact moment she passed a realization came to me she gave me the greatest gift she could ever have given me to be there with her at her last moment just as she was with me when I took my first breath, first words, first steps, first tears.  And also that my own birth mother will never have the honor and privilege of having her only daughter with her at her last moment. A mother gives birth but a mom gives life. When I would go to the store every Mothers Day to buy a card for mom somehow I felt obligated to buy one for my birth mother but how can you buy a Mothers Day card for someone who was never there except to remind you you weren’t wanted.  So I never bought the card. I was chatting online with my uncle/brother (birth mothers brother) and explained to him that not only have I been mourning the death of my mom but also the “death” of any relationship with my birth mother since she made it very pointedly clear when we all assembled after mom passed that I was no longer a part of the family as far as she was concerned. I have not spoken to her since the week after mom passed and that was May of last year. My step father did call on Thanksgiving and told me he missed me and loved me, funny thing is to show love you must always be there, words mean nothing it’s all action, I haven’t heard from my birth mother since the last fight and from my step father since the monday after Thanksgiving and that was the first time since the last fight. So my “celebration” on Mother’s Day will be of my mom and the heartbreak of losing two in one.  However it will also be a happy day because I can remember our last Mother’s Day because nearly all of her children were with her except for, of course, her daughter, and her son who had just left for Afghanistan.

      For all the grandmothers who raise their grandchildren, you are all wonderful mom’s and you will never know just how much of an impact you have made in our lives but one word of advise, please, please tell your “kids” that the manner in which they came to be, how they were raised and by whom had nothing to do with them.  Also, please don’t ever let those birth mothers tell their children that it was their own fault they were born because all that does it linger and 41 years later when you are passed away they will be left feeling alone and unwanted.

      So a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the birth mothers who took responsibility for their actions and to all the wonderful grandmother’s who love so much unconditionally.

      andria

      *The beautiful lady with me in my profile photo is my true mom.  Happy Mother’s Day mom, Marion Esther Miller (Simpson; Russell).  You are loved and missed and never forgotten.
      April 27th, 1929-May 14th, 2008



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Off Center wrote May 7, 2009
    • That must have been incredibly scary for you and I’m glad that it sounds like your daughter will be up and at em in no time.  I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day with the women in your life that you love most.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michael Madden DC wrote May 7, 2009
    • The rest of the world stops when there’s anything wrong with one of our children. My heart goes out to you for all the worry and parental angst that you had to endure. You should especially be proud of your middle daughter. The fact that your entire generational family would have been willing and even happy to go off together speaks volumes about the solid core of maternal love that has been sincerely passed from mother to daughter to daughter. Congratulations on being successful at the most important thing in our lives, family.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana,

      Thankfully everything turned out alright. Being away from my own daughter I completely understand the worry and panic you were feeling.
      I am so glad that Stephanie will be fine. And how wonderful of your middle daughter to be the rock in your absence.  

      Happy Mother’s Day!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deb Darby wrote May 7, 2009
    • What a wonderful Mother’s Day gift that Stephanie is healthy! Nothing else matters. Enjoy your celebration.

      Love, Deb



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Hbrose wrote May 7, 2009
    • I understand that heart-racing-I-need-to-get-to-my-child-now feeling well. Thank God your daughter will be ok. She will be in my prayers for a full and quick recovery.

      And cheers to you, your mom and all our wonderful moms out there as we celebrate Mother’s Day.  

      {clink}...that’s my coffee-cup clinking as a toast to you.  

      hbRose



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Charlotte44 wrote May 7, 2009
    • I’m so glad to hear that your daughter is ok. I’ve never thought of meningitis as being just one of those “common” things. Wherever you hear about it here it’s very scary.

      I hope you have an extra special Mother’s Day! Enjoy!

      Charlotte



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jewelrybyirina wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana,
      I know exactly you are going through. I am the same way.
      I am really sorry it happened to your daughter and to you.
      I am glad everything turn out o.k.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jo46 wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana, I am so happy that everything worked out for you,Stephanie, and your entire family. How scary. Enjoy each and everyday with good health and happiness.  Please keep us updated as to how Stephanie is doing and to how the Las Vegas trip fianally ended up being!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kathy Holmes wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana - so relieved to know it will all turn out right. Sounds like you are surrounded by a lot of lovely people - maybe because you‘re such a lovely person.

      We just got back from southern Cal and it was awesome to reconnect with “my people.” :) There’s a connection there that will never disappear no matter how many different places I’ve lived since.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jewelrybyirina wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana,
      I wish your daughter speedy recovery!
      Have a worry free Mother Day!

      [Link Removed]


      Jewelrybyirina, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote May 7, 2009
    • oh dear Yana, I’m so sorry for Stephanie who had this terrible thing, for you having to go through the horrible worry and the cancellation of what should have been a fun time.

      I also wish I had been with you to hold your hand.

      hugs and much love to all of you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana, wow very scary!!
      I am so glad steph is going to be ok.
      Give her a hug from me.

      When she is all better, Vegas baby! You all will have a blast!!
      xoxo



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sallyf wrote May 7, 2009
    • I am getting ready to send my middle son off to college this summer and he has opted for the menengitis vaccine.  While not “common” among the general public, it does tend to rear its ugly head in the college scene.  I am happy that all has turned out well and she will be home soon.  And next time you have a complicated trip to plan... think of me and I will be happy to assist!  www.vagabondtourandtravel.com



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Militarymomz wrote May 7, 2009
    • My son’s friend (age 14) was just released from the hospital day before yesterday with meningitis!  He is doing better!  Glad to know all is better with your daughter!!!  God bless your family and hug your grandma for me.  I sure miss my grannies!  I did find out yesterday though, I am going to be a first time Granny and I am SO excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Wittymom wrote May 7, 2009
    • Happy Mother’s Day Yana...a happier day indeed now that you know your daughter is fine. It’s a roller coaster ride this motherhood thing isn’t it? I’m just glad I’m here for the ride with my daughter. Thanks for sharing your story.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote May 7, 2009
    • Dear Yana

      Altho we communicated briefly privately, I want to publically say  that every ounce of my positive thought energy is with you and Stephanie.
      My young son contracted Spinal Meningitis at the age of four, triggered by an inner ear infection that actually penetrated the mastoid bones into the spinal fluid. It WAS bacterial and things were pretty grim. I shudder even thinking back. Even though his fever rocketed to 107 degrees, with ample and quick care, he is now a happy, fit 41 year old and an architectural consultant. Absolutely no permanent damage done.
      That many years ago, it was a miracle, today, Stephanie will be fine.
      My heartfelt support to you!
      Hugs,
      Susan



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Juliejulz wrote May 7, 2009
    • daelitesmom,  

      Make up your mind to be happy. Don’t give into the “extra” pain. You have to go through your mourning in your own way. When you are feeling unwanted, reminisce on the memories you made with your (grand)mother. That is what they are for and that is what she would have wanted you to do.
      My story is quite parallel to yours. I hurt on Mother’s Day, but I also remember the women who came into my life to give me a hint of mothering. I work with what I have. This Mother’s Day, you give into the grieving, but next year, celebrate your (grand)mother - in her honor, plant a garden (even if it is herbs in your kitchen); take a trip on Mother’s Day to her favorite spot. You can overcome the grief and get to the sweetspot, where you revel in the blessing of having her for your mother. Take it from someone who did not even have a mother or grandmother to count on.
      I am still blessed and so are you!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lillie Sharon wrote May 7, 2009
    • Well I think that all moms no best but we all learn as we go



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana,

       I’m glad Steph is going to be okay.  Give her my best!

      xoxoxo
      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote May 7, 2009
    • Dear Yana,

         Glory to God for quick thinking and fast action. I work in the Health field and meningitis is just that a “menace” but when you move fast you save a life. It can kill in a matter of hours when left undiagnosed or untreated.

          I believe this is another vaccine that you can get for free at your local health department, especially college age students. Check it out everyone.

      love Donna



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lpblanchard wrote May 7, 2009
    • Yana,
      I am so sorry to hear about what your daughter went through, not to mention you, but am relieved that she is doing much better. You may not be able to celebrate Mother’s Day in Vegas but I’m sure this Mother’s Day will be just as special and wonderful celebrating at home with your family.  

      I am new to this site and still exploring and feeling my way around. I thank you for welcoming me, and I hope to learn much and share experiences of life with what seems to be many wonderful women who are members of Fabulously 40!

      Thank you, and I wish you a fabulous Mother’s Day, and all the best to your daughter, Stephanie.

      Letty



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Msmac wrote May 7, 2009
    • I am sorry your Mother’s Day plans had to change (Las Vegas sounds like so much fun,)but I am glad that your daughter is doing well and that you were able to be by her side. Enjoy every minute of your time together and HAPPY MOTHER‘S DAY!

      estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mzzsugar wrote May 8, 2009
    • Andria,

      I’m so sorry for the obvious pain of having a thoughtless tramp for a mother. Not your fault for being born, her fault for not taking precautions. Every child is a gift from God and has a right to be treated as such. I’m glad you received that from your real mother. I was 19 when I found myself pregnant, I was scared and not prepared to be a mom. 22 years later my son has made me very happy and proud. Both of my children are now in college and a joy to me. Not having you for a daughter is her loss. Live your life proud and know we can’t choose our family, just how we choose to deal with them.

      Good luck,
      Lynette



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sophia45 wrote May 8, 2009
    • HI There

      I am so confident in my own mother who is 75.  she is so wise in what she says and do. She has taught me a lot and continues to teach and inspire me every day. Even though mothers day in England was in March. I will use your day to celebrate my mother too.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Ayesha wrote May 8, 2009
    • My mom had Meningitis too ...

      Glad your daughter is better now !

      HAPPY MOTHER‘S DAY happy

      A . in Los Angeles



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dorothy Rosby wrote May 9, 2009
    • I was so glad to read the “happy ending” in your story!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Paula Bertucci wrote May 9, 2009
    • Yana,

      I finally just read your story after going through my own set of scary moments this week (as I addressed to you in my other letter...she lives in Santa Barbara (the big Fire) and had a nasty breakup all with in a two day period)...which was a reminder that I am a Mom (even if I live far from her)...and how it truly is one of the biggest jobs in life. I am glad to hear that your daughter will be just fine...and you are a wonderful mother indeed!!

      Have a blessed Mother’s Day!!
      hugs, Paula



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Trudy S wrote May 9, 2009
    • Yana,
      I am so glad your daughter is OK.  I suffered though a case of viral meningitis when I was in my early 20s so I feel her pain.  I will keep you all in my prayers and ask for a speedy recovery for your daughter.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Glimpse wrote May 10, 2009
    • your daughter & you are in my prayers.....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote May 13, 2009
    • And now you‘re bringing her home!  So glad you got a “nightmare with a happy ending!”



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