A deeply personal post

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It’s been a difficult weekend. Seven days ago, it was not the case, though there were some warning signs.

Last week, my husband, daughter and I took a couple of days off and surprised some family members on the other side of the pond. We normally spend Xmas there – a British Christmas is nothing short of magical – mince pies, Christmas crackers, wine, good food, telly, shopping, and of course family. However, on my mum’s insistence that we do something for ourselves this year over the holidays and not worry about keeping her and Dad company, we decided to visit them earlier for a shorter time instead.

My mother, who is an entertainer extraordinaire, went into full-chef mode and fed us mouth-watering food morning, day, and night, never repeating a meal. She also complained of some intermittent chest pains, which were initially written off as indigestion. My brother, a medic, had his suspicions. After listening to her symptoms remotely on the phone (he’s in London and my parents in Yorkshire), he advised that she go to the emergency room straightaway to get it checked out. She was a little scared, but decided to ride it out, enjoy our short visit, and scheduled it for the following Friday.

Sure enough, she checked in to a hospital, and was kept in over the weekend. We were already back in NYC by then. I was wondering why she was being detained over the weekend. My dad (also a medic) and brother are both men of few words but concrete action and positivity. While they kept telling me not to worry and that Mummy was fine and reading a magazine in her hospital bed, I couldn’t help but worry.

Last night, I finally learned that she was scheduled to have an angiogram on Monday, December 18th. This is when I froze.

They were all still in high spirits, but mainly because they didn’t want to worry me. I slept for about 3.5 hours last night. She had her procedure this morning and I learned that they placed a stent in her artery. When I called her an hour ago, it was the most emotional experience. This is when living thousands of miles away from loved ones becomes excruciatingly painful, no matter how much tech and social media we have at our disposal.

I am so thankful and pleased to report that all is well for now. But I want to put it out there: This Holiday season, hug your loved ones, love them genuinely, enjoy a quiet cup of coffee or a glass of wine together, and tell them how much they matter to you. Gifts are secondary. Love trumps everything.

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