Gifts come in all shapes, sizes, forms, and times. Sometimes the greatest gifts are those that no actual person gives, but instead is realized by the one they are meant for. Birthdays, holidays, always brought great memories to my family and I, but the best gift I was ever given was the gift I received on what I call my first day of consciousness. I was in a medical induced coma for, give or take a month and a half. I have some memories, most I’d like to forget due to obscene pain, but there are those clips of moments that run through my head when I look back on that period in my life. This gift though, came after. It came when I went from what nurses described as ‘enough pain medicine to kill a small horse’ to ‘ok now lets allow her to remember her own name.’ I had many visitors during that time, in fact for some of that time I would have sworn that my door was actually one of those ‘jump in the spinning wheel and hope the little kid behind you doesn’t get any bright idea’s and decides it’s funny to trap you in’ kind of doors that are the makings of nightmares. Revolving door, yeah, welcome to a morphine dream. There were a lot of people, that’s the point. On the day I ‘woke up’ I was graced with the presence of all the ones I hold close to my heart. Family, best friends, etc, they were all there. You may be thinking, ‘well duh where else would they be’, but when I realized how long I had been out of it, seeing all the ones I loved and finding out that without me they were all okay, well, it was quite the surprise.
I used to delude myself into thinking that if I didn’t take care of it, if I didn’t do it for them, if I didn’t make it better, everything would come crashing down. Have no fear Carly is here! So silly to think I had once convinced myself that if I controlled it, everybody would be fine. I started to think that others couldn’t survive without me. Before this I never understood when others would say, ‘well sometimes you have to let them figure it out for themselves.’ My response being, ‘Are you insane! Have you completely lost you mind? What if something happened? What if they made the wrong decision? What if…..? Yes, it was as exhausting as it sounds, but if I micro managed others, I could protect them…right? One of my favorite lines from a movie came from the animated film called “Finding Nemo” (oh, hush up. it’s funny). Marlin is explaining to Dory that he just doesn’t want to let anything to happen to his son Nemo. Dory, his comical sidekicks response is, “Well that’s silly, if you never let anything happen to him then nothing will ever happen to him.” That hilarious blue fish was right, what a boring life it would be if nothing EVER happened to you!
I woke up that day and realized I was given a very precious gift. Without passing away I was able to see that the people I cared about most could make it on their own. Everyone was fine. I started thinking maybe I didn’t need to worry so much. Maybe I didn’t need to control everything. I looked around the room at the ones I loved and for the first time I truly realized how amazing they are! On this day, for the rest of my life I will look at the gift that would change me forever… knowing… that everybody’s fine.