Together Through It All

March 31, 2016

I haven’t been posting to this space as much as I’d like to–life has definitely been a little chaotic and eye-opening lately. Over a month ago, Sam’s dad landed in the hospital while he was visiting Portland. It was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever experienced. He was about to close the deal on renting a home and was scheduled to fly back to Orange County later that day when he started having shortness of breath. It escalated very quickly so he was rushed to the ER at OHSU. When I arrived at the ER, Mike was completely undone, wired up, and holding on for his dear life. There were about 9 doctors swarming around him trying to lower his blood pressure and reduce the liquid in his lungs. I immediately sat on the bed with him, held his hand and assured him that he wasn’t alone and that we we’re going to get through this together. And we did. He made it through and I was really proud of him for not giving up. He ultimately underwent a triple bypass several days later, which went incredibly well. We’re so thankful that everything went smoothly and that he made it out of this experience alive and healthier.

But just as Mike was going to be discharged, Sam and his mother had to fly to OC, pack up all of his parent’s stuff and drive up to Oregon with their 2 dogs and 2 cats (it was quite the harrowing journey for them, to say the least). Which left me to step in and take care of Mike after getting discharged, which I was more than happy to do. We started this hospital journey together and we ended it together. And the 4 days we had as a twosome were unprecedented. We’ve always been close but the one-on-one time we had trying to adjust to his new diet and his new cleaner lifestyle was really sweet and honest. We talked about all aspects of life, how messy and beautiful it is, what he’s found to be the best and worst moments of his existence and what it means to be who you truly are in this lifetime of ours. We explored different neighborhoods, enjoyed peaceful strolls in the sun, found his new doctor’s office near the Portland tram, found a great record store (he bought me a fantastic Rolling Stones album) and did some shopping at his favorite grocery stores–Zupan’s is his all-time favorite place to be in Portland which tickles me. We also went to breakfast at Zell’s Cafe which is where we went the morning before he was rushed to the ER. We wanted to go back and breathe new life and energy into that spot since we loved it so much.

There has always been a kindred value in each of my relationships with Sam and his parents, even though each are very different. And the experience I had with Mike just highlighted that connection we’ve always had. There is nothing more gratifying than spending time with someone who gets you and mutually engaging with them on a level where both of you understand who the other person is and who they are becoming. We both are obviously at very different points in our lives but we were both in a position where we needed to pause, explore just being and surviving and reflect on the bigger picture of what was happening. He leaned on me a lot and I was there for him. He also helped me tremendously. He was surprisingly calm and joyful for just having gone through a near-death experience and that really lit up a desire within me to choose to be positive no matter how low my health lows get. I’m really grateful to have had those raw and honest moments with Mike. I’ll remember them forever.


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