misery loves company
this saying is typically used with a negative connotation. it implies that those that feel miserable resort to dragging others down to their miserable level, too. today, i would like to use this phrase a bit differently.
when we were in the hospital with our baby last week, we were terrified. sick. exhausted. miserable. there is absolutely nothing worse than watching someone so helpless in so much pain. seeing a baby with needles, gauze, and wires just does something to your heart and makes it break. especially when it is your own.
we certainly felt heartbroken. i wasn't sure if i would ever see my daughter respond to her name again. i didn't know if she would regress to brain death. i didn't know if i would ever see her adorable scrunched-nose smile. i didn't know if she would be paralyzed. needless to say, i was miserable.
i want to make it known that each and every phone call, text, email, and DM i received all last week are what carried my small family and i through this trial. every bit of effort made was appreciated. i am so sorry if you reached out to me in any way and i took a while to respond or i never did. i was tired, i was worried sick, and i didn't have the strength in me to reply every time. i was so suffocated by storie's situation that it felt too hard to discuss it further than i absolutely had to. i wanted to completely escape it, but i also wanted to never leave my baby's side.
your kind words were like a breath of fresh air. i felt pretty isolated and trapped in the hospital; it didn't feel like christmas, i wanted my mom and dad there, and the days felt like years. it was absolutely amazing to check my phone and see dozens of encouraging and sympathizing words. i didn't feel so alone. my misery loved the company.
i think this goes to show that, in life, no amount of effort should ever go unappreciated. even the seemingly insignificant things, like double tapping my instagram post or simply commenting "prayers!" meant so much to me. it still does. it changed the entire experience for me. you have the power to do that in other situations, too. smile at the stranger. hold open the door. start the conversation. it really could change someone's life. misery loves company. misery often NEEDS company.
this experience also reminded me of the biblical story of the widow's mite. to paraphrase, this story tells of jesus sitting near the temple treasury and watching people deposit money into the offering receptacles. the rich gave large, impressive sums of money; a widow then approached and gave two mites (equating to one penny, if i remember correctly). jesus praised this humble donation, claiming that hers was more meaningful than the larger amounts that preceded hers. seemingly small gestures, like the widow's mite or sending a text, might not feel like much. but i guarantee they are. the sincerity makes all the difference and i appreciated every single one.
it was such an amazing example to me of what the christmas spirit is all about. santa and presents and cookies and lights certainly bring happiness, but the charity, selflessness, and love are what bring lasting joy. how wonderful it is to know that those are things we can focus on year-round to make every month feel as delightful and magical as december.
again, i cannot thank you enough for the love and support you have shown for me, brandtly, and storie. we appreciate it more than we can ever express. i hope everyone had a merry christmas and you will continue to have a happy new year.