Saturday, April 21, 2018

An unforgettable and forgettable birthday

June 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Patricia's Journey

As birthdays come and go, this 54th celebration last Friday will certainly be an unforgettable and forgettable one.

This is the unforgettable part.  A few of my nearest and dearest amazing, giving friends gathered Friday morning for brunch at my favorite Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant.   When you choose to celebrate life go to the Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant for its wonderful beachside ambiance beneath the leafy canopies of ancient hau trees.   The Eggs Benedict are famous and I had been savoring them for days prior to Friday.  They were as fabulous as I remembered.  Surpassed only by the generosity of the friends gathered around the table.  It was the perfect setting for a brunch to celebrate a birthday I was told I would not live to see.

The Hau Tree-one of three on the lanai

Airi, Laurie, Patricia, Jim, Steve, Melissa, Lisa

Airi, Laurie, Patricia, Jim, Steve, Melissa, Lisa

Now we begin with the forgettable part of my birthday…forgettable because I don’t remember.  We all departed  about 11:30 am and ventured off in various directions.  Laurie and I headed back to the North Shore near where I used to live.  I was going to spend the weekend with her and her family while staying in a friend’s beachfront condo who was away for the weekend.  We stopped there to drop off my things and give me the afternoon to take a nap.  I remember putting on my nightshirt and walking around the condo to get acclimated to my new surroundings.  That is the last thing I remember.  From that moment, I have zero recall until early evening.  Somehow I called Laurie on my cell phone and she arrived moments later.  It had only been a half hour since she dropped me off.  I was disoriented, frightened (really frightened) and in tears. I did not know where I was or how I got there. When Laurie arrived,  I was seated in front of a coffee table with the birthday cards and gifts spread out in front of me.  ”Where did these come from?”  Laurie explained that it was my birthday, which made me more upset because I didn’t remember. (Is that such a bad thing?)  She showed me the pictures on my camera from the morning brunch, yet there wasn’t any remembrance.   “Where’s Alexander?”, I asked. She explained that he was on the mainland being cared for by his Dad.  She called her husband Steve to come and be of support with guidance and blessing. What I am writing is from Laurie as I simply wasn’t present to the events.  She drove me to Kahuku Kaiser Clinic.  When they asked her where I lived, she said Honolulu.  I tearfully said “No, I live at Hanohano in Punalu’u!”  I didn’t remember moving into the city.  They couldn’t help me there and so she drove to Kaiser Moana Loa, where I receive treatments, to the Urgent Care.  In the waiting room, I was shaking and cold.  Laurie shared with me that they brought me a blanket and then took me directly into a room ahead of the five others who were waiting before me.  Mea Culpa to everyone who was waiting.

They ran a multitude of blood tests and performed a CAT scan of my brain.  Of course, the concern was I had suffered a stroke.  As we waited for the results, I began to come around.  Looking in the treatment room mirror and seeing my tear smudged eye make-up, I asked Laurie if I had been crying.  She began to fill in a few details, although I was still woozy and couldn’t absorb much information.  Laurie stayed in touch with Lisa who stayed in touch with our friends at brunch as well as sending out prayer requests to other friends.  They were an extraordinary team.  I do remember feeling calm about the test results and that there was nothing to fear.   When the doctor returned with the news, she said the blood test results were good and the brain CAT scan was clean. So, what happened?   The doctor doesn’t know.  I don’t know…yet.  Not everything can be explained with a diagnostic test.  The doctor who worked with me that night was exceptionally kind and thoughtful.  She shared that her son had cancer and she was acutely aware of the processes and feelings one goes through.  Her son is through with treatment and doing well.  When she looked in my eyes, I knew that she knew where I was coming from without saying a word.

We checked out around 7:40 pm and drove back to Laurie’s home where I decided to spend the weekend.  It was strongly recommended that I not be alone this week either, so I will be staying with her until Thursday.  Trust me, it’s a very good thing.  This home is blessed  as are all who have the privilege of being in it.  And there’s the homemade cinnamon rolls…


To all of you who sent out prayer requests and offered your own prayers, I thank you with a grateful heart.  Angels surround me as a result of your intervention.  Words will never be adequate to hold and embrace the appreciation for my friends.  God placed me in Laurie’s care that day on His behalf.  And always present in my life, and rarely mentioned, is Dr. Sandy Earl.  I am well loved and cared for on many levels.  I feel peaceful.

Sometimes when things seem to be going wrong, they are going right for reasons you are yet to understand.

–  Alan Cohen


7 Responses to “An unforgettable and forgettable birthday”
  1. Jan Johnson says:

    What a scary experience that must have been for you Patty. You have an amazing support group! Sounds like you had a wonderful morning! Those cinnamon rolls are making me drool!!!!

  2. sarah says:

    Oh Patricia,

    I’m so sorry you went through this – but everything happens for a reason right? I can’t wait to hear your theory – I’ve no doubt i’ll be one of those saying ‘of course, it’s obvious isn’t it?’ and rolling my eyes at those rolling their eyes! I’m so grateful for having the chance to see a picture of our wonderful Jim. I almost came to visit this week as it’s my 40th but my mother has arranged a BBQ in her garden in rainy England with 20 of her closest friends (it’s her day too, you see). It all comes from a place of love so it’s all good right? Who needed a beach in Hawaii for their 40th anyway? As I am under the umbrella I shall pretend I am under the wonderful Hau tree, sipping a pina colada with you and Jim! Sweet blessings my dear. With all my love. Sarah

    • Patricia says:

      Happy Birthday Sarah! I’m so sorry to have missed meeting you this trip. Perhaps next year
      I’ll be crossing the Atlantic to see you. Much love, precious one.

  3. Christine says:

    Maybe the forgive and forget are not meant to go together….forgive has nothing to do with forget, it’s simply a change in perspective. :)
    There is my eye roll back idea. Sending even more love and prayer if that is possible, since I love you more than the most already.

  4. Jeri says:

    The Will of God will never take you, where the Grace of God will not protect you. Is that what you thought we’d roll our eyes at? No way Sweet Pea. We’re in this with you, we get “it”. Or trying to. Willing to. Open to.

    Walsch said it best, don’t you think? Sometimes we just gotta get out of our minds to see it. Something like that. ha

    Of course, I’m looking forward to your book. But, but,…please share what you were going to say. You’re a walking miracle of love. And I love to hear about your miracles…..:) xxo

  5. Jackie Hinton says:

    Loving you and admiring your strength, your postive outlook, and your supportive, loving friends. Count me among them. Sending a warm, slow hug. Jackie

  6. Jan Johnson says:

    I agree with the above…..this is not a delayed gratification moment here! What are your thoughts….you know we are all going to buy the book anyway :-)

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