When a Heart Attack Makes Things Stronger

My mom had a heart attack in February (of all times, Heart Awareness month!) and I kind of shut down a little. I didn’t blog as much, I didn’t see my blogger pals (online or in the Houston community) and I turned down some exciting jobs.

My involvement with my children’s school decreased and outing with my friends kind of stopped.

My mom was in good health, pretty young (63 years old) and didn’t smoke or drink. She wasn’t overweight and while she didn’t work out regularly at the gym, she was a PE teacher so she was on her feet and very active, every day.

One day she felt short of breath and her jaw hurt. She thought maybe she was just nervous (or needed to see a dentist!). Then she had some chest pain that worried her enough to get it checked out. (She’s not one to go to the doctor!)

It was Friday evening after she had her EKG and stress test results. She had had a heart attack.

I went to see her at the doctors office and took her to the hospital. Luckily she was able to avoid open heart surgery as they reestablished flow by the placement of four stents. We were so thankful even though another hospital stay was necessary because of infection.

My sisters and I all were there for mom, but because I work from home and live close to her, I stepped in and helped her everyday after she got home from the hospital. I took her to rehab and doctors appointments, ran errands for her and kept her company. When she was took weak to do household chores, I vacummed her carpets and took out her trash.

And a funny thing happened while her heart got stronger. So did our relationship.

Me and mom have had some rocky times and we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. We’ve both been stubborn (hey, I got it from her!) and that didn’t always help…but I always loved my mom. Sometimes, I just didn’t know how to show it.

When she got sick I was scared but because I once held a management position at a hospital (and was familiar with the system), I knew I could be her advocate. Then when she got home I was thankful that I was in a position where I could take care of her. It made me feel good to be able to be there for her.

And our time together that month, even when she was napping and I was working in the kitchen – brought us closer together.

She’s back at work; yet still healing. I know she’s looking forward to the summer when she can take things a little slower again. (I’m looking forward to having her around during the week, too!)

I hope she knows that I’ll always be there for her and that I love her. And that while I hate that she got sick, that I cherished the time we spent together and I’m thankful for our stronger relationship.

“I carry your heart with me….I carry it in my heart.” e.e. cummings







  1. 1
    Linda says:

    That is precious. Just precious. I felt the same way when I was able to care for my mom. Such a gift.

  2. 2
    tess says:

    what a wonderfu post- i hope you shared all of that with your mom and not just blogged about how you felt…share your feelings with your mom and let her know.

  3. 3


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