How the swine flu changed my life…

Posted on May 14, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Chance or Fate?

There appears to be a fence that runs between these two words.  Some people believe that events occur strictly by Chance.  Those on the other side of the barbed wire believe that Fate has dealt the cards they play with.  As for me?  I’ve always believed that things happen for a reason – although it might be awhile before I understand.  I don’t necessarily feel that events or outcomes are “predetermined”, just that there’s a reason behind them.  

People come in and out of our lives.  Some people are only there for a short time and some stay around longer. Some people we wish we had never met at all.  Sometimes it’s awkward seeing someone you haven’t seen in awhile and with others it’s like you never spent time apart.  It might be that all we needed at that moment was someone to lean on or laugh with…

So what does this have to do with the swine flu?  Let’s go back to last October – October 27 to be exact.  I was taking the boys to get the H1N1 vaccine.  When Jackson got home from school, we loaded up in the truck and headed to the local flu shot clinic.  I didn’t know what to expect and evidently wasn’t thinking clearly – I didn’t bring Zachary’s stroller (you can decide for yourself if this was by Chance or Fate).  We got in line and waited. Jackson chose to sit against the wall towards the front of the line and read while Zachary and I held our spot.

A volunteer came by with forms to fill out.  I got three of them, begged someone for a pen, and was ready to go.  Small problem – I sat Zachary on the floor so I could fill in the appropriate boxes and before I could get three letters down he was gone.  I tried to corral him but to no avail.  There was no way I was going to be able to do this.  I’m mentally kicking myself in the rear for not bringing his stroller.

After several tries and no luck, some stranger asked me if I wanted her to hold my child.  I didn’t bat an eye and handed her my nine month old son.  Thinking back, I’m now wondering if my mothering skills were lacking… Regardless, all the forms got filled out and my dear child did not wander off.  With completed forms in hand and the pen given back to the owner, I’m able to hold my squirming little boy again.

I struck up a conversation with the lady immediately in front of me and the kind stranger who held my boy.  My hopes were to find a program similar to the “Mother’s Day Out” back home.  All I wanted was a few hours once or twice a week that I could call mine. Yeah, Calgary doesn’t have anything like that.  So I asked “The One Who Held My Baby” (I learned she was a student in the nursing program at the University) if there was an Early Childhood Education Dept.  I thought maybe I could stick up some flyers and see if I could find someone to watch Zachary every now and then.

As we made our way through the zig zags (I felt like I was at Six Flags – but no thrilling coaster at the end of this line), I was able to learn quite a bit about “The One Who Held My Baby”.  One bit of information was her name – I could now call her Sarah. We listened to our “training talk” about what to expect from the shot and then got in another line.  Just before the boys and I are sent to our station, Sarah hands me a piece of paper with her email address on it.  “If you ever need someone to watch your kids, I’d be happy to do it.”  Not quite sure what to think of the nice stranger now – did I really let her hold my baby?

After a few weeks  I did email her and asked her to come to dinner so she could meet Brandon and we could “interview” her. I rationalized that this is what I would have done if I had put up a flyer at the school.  This was the point I made to my mom several times until she asked if I was trying to convince her or myself.  Sarah made it to dinner – Brandon didn’t because he was busy surviving his post-apocalyptic scenario that had taken over the city.  We got along well and both boys seemed to like her. Over the course of the evening I learned that she had lots of experience with kids.  I was happy to say I finally found a sitter.

We took her with us in February to Kimberley.  She was going to watch Zachary while the rest of us skied.  We all know how that trip ended.  Anyway, Sarah was so great and helped out after we got back.  She’d not only check on me but would take Zachary downstairs for some food, laughter, and songs.  She’s been great with Jackson as well and tries to spend time with him whenever she’s over.  Now that he’s into rugby, they have something else in common.

So was it Chance or Fate that had me in the flu line on that day at that particular time? I can’t say – nor do I care.  I needed someone in my life at that moment and she was there.  My closest friends are scattered across the globe… Texas, Ohio, Sweden, and now Canada.  Standing in that flu line I never thought that “The One Who Held My Baby” would become family.

To “The One Who Held My Baby”, I’d like to say Happy Birthday.  I’m so glad that we both decided to get vaccinated.


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2 Responses to “How the swine flu changed my life…”

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Reading this was the best birthday present I’ve received. Thank you for letting me be a part of your family! How thankful I am I got vaccinated that day!

that is truly a beautiful story and I am so glad that Sarah came into your family’s life.

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