On October 15th, 2020, Spencer hooked up his Rubicon Jeep to our RV trailer and planned to drop off the trailer at a campsite on his way to Mayo for an appointment. We were really looking forward to a weekend camping with our close friends. We believed this would be the last appointment for Spencer at Mayo. We were so confident that he was going to get great news and then we would spend the weekend celebrating. We believed the episodes he was feeling over the last few months were minor and he would just need to stay on blood thinners to prevent any further damage.
Later that day, I loaded the kids up and embraced the tension of the unknown as I drove the kids to the campsite. We arrived at the campsite, and it felt like any other arrival. Friends greeting one another. Laughing and hugging as we each set up our individual sites. Shortly after our arrival, Spencer arrived from his appointment. My stomach dropped. I became numb in that moment. I could not see straight I was confused as to where I was. It was like something beyond me came over me. Spencer approached me and I knew in that moment the news was not what we had hoped for. He looked me in the eyes and said, “Doctors confirmed it is Moya Moya disease. They are planning to consult my other neurologists and will be calling me with next steps.” I froze. My body flared up and I recall thinking, I have been here before. I know this fear. I know this trauma. I cannot do this all over again. Spencer saw it in my eyes as I began to panic. The tears began to fall, and I said, “You need brain surgery? How soon? How long is recovery? Will you survive? I cannot do this again. I cannot do this again Spencer. I already had to go through this with Elliot. I cannot go through this with you!”
The following days, weeks and months felt like a blur. I was doing everything I could to keep my head above water. I truly felt like I was drowning. Morning and night I was exhausted. I could only do the next best thing moment by moment. Payton was at home doing 3rd-grade distance learning, which was not working. Elliot was a 5-year-old boy who always needed all my attention. I was doing everything I could to hold my own emotions at bay and not show my immense amount of fear. I did not want to scare Payton and Elliot with the unmeasurable unknown of when they would go back to school and answering their inquiries of if their Daddy would be okay.
The unknown was hell. Each day I sat in the tension of choosing the best next decision. Happiness was far away during these days. I was surviving and working so hard to find joy in it all. We were together I would tell myself. He is with us. He is going to get fixed, and everything will be okay.
December 4th, 2020, he went in for an 8-hour surgery where the doctors did a surgical bypass of his blocked artery. His recovery was a full 8 weeks. Each day he would have greater and greater stamina until he was able to be upstairs with me and the kids for a full day. As of today, 7 months post-surgery, Spencer is still experiencing minor effects from his surgery, but overall, we made it! How? I cannot be sure. It honestly was so intense and so incredibly hard, but we are out of the valley.
From October until just recently I feel like I have been incredibly focused on Payton and Elliot’s emotional health, Spencer’s recovery and my own personal & mental health. It has been really challenging during it all to focus on my business as a Mortgage Advisor. Trauma is so intense, and I am the first one to admit I cannot do it all. I did the best I could throughout the last 7 months, but the area I had to let go of was communicating my passion and love for my job. It was scary saying I will take this time to be what my family needed. It was scary to trust that in the unknown and to pause, hoping that the business success and momentum I was experiencing would return. The unknown is still hard. I am in the unknown right now. It is a new unknown. It is not the unknown of when will the kids go back to school, or will Daddy be okay, but it is now my own unknown. It is the unknown of will my business return to what it was before trauma hit. I am still in the tension of the unknown.
I know with confidence that it has always been one of the key expectations I communicate with any new borrowers I work with. I express I am a mom and a Wife first. I will never place my career in front of the well-being of my family. I make it a point to ask my borrowers if they are okay with this expectation. I am realizing on this side of trauma that I truly lived out this expectation.
However, here I am, communicating that we made it out of the valley, and we are now on the other side. I am ready to move out of this tension of the unknown as a Mortgage Advisor. I am ready to see my business return to where it was, and even better yet, grow beyond where it was.
To everyone who honored me during these last 7 months and put your trust in someone else for financial guidance, thank you. Please take this update as a reminder that I am back at full capacity, and I would love to be a resource for you and a referral to anyone you know who is looking to purchase a home or refinance their current mortgage.