I found the post below in my drafts folder, written a couple of months ago.
How timely it is right now.
Just last night Pete, Sage, and I were talking about how hard times often come with great gifts. We recalled Sage's seizures, and how the first (life-threatening one) led us down a path that healed much more than his nervous system.
We talked over the many times when something that felt "bad" occurred and how - with proper hindsight and the softening of time - we were able to see the gifts that came along with it.
Like a personal struggle that led me to launch what was to become our most popular product line. Or the financial squeeze gave birth to our Treasure Box subscription, now one of the most popular offerings from our little company. Or the community land project that fell apart, that we had worked so hard to build with our friends. My heart broke when that project died. I didn't know we'd land here instead - a forever home that I wouldn't trade for anything.
Heck, motherhood in itself is one big struggle that is rich with gifts, isn't it? I wrote here about how the challenges of motherhood have forever changed me (spoiler alert: I was changed for the better).
From hardships so often come blessings. I do believe that.
And so with Pete's broken arm and the emotional, physical, and financial strife that has resulted we have to wonder: what's the blessings? What will come of this? Something big, I suspect.
I don't yet know what that will be, but I look forward to watching it all unfold.
The post I found that I wrote last month follows.
When Sage was two he had a life-threatening seizure that rocked our world and left us terrified to our core. What would the future would hold for him; for all of us?
Just a few months later, Pete was laid off with a chuckle and a smile (by foreman who was not Pete's biggest fan).
It was devastating. What would we do if Sage got sick again? What if Pete lost his health insurance? What if Pete was never called back to work? What if we lost our house? What if (insert valid worries here)?
After a few days of fretting about it together I told Pete, "If you can't go to work I will."
And that was how it happened that as a stay-at-home mom of a toddler I managed to spend 12 weeks of work days focused on recipes, sales, and all things "Queen Bee's Earthly Delights" (LüSa's original name). I had begun the work of transforming my oversized hobby into something of a business.
Three months later Pete was called back to work.
For the next nine months he worked as he had for so many years, in a city more than an hour from home. Back to normal. Back to "real life". Back to Pete-goes-one-way-and-I-go-another every day. It wasn't our life's dreams come true, but it was safe and predictable. We were relieved and slipped back into the groove of being apart once more.
And then exactly a year after his first layoff, Pete was laid off again. (At least this time his foreman wasn't smiling.)
We knew the drill.
I handed Pete our then three year old (seizure free for more than a year, thank goodness) and headed to my soap studio.
I worked hard those weeks to build my business just a little more, and when Pete was finally called back to work (three months later) I found I couldn't keep up.
I hired my first two employees later that season to help with production, bookkeeping, and order fulfillment.
We were off and running.
I had no idea that just two years after receiving his first pink slip, Pete would turn in his tool belt and come home full time to work side-by-side with me in our business, ending his unreasonable commute once and for all.
I didn't know what gifts would come from that layoff that we never ever wanted.
We never would have wished for that first terrifying layoff. (Nor the colic or the seizures or the rest.) Not for anything. But now, looking back, it's clear that that pink slip was the greatest gift we could have been handed at the time.
All of those struggles were. Even as they brought us to our knees.
That pink slip was our freedom and written on it was a formula for how to build a life on our own terms; how to be together; how to craft the existence that we truly wanted.
What an unlikely blessing that was.
And today I can truly say: I am grateful for it all.