Two years ago on this day, my brother Tyler had a really high fever.  Luckily he was living with a few people and they had a thermometer.  I can’t remember what his exact reading was (around 107F), but when they “googled” the temperature, it suggested going to the hospital immediately.  After a day, they realized that Tyler had a serious bacterial infection in his blood.  The problem was that no one knew where it came from and couldn’t seem to figure it out or bring his temperature down.

Just when we thought it couldn’t get much worse, the cardiac team came to the room to say that one of his heart valves was leaky.  This could have been present his whole life and taken the blood infection to notice it.  Or, the infection could have attatched itself onto the valve and started causing problems.  They couldn’t operate because he was still so weak from the infection.  He was put on intravenous antibiotics and had to stay on them for over 2 months.  During the time he was really sick and still in the hospital, something amazing happened.  He had just finished his Masters and had been applying for many jobs.  He got a call in the hospital asking him to come in for an interview for a job at the University of Toronto.  With extremely low energy levels and his intravenous bag attached, he went to the interview from the hospital.  Not a usual place to get ready for a job interview!  Anyway, he beat all of the other candidates and got the job!  His inner strength allowed him to see past this point and imagine himself as brand new in no time.  I truly believe that these things happen at the right time and the universe has an exact plan for us.

Overall, it was a stressful time for all of us and my parents stayed in Toronto with Tyler the whole time.  We all admired his strength and willpower.  Our thoughts are so powerful, and never once did Tyler become negative or discuss the fact that something might go wrong.  He got his intravenous antibiotics taken out in the summer, which must have been so nice after carrying it around all the time.  Tyler used to call it his flute bag 🙂

Eventually we all knew that the heart valve would have to be addressed and he was booked for surgery 6 months later.  I think we all tried to put it out of our minds for the summer, but all of the memories came flooding back during the surgery.  It was a long recovery time but Tyler is in incredible shape right now and calls his scar his “war wound”, a reminder to what he overcame.

When these things happen to a family, they are terrifying, shocking and heartbreaking.  What they do though, is make you realize what is important in life.  Live life to the fullest and don’t stress about the little things in life.  When you’re worrying about the traffic jam, the dirty house or the ongoing telemarketing calls, these really aren’t that bad.  It only takes one visit to your hospital’s intensive care unit to put everything in perspective.  Let go of any negativity you may be holding onto, especially regarding a past encounter with someone.  Forgive, forget and move on.  We have a whole life handed to us and it’s our choice how to spend it.  Rather than grumble and grunt about someone who did us wrong or something that keeps annoying us,  LET. IT. GO.

People say “Have a nice day” to each other all the time.  Today, have an outstanding day, even if you’re not doing anything out of the ordinary.  Find beauty in the simple things…miracles are everywhere, if you really take the time to look.