My wife, Christine, and I were invited by some close friends for dinner on a Tuesday in October in California...this means Taco Tuesday. Our friends mentioned that they were going to Cabo San Lucas for a relaxing vacation. Friends of theirs had to cancel and they asked us to join them on their vacation. The flight to Mexico was only 4 days away. Fifteen minutes and a combination of four smart phones, a credit card, WiFi, Hilton points, two margaritas...and we are ready for a relaxing seven-day Cabo vacation.
The resort in Cabo was beautiful. The property had several infinity pools, a man-made breaker for safe swimming in the warm ocean waters, comfortable loungers by the pool, sea-side dining and our room had a beautiful view of the Sea of Cortez (see picture above). Is there a better place to hold Zoom office hours?
Our average day was, wake up, have breakfast, grab a lounge chair by the pool, have great conversations in the pool while drinking fruity beverages, drive into Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo for some sight seeing and dinner, dessert at the resort...and do it all over again the next day. It can't get any better than this. What can go wrong?
Several days into the vacation, our friends received a phone call from their 21 year-old daughter. She said she was having horrible headaches. Her dad told her to go to the doctor for a check-up. She was given medication for migraines and an I.V. to help with dehydration. The headaches continued for two more days. Her dad told her to go to the hospital for another check-up. The test results showed some abnormalities in her nervous tissue with a potential of meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the spinal cord or brain). Continued tests revealed that their daughter actually had several brain aneurisms (an enlargement of a blood vessel caused by a weakening of the vessel walls).
Swimming in the infinity pool and eating fresh ceviche was now transformed into getting next flight out of Mexico. They packed their bags and we immediately sped away to the airport to catch the last flight out of Cabo. The 20 minute drive to the airport felt like several hours. They were on the phone with several physicians as we hurried to the airport. The first doctor's recommendation was to send their daughter to Los Angeles for the best care possible. He said, 'This is what I would do for my daughter". Several minutes later, we arrived at Cabo San Lucas Terminal #2 and a second physician recommended, "Time is of the essence. We need to operate on her immediately. Delaying the surgery to transport her to Los Angeles is too dangerous. This is what I would do for my daughter." Our friends said, "Okay...do what you think is best". Christine and I gave them a huge hug as they ran off to catch their flight home to be with their daughter.
One minute, we are dipping their toes in the Sea of Cortez and the next minute our friends are wondering if their daughter will make it to tomorrow. The initial surgery was not going well. The doctors quickly decided to transport her to Los Angeles for emergency surgery. They kissed their daughter on the forehead thinking this would be the last time they would see her alive. Their daughter had multiple aneurisms, including one that was bleeding. Although the chances of survival were very low, recent surgical advancement (Coil Embolization) made it possible to save the life of their beautiful daughter. As a matter of fact, she miraculously went home nine days after surgery with no lingering symptoms. She still has a few hurdles she will have to overcome, but their daughter is home.
One of the interesting conversations me and my friend had was about the lack of appreciation for a "normal" life. All he wanted was a "normal" life again. I've experienced several situations that have enlightened me on celebrating a "normal' life. Here are several "normal" events that I try to appreciate every day:
I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, friend and Biology professor. We are on this Earth for a limited amount of time. Let's think, laugh and love.