I am a control freak. I am useless if I a not in charge. I have a vice-grip on everything. My friends called me Bridezilla when I got married. Control is my safe place.
It wasn't until recently that I realized that my need to be in control is an issue of trust. I don't trust that anyone will do what I need them to do. So, I take over and do it myself. The problem with that is the world on my shoulders got pretty heavy and I got burned out. Heck, it is probably the source of my health problems. I need to learn how to let go and I was about to get a lesson in surrender.
Many of you know that my mother lives with us because her health is atrocious. Well, she got herself into another life threatening situation 2 weeks ago. It started off by the need to get her batteries change in her defibrillator. (Who knew that something that is surgically implanted in your body had batteries that needed to be changed?) The doctors warned us last year that it was coming but the problem is, she is a horrible candidate for surgery and, she hasn't paid off the last time they went in there. So, needless to say, I was stressed out at this prospect. Well, a check up at the dentist is about to raise the stress level to new heights.
Mom had casually mentioned to the dentist that she had a bump that comes and goes right above two teeth that had recent root canals. Really, a bump...is she kidding? They took x-rays and found that both root canals were failing and that she needed to see a root canal specialist. And, this needed to be done soon because the little bump was an infection. Great!!
So, we go see the root canal specialist and he says not to worry about the infection because it is contained. Really? The last time she had an infection in her mouth, her heart valve got infected. So, I wasn't buying what this guy was selling.
We go see the defibrillator guy and he says not to worry about infection from the procedure but he would not touch her until the infection in her mouth was resolved. I asked why we have to get the batteries changed at all. In six years, the thing never went off. Well, turns out it is also a pacemaker which is pumping the bottom of her heart. If the batteries are not changed, she will go into congestive heart failure and die.
So, it was decided just to get the damned teeth yanked. I called the dentist back but with her declining health and the fact that the teeth are on failing root canals, he won't touch them. She needs to see an orthopedic surgeon. Really? She can't afford that! I just started to cry.
They quoted me a price of $1500!! It may have been 15 million dollars! You see, she has no dental insurance and the worst credit on the face of the earth. No dentist would touch her with a 10-foot pole because she has screwed so many of them over. So, the procedure that will get rid of an infection that will enable a surgeon to change the batteries on a life-saving device is out of our reach. Through this entire investigation process, I was emailing my husband. Faced with the fact of having to pay this for her was just too much. She already owes us so much money and this meant, we could not go on a trip to celebrate of 10th anniversary.
"I give up", I wrote. "I cannot do this anymore. It is too much! Too much!"
Five minutes later, the phone rang. It was the dentist's receptionist (the one I was crying to). She was calling with the name and the phone number of someone who would "help us out". I called and that receptionist told me they would do the procedure for free!!! Free!! I started crying again. The woman on the other end of the phone didn't understand that she just saved my mother's life and my sanity. She just knew we needed their help and they were willing to give it.
So, the minute I surrendered, the answer to our problem presented itself. Metaphorically throwing up my arms in defeat was actually opening the door to a blessing. So, I am still a control-freak but in the future, after I have done all I can do, I am going to try to let it go so that I am open to the blessing that is knocking on my door.