The Measure of Success
I love the stillness of a quiet house in the early morning. Everyone is sleeping and my coffee steaming while I write. Ever-so-slowly a new morning is poking through the yellowing leaves of the mature oaks by my window. The grandfather clock chimes in the background in rhythm with an old fashioned analog clock on the sill. The heater has turned on and hums from the basement. I am wrapped in an oversized sweater, looking back on the past 75 days.
Eleven weeks ago a tiny virus changed us forever. Our minds swirling, we began listening to different noises. Suddenly numbers on machines became the most important measure of a good or a bad day. Oxygen concentrator, oximeter, blood pressure cuff, and spirometer all displayed how Scott was feeling, became gauges of successes and failures. The beeping sound of alarms, the slurping and bubbling of the concentrator kept us up at night and always watching. Then, over the course of these weeks there came a slow fainting of noises. Machines and medical equipment went away — one by one.
Tomorrow Scott will return to work. While I will miss him, we both view his absence as a huge success. I know I will call him one too many times and he will answer – probably annoyed. I am sure, that the annoying ring will soon go away, too.
“Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.”
Ecclesiastes 9:11 (ESV)