Based on a true story. All names of the characters are fictional. Similarities to existing places, people and other instances are merely coincidental.
Great stories begin when you think you have already figured out the ending.
Be courageous and follow Mia and Cedric on their journey so that by the end, you too can believe in miracles.
Mia is in her early twenties and she just completed her education as a childcare specialist. She didn't have to wait long until she secured a spot at a daycare center. Everything could be perfect, if only she wouldn't be getting sick so often since starting the new job.
Mia is unaware of the fact that her pain free days are numbered. It isn't until a few months later that she finds out she is suffering from an incurable disease and only has a few years left to live.
As if that wasn't enough already, Cedric enters her life, because the phone at the daycare center isn't working again.
But a love with an expiration date is the last thing anyone needs ... right!?!
- Chapter 1
Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.
(Ambrose Gwinnet Bierce)
In my typical fashion, I'm late again. I have an appointment at 9 am and I have 15 minutes left to spare. On top of that, I don't even know how to get to there, because I didn't get around to asking Google Maps yesterday. I frantically run through the house, slather on some foundation, and find myself behind the wheel, filled with anxiety and only a slight idea of where I need to go. This is starting out splendid!
My right hand is gripping the steering wheel, while my left hand is holding on to my last glimmer of hope: my phone, which has a navigation App. This will have to suffice, but the clock is ticking. I have eight minutes remaining. Since the search and programming process will take way too long, I decide to just start driving. I should roughly know the direction in which I need to go, and those street signs must be good for something.
I will find Krummhausen. I take another deep breath to relax, but it only works to a certain extent. When you exit our quaint neighborhood, you immediately find yourself on a bypass road, flanked by a breathtaking forest on the one side and wide-open fields on the other. Unfortunately, my current state of mind will not allow me to appreciate the beauty. When I think about it, I can't recall a recent moment in which I was able to appreciate the beauty that surrounds me. My life is covered with a grey, unforgiving veil through which I see the world, and which matches the way I feel on the inside. The color, smell and taste of joy and happiness had been hiding from me for a long time now and I had given up the search for them.
I'm driving and driving, passing exits one after the other and am finally on the way to Dürrbach. This much I can still remember, just keep following this road.
Why out of all days does a tractor have to be right in front of me?
I only have 5 minutes until my appointments and I'm crawling along the country road without the slightest chance of passing this huge inconvenience in front of me.
Of course, I get more and more nervous because of this situation. My breathing is getting faster, and I am starting to feel dizzy. I pass Rothberg, and still no sign of Krummhausen. The exit should come any minute. Finally, I arrive in Kastenholz. I'm totally lost.
Two minutes until nine. This is hopeless. I pull over to the side of a field and with shaking hands, I dial my husband's number. As soon as I hear his voice, I breakdown completely. I scream at him for leaving me alone on such an important day and because he never hast time for me. All my worries come crashing over me and I ask myself again, not for the first time, what I am even good for anymore.
Nothing comes easy to me. Sundays I'm scared about Monday. When my husband goes to work in the morning, I feel lonely. I ask myself if I am going to make it. He leaves early in the morning. Whenever he gets up, I get up with him. Throughout the day, it appears that I am living a normal life. I barely make it out of bed in the mornings to care for the kids, bring them to school and to do the housework. I can also go grocery shopping alone, make it to Doctor's appointments and can care for my children.
Throughout the day I am distracted by my chores, and errands and I am mobile. Apart from my fatigue, it appears that I am doing well, and I can conquer my daily tasks, with a few exceptions. Pain in my neck and headaches have become a steady companion throughout my days. My tolerance for pain medicine has risen but other than that I seem to have my life under control.
It's a different story at night. The duties of the day slow down, but instead of relaxing my mind focuses on me and I am no longer in control of my senses. To get an idea of this feeling, imagine a tightly screwed glass filled with water. Once you start to shake it, the water inside moves around wildly. They are in harmony. When you put the glass down abruptly, the water is not able to adjust to the state of calm coming from its encasement. Instead, it smashes against the walls of the glass. This analogy closely resembles my condition that I find myself in when I am sitting on the Sofa at night. The water calms down quickly, but it erupts in me a feeling of needing to jump up in order to feel and balance out my body again. If I go against this urge, (my conscious tells me that I need to find peace of mind and that my body needs to rest and I need to accept that), a buckling feeling of anxiety arises within me because of the turbulence and blocked shell I find myself in. Once the cramps and the shaking starts, my nervous system goes into high gear. Everything is moved up to high alert. My conscious tries to argue and go against the approaching catastrophe, but most of the time this is a lost cause from the start.
The failed attempts sound something like this:
"Okay, no need to panic. You're only sitting on the Sofa. The TV is on, you are not alone. (When my husband is on a business trip, this argument is of course excluded). Everything is okay, you don't have to worry."
My body is not influenced easily, it knows all these dialogues. Meanwhile, the tension is spreading noticeably throughout my body. I notice the pulling on my cheeks. The weight of my head is getting heavier, my neck seems to be suffering under the weight. But I am not giving up yet.
"Relax, pull yourself together. These are just a few shitty feelings and I am in control. Breathe in and out. Okay, breathing still works. You're still getting enough air." I rub my hands and massage my arms. "See, everything feels totally normal. You don't need to be scared. Don't think about the fear. Just calm down"
In the meantime, unimpressed with my attempts, my body has activated Phase II. The familiar crawling of my skin on my arms has started and the tension rises. In a minute, my arms will feel numb soon and I am starting to literally feel my heart getting heavy as stone and I am having difficulties breathing.
Now Phase 3 has started. The thought "Oh no, I am so scared" I jump up from the Sofa and I start to pace the room to try to run away and get rid of the fear. When it comes on strongly, I gulp for air like a fish out of water because my throat is being tied shut. My heart is racing, I'm dizzy, everything is out of control. All there is, is this huge fear. My conscience is totally shut off. The bad part is, this fear doesn't have a name. My husband usually notices something is off during Phase 2. He knows by now though that there is no point in asking me what is wrong and to reassure me that everything is okay. Its not a fear I can define. It is a
life threatening, all encompassing fear.
And nobody can help me tame this fear, no matter how close I am to that person.
On top of all that, there is the constant lack of sleep, and the permanent neck pain and headaches. To sit quietly on the sofa at night is almost torture. I can't carry my head on my shoulders anymore without supporting it with my hand. When I am laying down, every pillow feels as hard as a rock. There are no postures that are pain free. My physical therapist has given me adjustments multiple times and has carefully noted that my problems extend much further. My muscles are my shield, if I perhaps have things weighing me down.he doesn't need to say more, I am already sitting there sobbing and he needs no further answers.
All of this floats through my mind, while I am crying once again and all I want to do is go home and not ever go to a therapist again! And I would much rather just drive into a tree. I am so tired, and I am yearning so badly for inner peace. Real inner peace, in my deepest core.
Cedric, my husband, can barely reach me in this state. Here I am sitting in the car, on the side of a field somewhere, with my head on the steering wheel and I am not even capable of concentrating on the GPS long enough to enter the address.
"Mia, .. Mia, can you hear me?"
I slowly come to realize that my passenger seat is talking, I mean.it is talking to me.
So that is where my cell phone landed, and my husband is still on the other line.
"Cedric?...are you still there?" My hand is searching the rough surface of the seat fabric and finally touches the cooled case of the smart phone, grips it tightly and brings it up to my ear. That wasn't so bad.
"Cedric.I'm so sorry! Can you hear me?"
"Yes, and yes. I can hear you well, and I have been here the whole time. But these are two things that I definitely can't say for you!"
"Yeah, I know, I really am sorry!"
"Its okay, but I need to get back to the office! Is it over?"
"Yeah, everything is okay. Its better!"
"Good, then please start the car and turn on hands-free and then tell me exactly where you are!"
My eyes are so puffy that I can barely concentrate on the display of my cell phone.
"Okay, I did both and now what? Oh yeah, I am at the entrance to Kastenholz."
"I am going to navigate you to the therapist's office now. It is not that far from where you are, you just missed a turn!"
At 9:20 I find myself in front of a plain, old small house which you reach through a narrow winding path that is adorned on either side with Roses and shrubs. Only a small sign out of slate informs me that somewhere around here there are the therapist's rooms. I really don't see the point in this therapy session. I already missed half of it....