• kari alejandre


Days 5 and 6 -

“I don't get many things right the first time,

In fact, I am told that a lot

Now I know all the wrong turns the stumbles,

And falls brought me here

And where was I before the day

That I first saw your lovely face,

Now I see it every day

And I know

That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest”

- Ben Folds, The Luckiest

Well, today is day 6, but yesterday was a rough one so I didn’t quite have the chance or capacity to write day 5. I DID have heart attire, though. My mittens. So on account of missing yesterday’s lets see how fresh I can make this post.

Let’s start with Mr. Fresh himself. My latin loverrrr, the boo of my dreams, my heartsong, Mr. Adolfo Alejandre. Yeah, so I totally married him. I have been crazy about him since we met, and that love (& crazay) has only grown. The love we have for each other and the kids and our puppers is a gift that I do not take for granted. “This is true love! You think this happens every day?” (Wesley, The Princess Bride). I believe it does happen every day. I believe that there is so much love in this world. But sadly, things turn the love murky and people forget, and sometimes we fail to do healthy maintenance and invest in those relationships. ’Tis the way of the world. Love is the most powerful force, so it is worth fighting for. 

I have seen many relationships fail, and many beautiful connections that I am inspired by. I have seen people stick through and impossibly brutal marriage because of guilt, only to have the joy and life sucked from them. And I have witnessed people becoming their best selves with the love and support their partner has given them. We have by no means had a perfect relationship. I don’t even like to offer that disclaimer because it should be a given. NO ONE has a perfect relationship. It is work. It is hard, heart work. And something as trivial as how someone squeezes the toothpaste or puts the toilet paper roll on can become a big deal at times. (let the record show: squeeze from the bottom, not the middle. toilet paper goes over, not under, you neanderthals). So it is no wonder that any challenge above properly loading the dishwasher can cause contention. (I do it well, I am happy to show you.)

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Theodore Roosevelt

After I had my son, my health continued to be awesome for many years. When disaster hit, it was quite out of nowhere. In September 2017, Adolfo took the kids for shopping for jeans for Bella, errands and haircuts. I stayed home with a horrible case of vertigo that had me throwing up and dizzy. I just decided to curl up in bed and try to sleep it off. That almost ended up being the longest nap ever. But Adolfo had a nagging feeling that he just wanted to go home. (thank God he hates shopping!) He came home and by a fluke, caught a glimpse of me in our impossibly dark room, noticing something wasn’t right. He turned on the lights to find me blue and unresponsive. He dragged my lifeless body onto the floor and called 911 as he began compressions. What probably felt like an eternity ended up being a couple minutes and a couple compressions when the ambulance arrived. 

I woke up in the hospital surrounded by my children and husband and parents and brothers and cardiologists. “Ummm…hi! Did I have a stroke or something?” was all I could say. Over and over, apparently. Nope, not a stroke. A heart attack. That almost took my life. Statistically, that kind of heart attack at home has a 10% survival rate. But thanks to my beautiful husband, quick and efficient paramedics, and living close to the hospital, I survived. Well, that and the hard work of the ED team and the interventional cardiologist and cath lab crew and nurses. My fam. 

This came out of nowhere. And almost stole my life away. I am STILL processing it, and so much more has happened since. I was at risk for this slightly because of my transplant organ and medications, but it was still a surprise. I had taken great care of Keely’s heart for nearly 20 years and I was very sad that this happened. But it didn’t feel like the end, but a means to a new beginning. 

This was the start of a “series of unfortunate events” that would really beat my family up. But I am thankful to say, that with a lot of work, a lot of support, a lot of prayer, and an abundance of love, these things that tore at us, brought us closer and more solid than ever. I rejoice in this. I am not bragging. I am grateful and humbled. I don’t deserve this peaceful army of lovers caring about me. Bending over backwards for me, caring whether I live or die. I don’t deserve it, but I will accept it, and throw my arms up in the air and do a twirl because I truly am the luckiest.

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