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Monday, December 07, 2009

Important Things

The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy. This is a blessing that I cannot put enough emphasis on. Busy means that I don't sweat the small stuff. Busy means that my mind doesn't dwell on situations that I cannot control. Busy is my new mantra, which, if you think about it, could make me sound very much like a bee. Go ahead, try it. Linger on the "s".

I have fallen into a comfortable routine now that there is no shop to go to. I have my coffee, then Ellie, having been patient while I drink it, begins to do a little dance. The "Walk Me" dance. It's entertaining and makes me smile. As we walk through the neighborhood and into the park, I find myself really studying the small things around me; the way Ellie trots when she's happy, the croquet players in the park, the fallen pinecones, the squirrels, the sun, the air. I savor the joyful feeling.

The house is, for the first time in five years, clean for more than two days in a row. Laundry is done regularly. Meals are prepared. I putter around my little house. This house I used to think was too small, too old, not fixed-up enough, not fancy enough, blah, blah, blah. I now look around and think that it IS enough. I don't really have anything I need to prove to anyone. This is our home. There has been much life here. It has many problems; old plumbing, old kitchen, old floors. We have no money to fix these things and that is nothing new to us. It is home and I am grateful. When Charlie or the kids walk through the door of this home at the end of the day, I savor the joyful feeling.

The prep for Thanksgiving was a whirlwind. It was, for the most part, wonderful. The house was full of family, laughter, and warmth. I have come to concentrate on the positives, because I must. The very harsh realities of life can really mess you up if you give them too much of your brain space. I cannot afford that. And yet, sometimes it is unavoidable.

Just minutes before my nephew and his family arrived on Thanksgiving, we got some pretty horrific news. Someone dear to us, someone who means the world to my son, someone, in fact, who is one of the Grommet's best friends has been very ill. So ill that he nearly died and had been in the hospital a full month before anyone outside of his family knew. Bry came home and fell apart in my arms. Right in the middle of basting the turkey. I haven't seen my son like this since last summer when he lost another beloved friend. He was devastated. For a full ten minutes, before I even knew what the trouble was, he just cried in my arms. So lost was he in his sadness, that he could not even form the words to speak them. I held him, I tried to soothe him, everything motherly that I had, I channeled to him. I cried with him. A turkey can wait. My son could not. Charlie came in and took over. He held his son and listened while Bry told us the details. My heart now ached for his friend's parents. The helpless feeling of battling a disease that wants to take your child from you. Your child. I cannot fathom this. It just should not be.

We pull ourselves together and put on our smiles. Family has arrived. I give my son credit...no one was the wiser except the five of us. He mustered his strength, gathered his courage, and he made his visiting cousins laugh. Once dinner was over and good time was spent visiting and playing some games, he asked if he could excuse himself and go to the hospital. Charlie and I send our good thoughts with him and ask him to give them to his friend's mom and dad.

Important things are not measured in dollar signs, material wealth, or what you have. Important things are the love of family and friends, a home to come to, and the overwhelming comfort of good health. None of these things are lost on me and I savor the gratitude. I am grateful for these important things. Everything else is so far from my mind. I cannot dwell on the unimportant while a mother's son fights for his life.

This morning, the rain is falling and there will be no walk for Ellie. I drink my coffee and look at the beautiful Christmas tree. Ellie cuddles up next to me on the couch and sighs contentedly. I lay my hand on her and feel her soft breathing. It's quiet and there is much to do. But right now, I savor this minute and remember the important things.