Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bright Sides

"Look on the Bright Side"

I am sure I have said the phrase a million and one times.  I am certain I have heard it a million and two times.  It is sometimes said without thinking.  It is in our repertoire of things we say when words fail us. It is an easy thing to say but a hard task to accomplish in most instances.  It is okay to feel sad and afraid because sometimes horrible things happen.   But the gift of time often allows for healing, understanding, and acceptance of any bad situation. 

Sometimes there is no "Bright Side".  Sometimes both sides of a penny are dark and gloomy.  It is not always possible to happy about the fact your child has relapsed AGAIN, and the odds are similar to the odds of winning the Power Ball.  I know there are times when news hits me in the gut so hard, I can not breathe.  I am shocked in a time in my life I don't think I can be shocked by anything.  It is so hard sometimes to ramp myself up to see a friend, or break some news to the family or worse yet, to your child.  
I am not talking about our family.  Things are going great right now.  Mary-E is cooking along and will graduate after only four years of schooling.  She will do so being ever so close to graduating with honors.   She is ready to take on the world in one way or another.  
But day after day, week after week, I am holding my breath, knowing this will never be a solid state of being.  Many say to me "Look on the Brightside." "Don't dwell on what could happen."  "Don't be pessimistic."   While knowing each day could bring new cancer or a new side effect is not being pessimistic. A bit of well-placed pessimism is simply my reality. It is just that little niggling voice sitting on my shoulder reminding me to value and enjoy every day.  It lets me forgive myself for my many imperfections, my never organized house, piles of self-reproducing laundry,  my endless to-do list.   
It makes me try harder to do things that make a difference in people's lives. It makes me balance what I want.  I want to spend time with people that make my life richer and more interesting.  My house is not perfect, but six people are coming for dinner. The lamb is a bit spicy but then why did God make sour cream? 
The bright sides of my penny bring me back to this moment in time. This is where I stay, knowing the penny, no matter how dark, is still a work in process.  There is a good chance it there will shine on both sides.  

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Sorting Chrismas over the

I think we have more than enough.  Let us all be honest, I have always been a Christmas freak.  I love things that are different, unusual and not ordinary.  Over the years, especially during the Cancer Years, there has been neither money or time availability to go and seek out new things.  We have had to have small trees, fake trees, dog and cat and kid proof trees.  We have not had everything out in a very very long time.

This year we are taking the time and going through everything.  There were years we did not take down Christmas and things were packed in different boxes and they were missing their buddies.  There were probably  20  "Christmas" boxes.  To be a Christmas box all you have to do is have one such item in your hollow space and you are thusly marked.  I have done some boxes over the years, and the labels don't make any sense anymore. 

I am surprised at the memories invoked by the ornaments.  Only one from my childhood remains. Several given to me by family and friends over the years. Some from my Teaching years, Thank-you again, James, John and Judy.  Some to Mary-E. Some to me.  Some from me to Mary-Elizabeth. Some from Mary-E to me.  

It is a strange power a piece of glittery glass or a piece of colored and glued paper can hold.  Each contains the spirit of Christmas past and the power to carry those spirits forward.   I have come to realize how powerful those memories can be.  Some from BC (before cancer) some AC.  It seems mind boggling.  A Santa, a small ugly scary as hell Nutcracker head, a beautiful tree, a small old little girl.  It is all good.  

Like all things, it is worth spending a few moments with them.  Pondering if they will remain part of the regular line-up or be sent away for someone else to enjoy.  There will definitely be fewer boxes.  I do know it has been a good exercise to pull them all out.  All of them.  I have found very few duplications. Only filler ornaments, placeholders, space fillers but basically, they are unique, special and filled with great power. 

Back to work. Nine boxes filled, inventoried and numbered.  Two are Mary-E's for her new home next year.  It is all good.