I have not posted much lately, as life has been busy. But this evening, after the relatives have gone home, the dishes have been washed and the family has settled in for a quiet evening, I sat in my living room just listening to the quiet. And the crickets.
This has been a most challenging couple of weeks. For starters, I had a brief stint in the hospital getting 'reconstituted' as I like to call it, and although exhausting, all is ok.
The elderly relatives that have presented some very difficult challenges over the last year made the last couple of weeks a challenge emotionally for my entire family. They have peaks and valleys, and they have been in a valley. We feel the weight of their troubles, and while we are often in rescue mode with them, we try to always be kind and understanding, and above all, handle the situation with grace. "Try" being the operative word in that sentence.
Yesterday, a very dear friend of ours, who is my age - and never gets sick - ended up being admitted to the hospital. She was quite ill, and gave us a scare. She is on the mend, but it will be a while before she is 100%. As fate would have it, her husband was home, thank goodness. He flies to another city during the week for work and comes home on weekends, but he was already home for Thanksgiving. I am so thankful she will get better.
Jilly Be wrote a most insightful today about challenges and gifts. Michael J. Fox said about his challenge with Parkinson's, "For everything this disease has taken, something with greater value has been given.." Good reminders that the hard stuff of life, the "bad" stuff is rarely all bad.
Today I spoke to several family and friends who all live up north. I spoke with Anna, my daughter's "Comara" (Godmother) and my dearest, lifelong friend (we walked to Kindergarten together!), and her parents, Lena and Frank, half in English, half in Italian. God bless Lena and Frank, I love them dearly. Lena, who is in her mid 80's, told me today that she is thankful for every day that she wakes up and is able to get out of bed. Frank these days speaks more Italian than English, and forgets that they already had coffee and pie, and wonders out loud when it will be served. They love they have for each other is enduring. I am thankful for Anna and her family, that they are a part of our lives.
I also spoke with my cousin Bob. His military son is currently in Afghanistan. I am thankful he was able to speak to his dad today by satellite phone, even though the call didn't last a minute before their connection was lost.
For my many dear girlfriends, who enrich my life in countless ways, I am thankful. I cannot imagine life without them. My mother was blessed with many dear friends, as am I. It is my hope for my daughter that as she ages, she too knows the love and grace that comes with those close friendships.
Every single day I am thankful beyond words for my husband and daughter. They make me laugh, every. single. day. Even, or perhaps especially, when the going gets tough. When I was young and fiercely independent, I couldn't imagine being married for the rest of my life. Now on the other end of what I thought then was forever, I can't imagine life any other way. My husband is not only the smartest man I know, but also the most altruistic, thoughtful one also.
I am thankful that my daughter still likes to hang out with her dad and me. I am thankful that she spent the morning watching the Macy's Parade and cooking with me, without being asked. She made the stuffing, buttered up the bird, made dessert, and set the table. She's the best.
My intent was really just to stop in to say 'Happy Thanksgiving' to all those who celebrate the holiday. I guess I am feeling particularly thankful (and verbose) and took the scenic route. I hope your turkey was delicious and your day was wonderful.