This post was supposed to be written last week, in preparation for Thanksgiving, but life throws you curve balls that interfere with plans. And that was precisely the point I was going to make. It's how we deal with those curve balls that matter.
I'm one of those -- an optimist, through and through. :) I can't help it. I think it stems from my teen years, which I've mentioned a bit on this blog. I had enough sad days then, and since then I just can't stand to be sad or depressed. It makes me physically uncomfortable, I hate it so much.
That's not to say I don't deal with the bad things in life -- I do. I realized a long time ago, when things are at the lowest, doing something, anything helps -- it gives you power and control back. So when things go bad, my control is to look at the good.
I was going to write about some trivial things in this post last week. Things like when the sitter cancels on your night out with friends or the hubby, and seeing that as a good turn of events -- looking at it as a chance to spend unexpected time with your children. And how many, many people in this world would do anything to have children to spend time with.
Or when the car breaks down and you can't get where you wanted to go -- I rationalize things like that by thinking it was probably best I didn't go. Would you call that fate? I just feel when something like that happens, I wasn't supposed to be in that car, at that time, on that road. I think there's a higher power at work and we often forget that, especially at the annoying times.
I was also going to talk about the more serious circumstances, like when I fell down half a flight of cement stairs a couple weeks ago -- holding my son. It was probably the scariest moment of my life. He hit his head, and I could barely walk afterwards. Within seconds he seemed fine, and after a trip to the ER, we found out he was indeed OK and my ankle (that was triple it's normal size) was only badly sprained.
I felt sorry for myself for about two seconds, and then I was overcome with thankfulness that it was just me that was hurt -- and it was just an ankle. How incredibly fortunate that my son was not hurt worse. The what ifs ran through my head and they were not good. So as I've hobbled around for the past two weeks, I've been reminding myself how thankful I am that that's all it was. I can handle with a sprained ankle any day of the week.
This is the way I deal, and it works for me. But my optimism was tested last week. We got news that my father-in-law was diagnosed with stage three pancreatic cancer. I simply cannot put this into words how I feel. I won't even try. For the first few hours after we found out, I could barely breath. It was like someone was sitting on my chest. Then, there were the tears, and tears. And tears. My heart is breaking for my husband. It's breaking for my stepdaughter, my sister-in-law, my nephews, for me. For my son.
And now, this bad, horrible news, has yet again taught me to see the good. It was confirmed today that his doctors think he has at least six months with us -- maybe even a year. My heart is heavy. I want to cry again and again. But I also can't help to think how fortunate are we to be able to spend this time with him over the next year. To do special things, take pictures, to create new memories.
For our son to get to know his Grandpa even better.
Every year my father-in-law cooks an authentic Mexican fiesta meal for us and our friends, usually in the fall. He obviously hasn't been feeling great, so we skipped it this year. But now, we're going to have the fiesta the week before Christmas. We will gather around him to cook our Mexican feast with him, and it will be something I'm sure none of us will ever forget. (And yes, it is as good as it sounds!)
I just can't focus on the bad. It's against my nature. I have to look to the good, and there will be much good that will come over the next year. I am sure of that.
If I can, I am asking a favor of all of you. I would really appreciate your prayers. For my father-in-law, that he feels as good as possible for as long as possible. And for my husband and his sister, that they feel comfort and peace right now. I really, really appreciate it. I am so thankful for all of you.