Misty Watercolor Memories

10 Feb

I always look for the blessings in my life. I always try to find some silver lining in even the worst situations. I may drive some people crazy because I do that, but it helps me hang onto my sanity in the most insane situations. Yesterday was one of those days. It was emotional and draining and just made me want to hide from the world. I was tired of fighting the insurance company. I was overwhelmed with the thought that my child was denied medication. I just wanted to crawl under a blanket and hide. Instead, I put my feelings into words and exposed my vulnerability to the world. I had no idea that the outcome of that would be so thought provoking.

First, I am so grateful for all the kind words, public and private, about my son’s current medical situation. It lifted me up when I was so very down, but it did something else. It made me remember. I’m not talking about cursory memories. I’m talking about life shaping and life changing events that I didn’t recognize at the time. My friend Kelly, who posted about both of our special needs children, started it. She mentioned my babysitting her special needs daughter, an event I hadn’t thought about in years, and how important it was to her that someone was willing to take on the challenge of watching her baby when she needed a break. For me it was merely reaching out to a friend in need (this was years before I had my own special needs child). For her it was bigger than that. For her, it was someone embracing a child that so many were afraid of. For her, it was something normal in a not so normal life. As a kindred spirit in that parenting realm I understand the meaning of those simple acts in the deepest part of my heart and soul. It makes me feel so good knowing I could be there for her.

Then I thought about the friends who had done the same things for me when I needed it more than they knew. I remembered the visits when I was in the hospital waiting for my son to be born, from my sister in law Sharon, my friend Susan and especially my friend Amy with her son Ian. Between the three of them, I never went a day without a visitor for the entire two months I was in the hospital. Those visits, and the memory of Ian’s happy face, will forever make me smile. I don’t see any of these wonderful people like I used to, but the times we shared then are so precious to me. They went above and beyond in the friend department and it will never be taken for granted.

And then there’s my friend Jerry from college. What an interesting friendship we had back then. He was a man I could trust, when my trust in men was at a low point. He was accepting of me and my many faults when I wasn’t very accepting of myself. And he nearly strangled me when I told him who shot JR even though I hardly ever watched Dallas and I was right. After losing touch with each other for more years than I care to admit I’ve been out of college, we’ve reconnected and can keep up with the happenings in each other’s lives thanks to Facebook. His friendship reminds me that old friends are never far from our heart if we can remember them fondly and that even a country and pop music loving girl can learn to appreciate a good Broadway score.

There are other stories and people I’ve thought about; family members who are always there when we need them, cousins I share secrets (good and bad) with and my Flysistas. Some of the stories are too personal to share and some too mundane for anyone but me, but they’re all important because they helped me become the person I am today in the very best ways. So today is a better day. Today is a day of hope. Today is also a day of gratitude and thanks for those who are there in spirit in my life even when they aren’t there in the flesh. It’s nice to know you still care, and it’s nice to remember the joy filled moments we shared. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

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