A good friend has parents that are a little bit younger than mine, and who have been in good health except for the usual bumps and bruises. The family has been planning for a Holiday feast in the traditional Italian style, with a large gathering at a sisters house and family coming from all around. I got a sad phone call today from my girlfriend with the news that her mom was in the hospital in very bad condition from what might have been a stroke - altho she fell and hit her head so no one knows.
It's all so sudden. One minute you're fine and shopping at the Stop and Shop and the next minute - you're on the floor. Then intensive care. Then doctors with grave faces. Bad news, some hopeful news, bad news again. The family gathers and waits.
You can't say anything in these situations except to hug and send prayers, possibly provide food for the family. We've all experienced the sudden bad news situations, and we all pray that it doesn't happen to our loved ones.
What has me so befuddled is how to reconcile the day to day and the extraordinary. How can one be a human being in this crazy world, and yet truly take the time to appreciate family and friends? How will you know who will be around tomorrow? How can you tell everyone how much you love them, and to not sweat the small stuff, and to enjoy life, to dance, to sing, to draw to enjoy. How do you not worry about a dirty floor, or chores to be done, or work to go to.
Greater minds than mine have struggled with these questions and there are probably dozens of self-help books that guide one thru some kind of process. I don't know - I don't read those books.
So, to write my own self help book - or to try to live a bit of a better life, I plan to kiss more, to love more, to stop criticizing, to cuddle babies, and old people and to try like hell NOT to sweat the small stuff. I WILL enjoy my folks more, I will smooch with my husband more, I'll stop obsessing about paint colors, and with all of this angelic behavior, I'll still remember that I am human and that I have to love me most and first.
Happy Holidays to all my friends out there. FY - have a wonderful Oz trip; Deb - I'll see you in Sarasota. Switch, Michelle, Kerstin, Mr P., Sarah - and all who read this - I have come to depend on you and appreciate knowing you all so much; the exchange of ideas, and feedback from all of you has made me so much braver than I was a year ago.
Off to Florida tomorrow to visit my folks and I plan to have a lovely time.