Tag Archive | simple joys

A Search for Normalcy in a Sea of Sickness

Which wayLately, my posts have been rather mundane. I’ve even skipped a day or two because I couldn’t find anything worthwhile to discuss, and that’s a personal disappointment because it was my goal to write a piece everyday. I had hoped by now that I would have a huge following–but such has not been the case. So, what happened?

Life got in the way.

If you are one of my faithful followers, you know that my father is waiting to take his last breath. I try to see him in the hospital everyday, but even that goal has not been achieved. I know our time is short, but I also have my husband to consider. Sometimes he’s not able to walk and takes falls. It has become so often that we’ve made a joke about it. Remember when I told you about the Cool Runnings reference? And then there’s a dear friend who also needs someone to help him. He’s suffering the lasting trials of diabetes. He’s become so weak that he cannot drive, and about once a week he needs me to take him to an appointment.

So right now, this is my life. I’m surrounded by sick men, who need me in one way or another. Not my choice. Just my circumstance. I was raised to be in service to others, or so I was told by my mother. I guess she was right because as much as I’d like to run away and leave all of this pain and suffering in my wake, I can’t. I need to stay the course, live everyday to its fullest, and try to find the joy along the way. It’s there somewhere–it’s just more challenging to find it these days.

Yesterday I got a little piece of heaven when Ken and I went out for lunch. This time we opted for Applebeas, which was really more expensive then the $4 Senior Special at Burger King, but we hadn’t been out together like this since Valentine’s Day. So, we had the joy of sitting across the table from each other, talking about things that didn’t involve sickness. For one short hour, we stepped away from our normal surroundings of the living room and enjoyed each other’s company like we used to do when we were dating. It didn’t even bother me that I had to cut his chicken breast because the tremor in his right hand has become so severe. Our little impromptu outing gave us what we both needed–a little normalcy in what has become anything but normal world.

So when your life becomes overwhelming with defeat, remember you can still find joy in the simplest things. A lunch away from home. The beauty of Spring flowers. A phone call with a friend. Just step away from what’s bringing you down for a minute or two and your soul will be rejuvenated.

 

Prime Time for Primroses

primroseA couple of weeks ago I was in the grocery store, heading down the home stretch to the check-out, when a beautiful little plant called to me. It was a pink and yellow Primrose.

I have always had a soft spot for these dainty little flowers because they signal that Spring is just around the corner. Right. It’s January in Wisconsin. Who am I kidding? This far north, winter has been known to stretch well into the month of May!

The plant was marked 99 cents, so I picked her up and brought her home. I planted her in a pretty little fluted vase and gave her the position of honor on my kitchen table. For some reason, I smile every time I look at her lush green leaves and sweet little pink flowers. I talk to her and tell her how beautiful she is. Hopefully, my encouragement will help her live.

You see, there’s a problem. My house has a tendency to kill plants I bring home. I have no good place to give plants what they usually need–sunlight–direct or otherwise. The best I can do is pray everyday that this sweet little beauty will be brave enough to live long enough so I can safely plant her outside. I’m hoping this time will be different because she’s already brought me many smiles on a cold day. . . like today, when the windchill temperature is 25 degrees BELOW zero.

I think having flowering spring plants in the house during the dead of winter is a kind of therapy for me. Cabin fever is something all northerners suffer several times during our long winters and having bulbs like daffodils and tulips and flowers like this sweet little primrose coming to life in the house is as exciting as seeing them erupt in our gardens in the spring.

Are we impatient for the warmer temperatures of spring? You betcha! Winters are just too stinking long up here. I think November to March is long enough, but sometimes winter invades spring. In fact, sometimes we just jump from winter to summer and skip spring altogether!

So, I’m saying an extra fervent prayer to the plant gods to let my little primrose live. I’ll be doubly delighted when I plant her outside in my yard and watch come back to me after suffering a long, hard winter next year.

 

Savoring a Moment–It’s a Lost Art

couple at restaurantI’ve come to realize during the past three years, that when life boils down from the excitement of youth, it’s the simmering that really brings out the best flavor. Here’s what I mean:

It was a good day yesterday. The planets must have aligned in the cosmos or something because the day was perfect. Bright sunshine replaced the winter’s usual gray. The little snow that we’ve had melted, and the pavement was dry. The usual January frigid temperatures warmed into the 40s.

But best of all, Ken felt energetic and well enough to venture out. It was a day for celebration. So, we jumped in the car, got much needed haircuts, and treated ourselves to lunch at a nice restaurant with one of our Christmas gift certificates.

It had been a couple of months since we were able to sit in a restaurant and smile across the table at each other. I know he was thinking the same thing I was when such an occurrence was “normal.” Even ordinary. But now’s it’s become special, because it’s almost rare.

We joked with the waitress, while she served us delicious food. We stuffed ourselves on mussels, salad and bread sticks as we saw each other from a different perspective. We were on a “date.” It was fun! It even felt romantic. (I’m sure this seems rather curious for two people who are together 24/7, doesn’t it?)

Ken’s Multiple Sclerosis and all it’s nasty traits took a backseat today, so we could have a break in our daily monotony. We enjoyed the waitress catering to us, as Italian music wafted in the background. We listened to the buzz of the other patrons as we laughed together. We even held hands across the table. It was special. And over all too soon. Our adventure lasted 90 minutes. But for those 90 minutes we enjoyed the fact that Ken felt well and energetic. We know a blessing when we see one.