Trying to enjoy the "luck" while we have it.
Cleaning up a random corner of my house this morning (that only happens once in a blue moon, I tell you), I ran across an old notebook.
Inside I found notes I had made back in 2007 concerning my oldest daughter's sleep habits. You might think I'm talking about a baby here, but no.
She was 15 at the time, and had basically stopped sleeping. For months on end, she slept only a few hours each night.
As you might guess, no sleep for that long pretty much fries your brain. She essentially went out of her mind.
She thought the spiders in our house were conspiring to kidnap her.
She thought dangerous creatures were living in the heating vents.
My notes say things like "Unable to leave house, day 4. Too fearful". and "Slept with me for a few hours. Paranoid. Sees shapes moving in the corners."
Those notes go on for a full year. All the different meds we tried. The different docs, most of whom were just horrible (you haven't seen medical incompetence until you delve into the world of adolescent psychiatry!). Our efforts to find homeschooling options for her so she could keep up with her education (although when your kid thinks the spiders are out to get her, algebra really takes a backseat).
We finally got a diagnosis (bipolar disorder), some meds that worked, a decent doctor.
She's been healthy since 2008. I got cancer in 2009.
After I had a good cry in the shower this morning (and after I recycled the sh*t out of that notebook), I spent some time thinking about how bad things were for my family for a while there. And you know? I just never saw that bad luck coming. We were leading what I considered a charmed life. My sister had died from cancer, but I thought I was untouchable. I was so incredibly lucky for a long time, and I didn't really appreciate it. I just thought it would go on that way forever. And why not? I'm a decent person, trying my best to lead a good life. I deserved to be lucky, dadgummit!
Now, of course, I know better. We each walk a long and winding road (to borrow a bit from The Beatles), and you can't see what's coming up around the next corner. I wish I would have appreciated my good fortune when I had it, but I was pretty oblivious. So I'm trying to be less oblivious now, pay attention and appreciate a little bit more. Life isn't exactly easy right now, but I have to look for the little sparks of brightness wherever they might be. The fact that all three of my kids are healthy for the moment should have me up and dancing with joy (even if it does make my joints hurt).
So how about you all? Any bright sparks that help you to remember that we are "lucky", despite everything?
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