A friend of mine was telling me about this idea she'd read about where a New Year's thing to do would be to get a jar and every time something really fine happens, to write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar so that at the end of the year you'd have proof and reminder of all the good things that had happened in that year.
Fine. I see the point of this.
However, I think it would be more telling for me to also have a jar where I could put slips of paper delineating the crappy shit which happened as well because I honestly believe that at the end of the year the good jar would be fuller than the bad but GODDAMMIT, BAD THINGS DO HAPPEN and it's nice to be reminded that yes, they do, but then something good comes along and we survive.
See all those slips in the bad-things-that-happened jar? Well, you survived them! So there, you little Chicken Little, you.
Okay, yes, I am talking to myself here. Still, I think I have a point.
Today was a good things day. For sure and for real.
First off, I saw Baby today in the yard. Now I haven't reported this but I hadn't seen Baby in a week and you know how sad I was about that. I was pretty sure she was living next door with her suitor, Fancy The Rooster, but I wasn't positive. So when I saw her in the yard today I was very, very happy. It's crazy how just the sight of that little black bird made my heart soar but it did.
Then Hank and Lily and Owen and Gibson and Jason and I went to see Mother and if the hospital was hell (and it was) then the place where Mother is now in the rehab part of her assisted living is heaven. She is being taken care of. Truly. Getting PT. Really. She has a room with a window that looks to the outside. She can eat in the dining room which looks like a little cafe. There's a little pond down the hallway with fishes and a turtle. There's a big, beautiful white cage with cockatiels that whistle and sing. There is natural light, there are people everywhere who seem to care.
She may actually get better there.
I was shocked once again at what goes on in hospitals during my mother's stay. I know they have an almost insurmountable task, taking care of all the different patients with all the different needs but for god's sake- could they just make a few changes like not talking in the hallways in daytime voices at three in the morning? About stuff that has nothing to do with patient care? Or even with stuff that DOES? Could they dim the hallway lights at night? I mean, they're not doing surgery out there. Could they make sure that the patient they're serving a meal to is capable of sitting up in the bed and taking the lid off that tepid cup of coffee and opening the package of Coffee Mate by herself? I swear to you, I don't think anyone once offered to help my mother brush her teeth or wash her face in the three days she was in the hospital. These are basic human needs and believe me, they are not being fulfilled in our local hospital. It's a fucking miracle anyone gets out of that place alive.
But. She is not there any more. She is safe and comfortable and being tended to. She is surrounded by natural light and cheerful artwork and there are birds and turtles and fish.
So after we visited for just a little while I felt as if a million-pound weight had been lifted from my chest. Yes, she's still confused and she is still in pain but under the circumstances, she is in the best place possible.
This Assisted Living, as I have mentioned before, even has a playground for grandkids who come to visit and Owen wanted to play there today and so he did. We all took a nice little break and they have these great swings that a wheelchair will fit on and here's Lily and Gibson, opposite me on one with Jason and Owen in the background.
Sorry that Gibson's so cranky.
Then we went to lunch at a Chinese buffet place because Owen is currently enthralled with noodles. It was a good lunch and I even had some what I can only assume is traditional Chinese banana pudding which rocked because it was chock-full of bananas and vanilla wafers and when we got our fortunes, this was mine.
Although it does not specify that the life to which this romance is coming in a very unusual way is actually mine, I have great hopes. I texted that picture to Mr. Moon and he wrote back that he hopes it involves him. I wrote him back that I hoped the same thing.
One never knows. We may be old but we are still trainable.
So that was delightful, all of it, and when we left the restaurant, Owen suggested that we now move on to Piggy's which is a barbecue joint. God I love that child!
"But Owen, we just ate. We're all really full," I said.
"Oh yeah," he said. But still, I understand. We were having such fun eating that it was completely natural to want to just continue doing it at another place. He'd had his noodles, now maybe a little mac and cheese? Nothing wrong with that idea.
But no, we did not go to Piggy's. I went to the library and turned in my books and only had a sixty-cent fine and let me tell you something that I've said before- if there is any higher indication of civilization than the public library, I don't know what it would be. And after I'd gotten my books to read with both eyes and ears, I saw an old friend and stopped to talk to him and happened to look down and this is what I saw:
The Martin Scorsese documentary that I've been dying to see.
And all the way from the library to the grocery store where I am so blessed that I can buy what we need and even what we want without having to add up every penny as I go, and then all the way home, I was thinking of the song Sweethaven from the movie Popeye which I think is one of the most underrated movies of all times.
If you have never seen the movie or heard the song, you can go HERE.
Sorry. It's unembeddable. Or however you spell that. But. Yes. I feel as if God or god must love me and that's hysterical, given my religious beliefs or non-beliefs if you will. But still, you know, just purely blessed with some real good stuff today and I'm paying attention. I'm taking note.
If I had one of those jars, I'd throw a few slips in it. The good-stuff-that-happened jar. Which I don't so I won't but I have this space, this place right here and that's even better.
There's other stuff too, just- you know- the tiny daily miracles that occur which are actually the huge miracles of life such as love and friendship and a grandchild's kisses. A home to live in, a family to love and be loved by.
I am overwhelmed by all of it sometimes.
Right now, for instance.
So- whatever is happening in your life that maybe is causing you great grief and worry, I repeat myself- hang on. It's probably going to get better.
Breathe and eat and sleep and take a walk and kiss a baby if you can get your hands on one.
See you tomorrow.