My birthday just passed and I spent much of the coinciding labor day holiday looking back -- remembering if you will. I got the rare chance to speak with my childhood best friend who I had lost touch with and it felt really good. Tonya and I have known each other since our first day in kindergarten -- a really really long time ago.
When we went to college we kind of went our separate ways but oddly enough speaking with her was just like no time at all had passed. Tonya now lives on her grandmother's farm, her farm now (the same farm we visited when we were children) only now Tonya has 3 kids of her own. "Are there still chickens on the farm?" I asked? Not any more she told me laughing. "I don't even have a garden!"
No garden I wondered? How can you live on all those acres and not have a garden -- that's blasphemous!
She does have 3 kids --(I have none) 2 of which were having tonsilectomies. "Remember when we had our tonsils out?" Tonya asked.
"I do indeed." I said with a giggle.
I think our conversation really gave me insight on something. Gratitude. I had a really really good experience growing up. In fact, honestly my youth was so wonderful and innocent that I developed a sort of wanderlust approach to living which only recently was changed due to my mother's illness.
I should be grateful that I was really fortunate instead of complaining about the difficulty I'm going through with a parent who is ill. It's not my mother's fault that this happened and instead of feeling overwhelmed which I do, I should just be grateful that my mom is still here and that occasionally she has moments of lucidity laced with sage and wise advise.
I am grateful that I am not alone -- though it feels that way sometimes, there is a community of support even if they don't agree with my life decisions and decisions about how to care for my mother.
And finally if I've gained a few pounds here and there during my time in the South, I will be grateful that I am healthy enough and informed enough to get the weight off.
Finally, I am grateful to have had a look back and to know that I am ok, that sometimes life is really really hard and that I can make choices where my own health is concerned. I realize now I really am in charge! In charge of my own destiny!
Published On: September 14, 2010