I got a bit side-tracked on my last little blogs, but the fall always makes me happy. This is part of what I want to entreat on you in this blog – be happy. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it’s very true from my experience.
I blame it on my parents, again a cliché, but this is also true. My parents both grew up in the depression. They did not have easy “silver spoon” type lives, but had to work hard for everything they had. To me, my parents were complete opposites that meshed perfectly. Dads’ side of the family was large but distant. Growing up we knew his brothers and sisters, his parents, but that was all. Now moms’ side of the family is total opposite. I can tell you about great aunts and uncles on her side. Little did I know growing up how special this really was?
The best thing they both shared was a great sense of humor, but mom always seemed a bit more confident about it. Our family motto is “if we are not picking on/at you, we don’t like you” and this also was very true. My dad gave me a great couple of Knick-names to prove it 1) Rimp (for those of you that remember the Jetsons cartoon – when George shrunk, Astro ran around saying “rook at the rimp” – since I was the smallest/shortest one in the family – I got the name) 2) Dumb Shit – now don’t get excited on this, it was not a bad thing or ever said in meanness…but instead was an endearing form of affection. Since I was also raised to “keep trying” it meant a lot of failures. And, on occasion, the comment from dad was “Ya dumb shit, what did you do that for?” – Again not harsh, but usually delivered with a muffled laughter. Even now, when our family gets together and starts going into our stories, the phrase is used abundantly amongst us. Always with a smile, a tongue-in-cheek, and occasionally outright belly laughter.
So, how did I get through 2014? I believe it was with that same attitude that dad carried. When bad things happen I am great at the moment of impact. I can hold up in the worst of situations to take care of business. This is just what I do and did. I handled the funeral basics, the fire investigators, the police, the contractors and construction crews. But they were all handled carrying that same dumb shitism (yep, that is now a word!).
When August came around I was spinning with things that still had to be done – including my 2nd major surgery and no use of my right arm (and yes, I am right handed – D.S. again dad!). That was when I realized that if one more person told me “It’s gotta get better from here right?” I was going to punch them square in the mouth! I was sure that every time someone used that phrase, something else bad happened, because it usually did.
Then one nice cooler spring day earlier this year, I stopped.
I went out, by myself, in our front yard gazeebo.
Sat down in my glider rocker, iced tea in hand, and stared at the new house and found myself thinking of my mom.
The one constant phrase on her side of the family was/is “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”. It was her answer for every bad thing I could ever remember happening. This too shall pass – pretty much said it all, and I smiled. Then I remembered my phrase: Everything Happens For A Reason – you may not ever find out what that reason is, but there is one for everything. Again I smiled.
My 4 yr. old grandson was gone. Fifty plus years of mementos of our lives were gone. The house and all our possessions were gone. Half my left index finger was gone. My right shoulder was gone along with both knees and part of my left shoulder and left foot. So what was the reason for all of it? Still, today, I have no clue.
What I do know is that life went on and will continue to do so. I do know that laughing through the hard times makes them a lot easier to deal with. I also know that I have a very strong family, and a fantastic bunch of friends, and an outstanding rural community to live in. I know, to the core of my soul, that without all of them (and a large dose of a warped sense of humor) I could not have made it through. Now the only sad part is that I do not have any of those awesome pictures of them all to share here with all of you (and we had some goodies)!
So I leave you with one last phrase from my mother: “SMILE, it makes people wonder what you are up to!”