Today I told a neighbor that "we have had a good year." It surprised me as the words came out. This was a neighbor we hardly knew and he said something about "no matter how bad you have it there is always somebody who has it worse." I've never really enjoyed that outlook on life, but this year it has rang true. We have it real bad. It sucks it's so bad. But, amazingly we are quite happy.
I've talked at length about the church family, the friends, the family. Our hearts are always fillled up. We have a gardner who brings casseroles, family who lifts us, church members who bring dinners, and a care giver direct from the lap of God. All is well with our souls. Jed, is, however a continuing quadriplegic.
So, we lift and transfer and turn and treat and give the care that the condition requires. But, we have had a good year. It's all come together. We've had time to reflect, to look at life more simply, to appreciate, to value, to trust and love. It has been the year we wish would never have come, but the year that has moved us beyond ourselves.
On Saturday I did something for me. I auditioned to sing the National Anthem for the Dodgers. It was a big deal for me, a bucket list item. But I did it, and am proud of myself. I have no idea what will come of this, probably nothing, but I grabbed that mic and sang my heart out. You see, one of the finer things I've learned this year is to grab the goodies while you can. So I went out and grabbed them.
My grandmother lived to be 98 years old. She lived by herself for many years. I had a good relationship with her and would ask her about aging. She said that she, "feels no different at all, except all her friends died." The point is, we really don't feel different as we go through the stages of our lives. Ours is to enjoy, live, love and participate in. Should it be difficult or painful or ugly, well, that is just the way it is. But, in the midst of it all there are goodies to grab. Joy. And if we don't go for it?
Years ago when Jed was quiting teaching, we talked about how he should quit. My idea for him was to retire from teaching, take his pension and "live happily ever after." His idea was to explore opportunities and take risks and have a hell of a good time. He said over and over, "I need to have my arms and legs." We decided that he should be free to explore opportunities. So he explored. And we had a "hell of a good time." We dreamed dreams that most can't even think. We lived high and we planed for a time when we could spread the wealth to our grandchildren and loved ones. We lived on the edge and knew we were there. He had his arms and legs. And now he doesn't. But, we still dream dreams and we still live high. It's just different.
Tonight I have a "life is good even though my husband can't move or care for himeself" attitude. I don't really know where this comes from. But I know that we have lived a remarkble life. Arms and legs don't make a happy life. Somewhere there is inner peace. It may not last, and the next time I write I may be angry and mean, but, now, even though life is really shitty and who would ever want this one. I pick ours. It's hard, it's sometimes very sad and it's not at all how we planned our "retirement," but we are complete by the essence of each other. We don't have arms and legs, but we soar.