But on the eve of my leaving work and starting my three-month Family Medical Leave, Trigger said something which made me think. She said, You know Mom, I've read that the happiest people are those who keep a gratitude journal.
And at first I thought: Just what have I to be grateful for? The cascade of unfortunate events which made me decide to take the leave in the first place? My mother's breast cancer? My Alzheimer's-ridden father's stroke and subsequent move to a nursing home? Trigger's Lupus? Ponzi's newest autoimmune disease and loss of her last semester of college? The Kevorkian-like struggle with my daughters which ended in the cat's eventual death anyway? My panic? Depression? My own diagnosis of Sjogren's Syndrome?
How am I to be grateful while watching my bib-ridden father shake and struggle to consume his minced-up meals in a room full of other Alzheimer's patients? Watching the man next to him at the table literally eating his meal card?
Did I not reach an all-time low last Sunday when I snuck out of a family baby shower - embarrassed that my panic attack in the baby mega-store had caused me to snatch a gift card and run while others apparently were able to pick adorable presents at their leisure? Wasn't I downright jealous of the fact that they could select a panda bear bath ensemble or "perfect" spit-up towel?
But God does have a sense of humor, you know. . . because I was nearly the only shower attendee that didn't come down with the stomach flu as a result of all those "goodbye" hugs and kisses. Sneaking away unnoticed ended up to be the healthier alternative in the long run.
So that's what I'll be thankful for today. That I'm Alive and Well. . .
. . .and today you know that's good enough for me.
Breathing in and out's a blessing can't you see.
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
and I'm alive. . .and well. . .
Well now thank you for that bit of wisdom