Nov 7, 2011

The Darkest Day

He was just five days old when we brought him home from the hospital, a beautiful little boy, perfect in every way. My husband and I had been trying for nine long years to have a child and had gone through all the procedures with no luck--so finding this adorable child to adopt was for us truly a gift from God.

He instantly became part of our family and was loved and cherished by two sets of grandpaents and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins, as every day he grew in our hearts. He had a great sense of humor and loved to tell jokes, the loonier the better, but even when he was naughty, which he was sometimes being human, there was never anything mean or crafty about him. His laugh was contagious and even at his most mischievousness no one could stay angry with him long. He was a real charmer and when he said, "Hey, Mom, did I remember to tell you that I loved you today?" of course I melted and forgave him any indiscretion. As he grew our house was filled with lots of boisterous boys and later girls, who shyly confessed they thought my son was "cool". He had loads of friends and was popular, but he never let it go to his head. He simply loved people and even as a small child had a rare gift for compassion. He loved animals, too, and was always brtinging home stray dogs and cats, and if someone was hurt or in trouble he was the first to offer a hand.

Am I making him sound like Mr. Perfect? Well, of course he wasn't,  but he worked hard at whatever task was set before him. He also smoked and drank, but not to excess in any way. Actually he hadn't smoked for quite a while when he got sick and they diagnosed it as lung cancer. He had an operation and went through chemo and we prayed everything was going to be fine. But then he took a turn for the worst and died quite suddenly. I didn't know half the people who came to his funeral he touched so many lives, but I'll always remember the things they said about him. Like the woman who told me she had no place to stay until my son took her in and let her sleep on his couch until she got on her feet. Or the young man who said he was headed for prison until my son got him off drugs, loaned him money, and helped him find a job.

One of the last things my son said to me, when I think he suspected he was dying, was, "I always wanted to leave my mark on the world, Mom, but I guess I missed." And I replied, "Oh, no, my darling. You left your mark in untold hearts, and that's a legacy anyone can be proud of." So my darkest day wasn't quite as dark as it could have been.

Sep 4, 2011

Just One of Those Things

I told my friend I'd call her and we'd decide on a date for lunch. I then got the flu and was sick as a dog. Lyig in bed, flat on my back, the phone rang and my friend said, from the restaurant, "For goodness sake, where are you? I thought we were meeting for lunch." Well, I still don't remember that we had set a definite date, but she insists we did. Of course I couldn't help wondering if that was a sign of early dementia on my part.

Then right in the middle of my novel writing one day, and in quite an exciting chapter (I thought), suddenly my printer stopped working. I tried everything to get it going again, but no luck, so finally I called the printer company. Their technician couldn't solve the problem either, so he said they'd send me a new printer. I thanked him and a few days later, just out of curiosity, tried the printer again and you guessed it--suddenly the darn thing worked just fine. I immediately called the printer company back to cancel the order, but too late; a new printer was already on the way.  The nice young man on the other end of the line said when the printer arrived I must find the return slip, fill it out, and arrange for a pickup, easier said than done. To find the return slip, which naturally was at the very bottom of this huge box, I had to unpack everything first which was quite a  job in itself. I thought of keeping the new printer, just in case something went wrong again, but was told that unless I wanted to be charged for another printer I had to repack and send the first one back. By then I was quite frustrated, as you can imagine. But finally I managed to get everything squared away and thought I could relax, only to learn that was wishful thinking.

To my dismay Hurricane Irene was on its way! I was without lights and power for several days, and some in my state, Connecticut, are still in the dark, so I know I'm lucky. But flipping a light switch and nothing happens in a sobering experience. Makes you appreciate what those people who lived in the days of "Little House on the Prairie" went through daily and survived. At least I didn't lose my home or my livelihood as many did during the storm and I'm very thankful for that. I think the biggest challenge was keeping my sense of humor. Kept telling myself as I munched on peanut butter sandwiches for dinner and tried to read by flashlight that this, too, would pass--and it did. After all, it was just one of those things.