Before school came to a close for the summer, I had the best laid plans. Random beach trips, a few weekend getaways, perhaps a little jaunt to Georgia to visit my best friend, a book signing with girlfriends; complete with an umbrella drink. The angel choir was singing, while visions of sand and sea danced in my head. Life didn't get the memo regarding my plans, so life happened. Life has a way of hurling curveballs at you so fast, there is little time to process before you are faced with the next incoming curve. Suddenly you realize school starts back in a week.
This blog is called "Laughter For The Journey" for a reason. Life happens to all of us and sometimes we have to search for the humor in it. You have to laugh or you will cry. Life is a series of mountains and valleys. Sometimes you belly crawl through those valleys, but even then if you look up, you will see the sun still shines. Yes, the sun still shines but I find myself searching for some comic relief.
June 12* I got up early to go to the gym before work. Life threw a curveball. I was in a car wreck. My car was totaled. I was not at fault. Where is the humor in that? Okay, so it's a stretch to find humor in that but I can find blessings as well as irony. Right before I left, we had just prayed together as a family, something we make a concerted effort to do every morning and every night. We always end our morning prayers with "Lord bring us back safely to each other this evening." Less than 5 minutes after we prayed, I was in a wreck. I survived, my car, the other car and the power pole...not so much.
Blessings: My daughter wasn't with me. I am still here, alive and well. The other driver and her passenger survived intact.
June 25* Grandma had a stroke and passed away later that same evening. There is no funny in that. Nothing but shock, sadness, heartache and gut wrenching loss. A loss so deep and complete that if I let myself dwell on it, the air will be sucked from my lungs and I will crumple to my knees in devastation. We are several weeks out from Grandma's passing, and while we are still going through the emotions of packing up her and grandpa's house, we have relived so many memories. We have unearthed things that were long forgotten. I have learned things about my grandma I never knew.
Awe, Grandma kept everything. That statement is now a little more like this; AHHH! Grandma kept EVERYTHING! For example, we found several vases, the kind flowers are delivered in. There must have been a dozen and a half to start. I was ecstatic when a sweet gentleman and his wife purchased 4 yesterday during the yard sale. I was so confident he would give them a good home, I threw in an extra for free. As things were winding down, my husband climbed atop the new ladder my mom had just purchased and braved the abyss of Grandma's attic to finish cleaning it out. I hear him laugh and I know the smirk that adorns his handsome face even though I can't see him. I can see the laughter that dances in his gorgeous eyes, even though they are hidden from view. "Baby, you aren't going to believe this..." "What?" "I found more vases." With every vase, his smile grows bigger as my eyes keep getting wider. The vases just keep coming, one after another. Mark is about to laugh himself right out of the attic when I pop off with a comment. He laughs even harder because apparently I channeled my Uncle Carl who lives several hundred miles away and I sounded just like him. Uncle Carl is pretty awesome. Seeing all those vases, I am convinced Grandma kept every single vase, every time someone had flowers delivered to her, or bought her during her many hospital stays, throughout her entire life. She kept EVERY one! If Grandma was still living, knowing what I know now, the next person to buy her flowers, would have taken the vase over top of the head. The only thing she had more of than vases was coffee cups. Lord, don't even get me started on the coffee cups.
*July 27 We learned my mom had a stroke. Her vision has been affected. The following day, through an MRI, we found out that not only has she had one stroke, but there is evidence of a second stroke. There was also concern she may have had a heart attack as well, before tests were done to rule it out. There is no humor in the situation. My dad will be gone 8 years in September. In the past 2 years, we buried my cousin who was a year younger than me, last year we lost one of my aunts, and we just lost Grandma. I am only 37 years old and have spent more time sitting around a table helping to plan funerals than one person ever should. I take a deep breath, lean on the people in my life who are my rocks and I go to The Rock that is higher than I. When it rains it pours, so I just pray for a bigger umbrella. God gave me big shoulders. God's got this and He's got me. Mom's vision is extremely spotty in her right eye, and she is blind in her left peripheral. She isn't able to drive. However, she is here and we are prayerful for a full recovery.
We are 2 weeks out from Mom's stroke and I have found a little humor. If I stand on her left side, I can stick my tongue out at her and roll my eyes all day long and she has no clue. Don't judge me, it's not like I am leading her into walls or anything and besides the eyes in the back of her head were unaffected by the stroke. I totally got busted for a face while sitting behind her. I can also get away with pretty much anything now, why just yesterday I threatened to hog tie her and duct tape her to an airplane seat.
You know the old adage "When life hands you lemons make lemonade?"
After this summer, I am going to exchange my lemons for limes and a strawberry or two. Then I am going to get the glass, the big one. I have it on reserve and it's big enough I can fit my whole face in it.
I am thankful. I get it. We had so many curveballs this summer and though things could be better, they could be worse. So we are thankful because even through the stress of the situation and through the loss there is so much to be thankful for and we are counting our blessings. My family, is okay and those of us that aren't we are getting there. We are learning to breathe, to continuously put one foot in front of the other and one day it won't take so much effort. Life doesn't get the memo or care about your best laid plans. Life throws curveballs but hopefully one day you can look back and find laughter for the journey.