Regularly Scheduled Maintenance

12 04 2017

My neighbor’s mother-in-law is in the hospital.

She has pneumonia.

She’s been under the weather for weeks, but refused to see a doctor – until she saw one in the ER a few nights ago.  She is not elderly; probably early sixties. She is stubborn.

When my neighbor shared that news, it was not, by itself, particularly interesting; it’s what he said next that caught my ear.

“As soon as my wife got home from getting her mother settled into her room at the hospital, I called my mom to thank her for taking such good care of herself.” 

What a thoughtful thing for a son to do.

What a thoughtful thing for a parent to do.

Many of my friends and family are proven fine care-givers, going to great lengths to assure the comfort and well-being of those whom they love.  They, upon gentle reminding, have come to recognize that they deserve the same care and consideration that they show others.

Thank you to my mother and my sister, who are amazingly generous and strong women, for understanding that one way to show their love for the rest of us is to keep themselves in good running order.  I am grateful that, no matter when I might need you, your tank is always full and your motor’s humming.


Fear is a Mother

22 08 2012

“I am afraid I will end up like my mother.”

I have been hearing this comment a lot lately. I hear it directly from acquaintances.  I hear it from strangers to their friends on line at the grocery store, at the hairdresser, at the bank.  I hear it as people walk by, talking on their cells.  It makes me sad.

“I’m afraid I will end up like my mother . . .”  In what way?

Frail?       Unhappy?         Senile?      Frightened?

What do so many women see in their mothers that cause such concern and why do so many see themselves following the perceived unfortunate path?  I try to understand, but I really can’t.

You see, I am afraid I will NOT end up like my mother. I am fortunate beyond measure to have a mother who is strong, optimistic, smart, and afraid of absolutely nothing.  The only fear I have, relative to her, is that I will not be able to live up to the example she (still, at age 82) sets.

If you are a mom, do all you can to take the best care of yourself you can. Good health and a strong and lively mind are great gifts to your children. If you do not have children, remember and respect the people in your world who love you and need you; take great care of yourself, too.

Women are strong and smart from the beginning.  We must stay that way throughout our lives.   We must respect ourselves and preserve and use our power to do good in the world.  The lives of others depend on it – and us.

Have no fear.

Appreciate – an Active Verb

13 07 2011

Waaaaaa!  I’m Sick.

Well, suck it up, Sister.  It’s Wednesday – blog day – so get on it.

Can’t I just skip it this one time?  I’ll do it next week, I promise.

There might not be a next week.  Do you really want to have reneged on a promise to yourself to be the last thing you ever do?

Don’t be so melodramatic.  You’re just bullying me and I’m sick.

I know you’re feeling lousy.  Your head hurts, your eyes are bleary, your ribs are sore from coughing; however, you will feel physically better in a few days. You’ll feel personally worse if you fail in keeping your promise to yourself.

Man, I HATE when my inner adult makes sense to me when all I want to do is retreat to my inner six-year-old.  I realize that one of the things I take most for granted is my health.  How angry I get when I wake up feeling less than great.  How entitled I feel to feeling good. Wow.

More surprising than taking my good health for granted is how ungrateful I am for it when I feel great.  I never get up in the morning, take a deep wheeze-free breath, clearly hear the birds outside my window, and think, “I feel GREAT!  Isn’t this marvelous?”  Conversely, I am all too aware of something being “off” – some warning signal of an impending illness – something to inconvenience self-important me.

Today, I am trying to learn from my temporary infirmity.  I can neither whine nor curse my way to wellness.  I can follow my doctor’s advice, take my medicine, and wait out this bug. More importantly, when I do feel better, I will take a moment every day to actually notice how good I feel.

When something is going as it should, it often gets taken for granted. It should be actively appreciated.

Even though her life certainly did not go as it should have, I appreciate the memories of every day I had with my beautiful Jessie, who has been gone from our house for almost a year but remains in my heart every moment.

I will appreciate my good health, my good marriage, my good family, my good friends, my good memories, my good life.