Friday, June 26, 2009
“We don’t all live a Fairytale, you know!” sobbed a dear friend who sat at my table wailing of life’s injustices as I poured cup after cup of tea in another cottage during days gone by.
“Did she mean to imply I did live a fairytale existence?” I wondered in surprise as I mentally cataloged my life:
- Five young children (two with special needs)
- Husband I adore but rarely see due to work demands
- Budget screaming BANKRUPT at every turn
- Emotional baggage of sufficient quantity to sink a life
- And on the list grew . . .
Many years have passed and my children have grown significantly, my husband works at the jobs he chooses while occupying an office on our property, my budget stopped squeaking, and the baggage return emptied of much extraneous debris . . . and yet I still find much that belies a fairytale, despite the charge that still comes my way on occasion.
Now, I will not lie and say my life sags and groans with burdensome sorrows and such, but in an effort to “Keep It Real” around here, I felt I must speak up and say:
“I’VE BEEN HAVING ROTTENESS IN EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE PAST WEEK OR SO!! (And I don’t like it one bit! Nope!)”
[Hmmmm . . . I thought I would feel magically better somehow. If this were a fairytale that would have worked.]
Absent pixie dust or a magic wand, I have only to keep hanging on to God’s proffered hand and slop through the sludgey-ness while looking for something to celebrate rather than dwell on the gripes. Gripes like . . . a nasty infection on Lydia’s leg, which the pediatrician “on call” at our regular office diagnosed as MRSA and treated accordingly. Did I mention that he was wrong BUT THE OFFICE FAILED TO CALL WHEN THE TESTS CAME BACK NEGATIVE, or that the bill reflects a “NEW” patient charge – we have been with this group the entire nine years we have lived in this town? When I called to “correct” this error the assistant informed me that it had been several years since Lydia had been seen and thus they had to update her files and charge the “new patient” fee per standard billing practice. “Does that make us a new patient?” I queried, “I thought updating was standard procedure with patients. It seems to me you are penalizing us for remaining healthy.” She sympathized but did not remove the fee. Now I know why they didn’t accept Rachel’s updated info at the same time I updated Lydia’s chart, but preferred to wait for her next visit.
But I blather on without brightening the story by admitting that this $20 poke prompted me to do something I had been planning to do for some time—namely, remove all of my kids from the pediatrics mill in town to the wonderful family practitioner that Gary and I see when needed. Why did I wait so long? Because . . . I did. : (
So, that chewed up some of the joy-factor in the past several days, but resulted in good. How, I wonder, can a lost credit card statement with a late fee attached feel good? Well, it doesn’t and I fumed. Being particular about details and budgets (I am the Chief Financial Officer, after all), I constantly battle the whims of having an absent-minded professor for a husband/business partner who never frets over money or fees or any other foible of money. “It’s just money,” he shrugs. (*GULP!*)
Dare I even mention the blown valve on the propane tank last night that cancelled out Elizabeth’s invite to join her for a soak in the hot, bubbly spa for some girl talk? Further resulting in a total lack of hot water – read: “No Showers” – until today when the valve was checked and given the okay. And by the way . . . why did it blow in the first place? Reply: [SHRUG.] “It just happens.” FUME! And then . . .
STOP! I need to hit the pause button and get a grip. Are you reading what I am writing here? I just read it over and I cringed. With all the terrible stuff going on in the world and in the lives of those I know and in the lives of those I may never meet . . . I am griping because my spa couldn’t be heated. Now that’s SAD!
BUT . . .
I know these sniveling complaints merely distract me from the deeper fears and worries and woes and failures right here in my own life and heart. I prefer to sulk over a lack of comfort rather than address my real issues . . . because I can’t do anything to change them. Now I know I should simply turn all this fretting over to the Lord and let Him take care of me and the situation. That would alleviate the grumpiness building in my heart, but it doesn’t happen when I hang onto it. Lately, I’ve been hanging onto the little gripes and ruining goodly parts of each day. Why? It just happens sometimes, I guess. Regardless of why, I needed to switch gears . . .
Last night Gary took me out to dinner and then we sat down to watch Mamma Mia. I hadn’t rushed to see it when it came out despite the rave reviews, because I’d also heard some warnings of moral failure in the film. Hmmmmm . . . last night I decided to take a $2.50 chance and give it a go. With my twirly azure-blue print skirt topped by a white peasanty blouse, and full knowledge of the ABBA catalog of lyrics, I felt like a member of the chorus as I sang and danced my way through the frothy, colorful bit of nonsense that made me laugh out loud and shed a tear. Without the confession/forgiveness between mother and daughter I may have found it severely lacking, but that salvaged the earlier foibles somewhat and I enjoyed the party. Did Pierce Brosnan’s singing make me cringe? Yes, a wee bit, but the sweetness of his courage to belt it out in love touched me, for I married a man who can only carry a tune in a bucket. (Once long-long ago as a shy young suitor he sang sweetly to me. It was truly awful . . . and I loved every minute of it!)
As the mom laments over how quickly the daughter has grown up, my daughter Elizabeth turned to me and said, “Does it really go that fast mom?”
I stopped . . . a tear welled up . . .
"You can’t believe how fast it goes,” I choked up in reply.
I realized that it has gone far too quickly even for a mamma that chose to stay home each day to raise her children and keep her home. I used to joke, on those most tiring days, that I wished for a cryogenic chamber to pop my Littles into so that they would stop growing temporarily while I rested, thus I wouldn’t miss a bit of their precious growing years while I recovered from the day-to-day dose of living with them constantly. Sometimes, I confess, I wish I could freeze the blogdom so that I could keep up with all of you and your wonderful lives without losing track of all I have and do and experience here in my own life. Of late I just can’t make it around to everyone in a timely fashion (and some of you share so much and so frequently!), and I must just accept that. Just as I must accept all these little and BIG blots in my “Fairytale” life.
I admit I love my life and its road to Happily-Ever-After . . . even on those days when the Ogres roar and the slimy bogs sing with danger. So, will I ever learn to merely pass by the singing bog of *blech* without stopping by to orchestrate the song and tidy up the details before I journey on? My great-grandmother always said, “Let go and let God” (I think she learned that from attending al-anon meetings to help her alcoholic sons). Today I shall attempt again to let go the gripes and enjoy the joy.
As I cruise around the blogdom I find such sweetness and kindred feelings as each one of you opens your perfectly imperfect life up for a little visit. Your words encourage me, uplift me, touch me, call me to prayer, and beckon me to let go the ropes of slog and join in the celebration of life lived in the Palm of a Loving God who doesn’t expect us to be perfect. (In fact, He already knew how imperfect we would be and made plans accordingly.)
I dedicate this picture of two perfectly imperfect roses from my garden to all of you, my precious bloggy friends. When I took this picture I thought, “There’s a fine picture of friendship – full of holes yet exuding the most delicious aroma (maybe even becoming more aromatic due to the extra ventilation)."
Thank you, dear friends, for the gifts so sweet I find waiting for me at each of your blogsites.
Lydia just returned from a visit to the family practitioner who believes that the infection stems from a spider bite gone bad. (Dare I mention that when we visited the first doctor I offered that we believed it to be a spider bite?)
Oh well, I'm dedicating this day to celebrating my perfectly imperfect life; and so I will forgive the "imperfect" diagnosis and celebrate that our daughter's leg heals "perfectly" well despite it all.
Now, I'm off to the gardens for more sweetness . . .