As of about 48 hours ago I was still complaining about my life.
I was feeling overwhelmed.
I had a lot of work to do.
I had too many kids.
I had a bunch of driving back and forth from the middle of Pennsylvania to New Jersey awaiting me.
I needed to get my daughter ready to leave for college in said middle of nowhere.
I had to figure out how to pay for all of the things.
So there was a lot of hand wringing and weepy moments this week as I shared my distress with a couple of close friends.
But here’s the good news: I pick really good friends. Like, I keep negative and crazy at bay and really try to surround myself with folks who exude good energy.
I recommend it.
So, I was telling my friend Dan, you know him — The Girl Whisperer — about my woes and he listened very carefully and said, in all seriousness, “Your life is great.”
He went on: “Love your children. Love your work. Enjoy everything about your life. These are not big problems. Big problems are coming. These are not big problems.”
Dan, as you may recall, recently had a run in with cancer. And it beat the shit out of him. Actually, it killed him, however briefly. At the end of January, after 33 rounds of radiation to his face and neck and chemo that caused magnesium to slowly leak undetected out of his kidney, his heart stopped beating. Apparently magnesium is really important. Some little doctor jumped on his chest and broke his ribs in her effort to resuscitate him and then he was popped on ice in an induced coma for two days. And when the doctors brought his around, he was fine. I mean, fine in terms of he was alive and hadn’t incurred any brain damage.
Which apparently never happens.
So the medical staff started referring to Dan as “The Miracle Man” as he slowly began to recover following the coma. During his treatment he’d lost over 40 pounds, all his hair and all the muscle he’d built and maintained and created a business around. His whole life had been dedicated to good health.
And now six months later, he’s back on my couch looking and sounding almost like his old self. Every week his face looks a little fuller and his voice a little stronger but his spirit is so strong. I can feel it.
So when he told me that my life was good, I really knew what he meant. I had the honor of waking up that morning and getting out of bed and going about my day. My children have all their fingers and toes and most of their wits and whatever challenges I face will resolve themselves one way or another.
There are much worse things.
So right there I decided I should just shut the fuck up.
Yesterday, while I was sitting at the kitchen table working and staring at a full calendar for the day of writing and a meeting and a trip to the Genius Bar to get the soon-to-be-college-girl’s laptop issues resolved, my oldest child — who at 22 is hard pressed to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for himself — asked me if I wanted him to go food shopping.
Granted, our cupboards were bare, but usually that would just call for complaints, not action. This was an impressive move and one that I did not see coming.
Later, we brought the mail in and stuck between my gas bill and yet another bullshit Victoria’s Secret catalog was a check, ladies and gentlemen, for something I wrote that is going to be published in a national magazine. Like, the kind they sell at the supermarket checkout aisle and Target.
So between Dan’s amazing recovery and that much-needed check and my son’s generous assist, I’ve come to one very big conclusion: Miracles do happen. And sometimes they come when you least expect them.
Here are a few other tidbits I’ve found slightly miraculous this week:
- Usually I’m prepared for long drives. I’m a fan of the audiobook. But I hadn’t done any prep work for the eight hours I drove at the beginning of the week to get my girl out to new student orientation. Actually, for the four-hour leg early Sunday morning, we sat in silence for a while and then began to talk. And we pretty much talked most of the drive. And if you’ve spent any time with an 18yo — even a really nice one — you know that that’s not always the case. Sometimes they wear headphones or a scowl that does not invite conversation. So I enjoyed our chatting. But driving the four hours home Monday night, we were kind of all talked out so I fiddled around with stations on XM and discovered one of my very-best-make-believe-TV-girlfriends has her own radio show and I happily drove and listened to her joke about her hair and interview Candace Bushnell. It totally beat listening to The Bridge or 70s on 7.
- We left the Apple store last night and Daughter #2 commented that it was the first time she’d done that without anybody spending any money. New territory for us. Then we headed to the Verizon mall store where Daughter #1 bought herself an iPhone 6 and her little sister, duly impressed, told her she was a “grown ass woman.” But then we learned that you can pay about $25 and Verizon will put a piece of glass over your iPhone screen, which both of the girls ended up paying for, and we left feeling like we’d killed that mall trip.
- While at the mall, we had to drift into Aerie and I’m sorry but I always find things I love there. Sadly, all my money is spoken for these days, but if I had a few sheckels to spare, I would have totally scooped up this and this and this and been the most glamorous girl at the beach this summer.
- I made my third going-to-college pilgrimage to Target this week and while there’s really not a lot out yet for dorm living, we found a cute comforter kind of like this and my girl is kind of obsessed with these sheets . Add some lady products and a bottle of Tums and it was an easy $500 to kiss good-bye.
- What would the getting-a-kid-ready-to-go-to-college-experience be like without a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond as well? They are still pushing outdoor living and haven’t really put a back-to-school section together but I did spy these totally adorable Kate Spade comforters and was glad we’d already bought our much-cheaper Target versions.
Believe in miracles, everyone. They really do happen.
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