Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Riding the Wave

The past few weeks have been a little rough for our family. Aside from being pulled in a million directions by daily demands, compounded by the needs of three growing children that seem to need to be in different places at the same time, we have had to deal with some health related issues.

My mother has been struggling for a while with leg pain, and while it is wise to get different opinions, we have found that sometimes it is only confusing, as each specialist seems to have a different outlook on things, and everything is dragged along for the sake of making the right decision.

If the poor woman didn’t have enough on her plate – and this may not seem like a big deal compared to other horrible things happening in the world – the death of her twenty-year-old cat, Angel, was the proverbial feather that pushed her off the precipice. The whole family was upset, and, in all truth, they gave me a scare of a lifetime, when I called and got my sister on the phone; she started crying the moment she heard my voice and couldn’t tell me what was happening. With a 76-year-old father suffering from heart disease, for a few seconds I expected the worst, and I was the one who almost had a heart attack.

Done with the woes of one family, let’s now pass on to the next installment. A couple of months ago, my father-in-law fell off a ladder while blowing leaves out of his gutters and broke a few ribs. While he was still recovering from that, he went to play golf a few weeks ago, only to end up at the hospital needing a pacemaker. Pacemaker inserted, he finally went home to lick his wounds, and we all thought the dust would settle from that moment on, but fate had a few other surprises in store…my kitten was bitten by a poisonous snake, and he survived but needed extra care for a week; and, as a sour cherry on top of a toppling cake, my mother-in-law began to feel ill last week. In the beginning she only had a few flu-like symptoms, but they quickly evolved into something more serious; serious enough, in fact, that she had to be placed into ICU for a few days. She is fine now, and recovering nicely, but for a few days we didn’t know what to expect.

Last night I sat in my living room, after everyone had gone to bed, and thought about the weeks gone by. We had a few scares, a heartbreak or two, but in the end everyone is still fine, alive, loved and, most important, we are all still here together to tell the story. And, if anything, all these upsets only drew us closer – it is easy for extended families to lose track of what’s happening with one another, and days go by without even a phone call. During the last couple of weeks, everyone stayed in touch, and everyone felt the need to let the others know how much they were loved. It’s a great feeling – an amazing one, in fact – and it is a sad fact that we rarely think about these things until we find ourselves on top of a wave, being carried to destinations unknown.

I am beginning to see land, and in fact I am preparing for a couple of busy weeks filled with events and book signings. Will fate work with me? There is no telling, for life will continue to happen with its up and downs, to keep us on our toes. All we can do is to appreciate each moment while the winds are blowing friendly.