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I’m happy to report I’m not feeling particularly Grinch-like this year. My heart is full of the spirit of the season even though I’m stressing and struggling and straining otherwise. I’m humming Christmas hymns and songs even though my sinuses are impacted so badly I sound like a wounded duck. I’m decking the halls and Fa La La-ing as parts of my uterus go on vacation and sublet my womb to a yeast infection. I’m trimming the tree and stringing the lights and baking cookies even though grief is nipping at my heels.
Why on earth would I be in the Christmas spirit?
Simply because I counted my blessings on the train ride in the other day and realized I have so much to be thankful for even with the crap I’m mired down in. So, in the words of Count Von Count, “let’s count zee blessinks, ha, ha, ha…”
One blessink. The sinus infection is a result of hanging around the hospital for five days while Dad’s heart decided to beat to an altogether different drummer. At his three-month check-up with the cardiac doctor, his EKG showed an atrial flutter and the doctor recommended he check into the hospital right that minute. Do not go home, do not pass GO. He called us (I was working from home), drove to our house and we drove him to the hospital where he was immediately admitted. Unfortunately, NSU doesn’t do echo cardiograms on the weekend so he was stuck there, hooked up like Neo in the Matrix until the doctors came in on Monday morning and could decide what to do with him. Several scary options were suggested, such as zapping his heart or letting him go home and see if it went away by itself. They finally decided to do a cardiac ablation, scheduling him for Tuesday. I think it was probably the most frightening three hours I’ve experienced, waiting alone at the hospital while my Dad was in surgery. MR finally finished up work and was able to come and wait with me.
I should have realized I shouldn’t have been scared. We’re talking about my Dad. He’s a titan, a horse, a giant. He pulled through fine. He was doing SO fine that when they offered him dinner after the surgery (he hadn’t eaten all that day) he asked for a cheeseburger, fries, a grilled cheese sandwich, milk and rice pudding. Yeah, he was fine. And he’ll be just fine- he said the other day he was feeling like he was forty again!
My prayers and thanks go to his doctors and the wonderful nurses at North Shore University hospital. Dad’s all I have left of my family, and I’m grateful he’s fixed and still around!
Two blessinks. When Beena graduated with her Master’s degree, then passed her teacher’s certification test, it should have been easy for her to find a job teaching MS and/or HS math. Unfortunately, looking for a job in this economy and in an atmosphere of budget cuts and teacher layoffs, it wasn’t easy at all. She interviewed for a few positions and sent her resume out three or four times a week with no call backs.
Until last week, when she went looking in her own backyard.
She was told about a posting for a teaching position at the MIDDLE SCHOOL SHE GRADUATED FROM and the one that Zombiegirl now attends. She submitted her resume and all the necessary credentials, was called for an interview with the Math departement heads and the MS principal and…
was called back for an interview with the District Superintendent and after an hour long interview…
she got the job! I. Am. So. Proud.
It was posted as a teaching assistant but it turns out since the school district is being reactive to some of the low grades on the math assessment test she’s going to be acting more as a math coach to the kids, reviewing their weak spots and helping them get their grades up. It’s a pilot program and she’s to spearhead it! It’s a great opportunity and gives her a foot in the door at the school if someone happens to retire or quit. She gave her two week’s notice at the retail store, but will leave on good terms (working the crazy holiday hours) just in case she needs to go back. She’s excited, Zombiegirl’s thrilled she’ll get a ride to school in the morning and I’m happy I’ve been blessed with such smart kids!
Three blessinks. We found an angel.
When Tim’s daughter joined Zombiegirl’s soccer team, we were blessed not only with an awesome player in C-Forshizzle, but also with Tim and his family. They’re so nice, so normal. It’s almost a pleasure to go to the soccer games, knowing either Tim or his wife will be there. I adore his kids (four girls) and I covet his mother-in-law. They’re truly wonderful people.
And MR is working for him.
Tim has built up an elder-care service, taking seniors and the handicapable to their doctor’s appointments, workplaces, Met’s games, weddings- you name it, they’ll drive you and act as guardian. Tim and his partner Tom have a couple of discreet handicapped vans and now MR is driving another they just purchased. He’s got a few regulars, the pay is great and best of all, my husband is becoming a compassionate, caring person. JK, he’s always been caring, now even more so. He not only drives these elderly persons, he talks to them and holds their hands as the doctor examine them. He printed out a picture of an aircraft carrier one of his customers served on (he’s in his 80’s). When he gave it to him, he was so happy someone went to the trouble to think of him. Too many times these people’s families don’t contact them or are too busy to go with them to the doctor.
It sucks and it makes me cry when he tells me how alone these people are.
So my husband is employed (not what he was looking for, but whatever) in a much-needed service job. He looks forward to dealing with his “people” and his attitude (and self-esteem) has been restored to much healthier levels. The money doesn’t hurt either…
I thank God for Tim.
Four blessinks. Zombiegirl made high honor roll.
Five blessinks. I finally started bleeding after two months of thinking I MAY be pregnant. (Tubal ligations aren’t 100% effective, you know. It could happen. ) Aunt Flo came on with a vengeance, she was on too long of a break for those two months. I’ll spare you the grisly details (think plum pudding) and just thank God she finally left after two weeks. Although I would’ve felt blessed if I was pregnant, I’m counting my blessings that I’m not.
Six blessinks. I have the most awesome friends. They’re normal, they’re kind and they care. They’re supportive and- did I say normal? They message me at all the right times and always seem to know when I need to smile. I’ve pruned my garden and my flowers are blossoming and my trees are fruitful. They’ve always been there, my friends, but I think I was preoccupied with the weeds and didn’t give the flowers enough of my time. We’re all blooming and I’m blessed with the fragrance of friendship.
Seven blessinks. I thank God for Dad’s Dorothy. I’m thankful they found each other after all these years and that they spend quality time together. After 50 years of marriage to Mom, it was hard for Dad to be alone day in and day out when she passed away, but now he’s got company and I can see how much of a difference it makes that he has someone else in his life. He’s not the self-proclaimed “Grumpy” any more…he’s sporting a new dwarf on his refrigerator now.
So, yes, I’m very un-Grinchy. I’m rocking the Christmas tunes in my office and healthily stressing about the annual Cookie Exchange, held once again on my own turf. Craft classes are continuing and the feedback I’ve been getting from the kids is wonderful. I took to heart what Pastor Fred said in his sermon two weeks ago- during the busy holiday season, try to exercise some Christian restraint- when that moron steps in line in front of you at the cashier, smile and say “Go with God’s blessing”. When that idiot driver cuts in front of you- wave (with your WHOLE HAND) and tell him to “Go with God’s blessing”.
I’m trying very hard these days to wave with my whole hand and to go with God’s blessing.