That would be this day, my 64th birthday. I had grand plans for the day, but a blizzard has put a stop to at least the morning plans. I baked cookies to take to the meeting I had signed up to chair. I found someone to chair for me this morning, because it is crazy out there! I still have lunch plans, which I hope will come to pass. And tonight, my daughter has invited me for dinner at her house. And she is making chicken paprikash! One of my faves! And lemon cheesecake!
This morning I am sitting before the fireplace, admiring the Christmas tree, and feeling very very happy about my life. Happy enough to find it a little disconcerting! I am very leery of self-satisfaction, it is usually followed by self-loathing, so I try to avoid it at all costs.
I have had plenty of time for introspection over my four months of retirement. The thing that amazes me is that somehow I was able to keep a job with the same employer for 21 years. That means I showed up every day with the exception of sick days and vacation. How on earth did I do that? It feels so natural to be at home with no where in particular to go. I love this feeling.
My family situation is not ideal. It seldom is when alcoholism and drug addiction is involved. My alcoholism and my daughter’s drug addiction have caused damage, it seems like all these years later, it ought to just go away, but when you hurt people, it leaves a mark that lasts a long long time.
When I visited my son and his family last weekend, I was completely blown away by the fact – fact! – that I am the real grandmother. With the other grandchildren, I mostly feel like some weird “biological” grandmother since they are being raised by their grandfather (my ex) and his wife, who is the “real” grandmother? I don’t know. I just know it is weird, and I never feel 100% comfortable in my role in that family.
But my son, my son, has always treated me like I am his mother. No hyphens, no qualifiers, just his mother. When that has been problematic to his dad, he stayed loyal to me. Always.
So, as I sat on the sofa with his babies cuddled on either side of me, in front of the fire, along the Christmas tree, watching Christmas movies, I wanted to cry. I wanted to, but I didn’t. It was just a wonderful “normal” moment, in a life that has most often not felt very normal.
I am so grateful.
Later: As I was writing this, an old sponsee called. We haven’t seen either other much over the last couple of years. She remembered it was my birthday and wanted to take me out for breakfast. What a treat. She drives a huge SUV, and even that could barely get around in this snow. But to see her was the best birthday present ever.
AND when I got home, the young neighbor who has been a thorn in my side for the last 15 years said hello. We chatted a bit and I mentioned it being my birthday. He wished me a happy birthday. When I looked outside later, I saw that he had shoveled my sidewalk. An absolute miracle. Seriously.
What a great gift time is. Time may not heal all wounds, but it sure goes a long way towards healing.
Thank you Jesus for your Divine Mercy, which is unfailing.