Thursday, July 20, 2006


As I sit and think about all of the trials and tribulations in my life right now, with Katie's potty training efforts taking center stage, I have to remind myself that really, it isn't all that bad. Yeah, things could be better . . . Wyatt's tooth drama could finally be over, McRae could stop making "that face" that confuses and perplexes me at times (a "tick" of his that crops up when he's over tired) and start saying "okay mom" everytime I ask him to do something. I could not be doing 2-3 loads of laundry in 80 degree weather with higher temps expected tomorrow and beyond, I could be sleeping better and exercising more. I could be dealing with less tantrums and more tea parties, but hey, that's life. And right about now, I am feeling darn lucky to have those "trials".

Could be the time of year (3rd anniversary of my father in law's death and the week of my "nanny's" birthday), could be that lately, everyone around us is experiencing some sort of bad news, could be my hormones; but whatever the reason, I am grateful for the simplicity of my complaints, the averageness of their importance and the fact that I have so many people that I love around me to feel this way about.

After seeing the looks upon the faces of our fellow Americans today as the Marines finally rescued them from Beruit, I am grateful for the fact that all of my family is safe and sound nearby (although I fear for my Uncle who will be travelling to Africa next month).

After hearing that a fire that claimed the lives of 2 children and 2 adults locally was not only intentional, but their deaths classified as homicides, I am sickened that there are people capable of acts such as that wandering around our neighborhoods and so I am grateful that my new neighbor is a police officer.

After learning about the tragic motorcycle accident that took the functionality of anything beneath the neck away from a dear friend of my cousin's, I am worried about how she will cope, and greatly saddened for her friend whom we enjoyed so much at our grandmother's 86th birthday party.

After listening to my childhood friend explain that her grandmother had passed away, in between sobs, I am feeling helpless that there is nothing I can say to make her feel better (I know because I've lost a grandma) and I am even more grateful that I am lucky enough to still have my Grandma Carol in my life, in the lives of my children and just a phone call away if I want to tell her that I love her.

After hearing that my parent's neighbor was critically injured when a jack failed and machinery fell on his face, I am so glad that he was able to walk away with his life, and a very sore, wired jaw for 5 weeks, and grateful that a very bad outcome was avoided.

This Saturday, I will attend the funeral and graveside services of the last living sibling of my maternal grandfather. A man known to me as "Uncle Ernie", who would always send my brother and I sticks of Juicyfruit gum in our birthday cards and always had a ready smile and a joke. A man who offered us a glimpse of what our real grandfather may have been like, had he survived long enough to see my mom turn 7 months old. And so, we will mourn his death, celebrate his life and lean on each other as we say goodbye. We will be grateful for the time we had, however little or long it was, and reflect upon all of those we have lost in our lives, which funerals tend to do to me, at least. I will be grateful that I will be surrounded by the people that have been the ones to make my life easier, each in their own way; Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandma and Grandpa and most importantly, Mom and Dad. Because, without them and the family my husband and I have made, I would be alone. And being alone would be worse than potty training a stubborn 2 year old, doing oodles of laundry, worrying about your son's tooth, or a funny face that your other son makes. It would be worse than being stuck in Beruit.


Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

You made me cry. That is so moving. The juicy fruit gum is such a sweet detail. You captured the bittersweetness of life.

I am very sorry for your loss.


Angry Dad said...

Congratulations on showing us we should all reflect on our lives and realise that we've got it pretty good!

Kevin Charnas said...

Oh Carrie...I loved, LOVED this post. So, so true...perspective. I actually just posted today about how our neighbors emailed yesterday and how they're returning home tomorrow with their lives and they're lucky to have them. They literally had to leave their luggage in Lebanon and run for their lives. Thankfully they're coming home.

And I have not ONE thing to complain about in my blessed-lucky life.

I am sorry to hear about your Great Uncle though...I'm glad that you knew him.

mom said...

Better news today... Chris' surgery went well. Looks like he will breathe independently. Neighbor Dan is home already, learhing to like a liquid diet for a while.

I, too am grateful for the mundane things in my life.

And the not-so-mundane things, like the people.

Mamacita Tina said...

Beautiful, reflective post. It makes us think of what we do have, instead of what we don' important the people are in our lives.

sunshine scribe said...

This was such a poignant, thought-provoking post. Thanks for writing it and sharing this important reminder.

Lisa said...

I know what you mean. A friend of mine went to visit her parents in Israel. A day before she left a school she used to teach at was bombed. And the day her parents took her to the airport, her grandparents former home was hit. I hear stuff like that and I feel so lucky...

Mel said...

Oh, Carrie! You made me cry. That is so beautiful, and so true and right, especially that last bit about how lost you'd be without your family. I feel the same. And thank whatever gods there be for the simplicity, the boringness, of my petty little complaints!
You have an excellent sense of perspective. Thank you for this.

Mommy off the Record said...

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your Uncle Ernie.

You are keeping a wonderful perspective through all of this tragedy. It is easy to take our blessings for granted. Thanks for the reminder that we do have a lot to be thankful for.

jennster said...

this is a beautiful post. seriously. thank you for reminding us all to reflect on what we do have

Christina_the_wench said...

Big hug.....all I can do....big hug. We're all very lucky and we need to recognize that from time to time.