Monday, January 2, 2012

Life is not about Waiting for the Storm to Pass

My husband had two heart attacks last year. The second attack he knew what was happening. He insisted that we open three presents that he had purchased for and our two daughters. Each of us opened to find plaques that had the quote, "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass it's about learning to dance in the rain." Now I don't recommend anyone else waiting for time to pass before getting treatment for a heart attack, but this was the perfect example in our situation of dancing in the rain. We took him to the hospital where he proceeded to get everyone that came within 5 feet of him laughing.

When I was little girl I LOVED my grandma's. They were the greatest ladies EVER! My Grandma Howard had a trick that she did. When you least expected it, she would slide her top false teeth forward so they looked like they were going to fall out. That startled me on several occasions. I thought it was the neatest trick EVER!

Grandma Cheney lost about 50 pounds when she was in her 70's. Because her body was older the flesh did not bounce back in her upper arms. This left her with long flaps of skin. Most people would be shy or feel uncomfortable about such a thing. Not our Grandma. She would have the grandchildren feel it, and then push it back and forth to watch it swing. WAY TO GO GRANDMA CHENEY!

My own beloved Mama is now 92. She doesn't have a nifty false upper plate, OR arm flesh flaps that hang down. Yet my Mama has had the same gift for meeting life's changes with charm and humor. One of my favorite quotes is one that she has in her room, "Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape." She continues to find joy in her life, even though her life is now limited by advanced age.

I'm so very grateful for these amazing examples of people in my life. There is a song that I can't remember who sang it but it's called "Rosemary's granddaughter." "I am Rosemary's granddaughter, the spitting image of my father, and when the day is done my mother's still my biggest fan..." I LOVE that song. I'm so grateful for men and women that I'm related to that bring courage, love, and support into my life in good times and bad. There are people that I was related to by birth, and then those beloved individuals that I'm related to by choice.

Now for a few other wonderful women that show me by example courageous ways to live. There are three specifically. Two are daughters that were born to Nyle and I. Then there is one that we did not meet until she was about six years old. She had a Mother, and a family, but still she became part of our family as well.

These three women amaze me with their ability to face life's challenges with courage, hope, and humor. Our youngest girl has been battling an incurable illness, our oldest girl lives with the results of a terrible car accident, and our beloved neighborhood daughter has been adjusting to lactose intolerance and acid reflux. I listened to them with joy today as they laughed and gave each other positive ideas, support, and lots of love.

In this world there is such a tendency to dwell on the negative...stories of crime, hatred, and intolerance. Maybe if we all focus more on the positive...the blessings of our life, and the joys, especially in the hardest of times of our lives...well we can change the world, at least our corner of it.

So, if your arms are stretched beyond redemption...instead of whining, laugh with your grandkids, use your false teeth as a game for your grandkids, or laugh in the face of illness and struggle. I love this quote, "I prefer laughing to crying...crying gives me a headache!"

I'm SO THANKFUL for all the examples of positive living in my life!

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