Sunday, April 5, 2015

Glad Things Don't Never Turn Out

North Carolina Dispatch, April 6, 2015

In the poetic and centuries-old Appalachian dialect, a double negative doesn’t mean a positive but is used instead for emphasis: “She don’t know nothing” instead of she doesn’t know anything. Or “things don't never turn out . . .” for “things never turn out . . .”

But in the case of my current perch – and with apologies to Appalachia -- I’m glad things actually didn’t never turn out. Never has such an air of finality, the absence of any hope. Granted, things haven’t turned out as expected, but by gum they turned out anywho. My Christian friends would say God answered my prayer, he just didn’t answer the way I wanted. 

I admit, when we found out Carey had cancer it was easy at first to give in to an emotional maelstrom, to spiral downwards in misery, anger, and fear. 
But, OMG, that downer mindset is exhausting. I don’t know how pessimists do it.  It was actually heavier to bear than Carey’s prognosis.  You got to be in great shape to be that miserable. Maybe I'm lazy, but it's way easier to just appreciate life's goodness.

Here are a few things that recently made me glad.

Baby Kisses: Worth their weight in gold.
I’m glad to be able to spend time with my grandsons, 3-year old Elijah, and 8-month old Carver. It’s a rare opportunity and I know many people my age who ache to be with their grandbabies.
I’m also glad whenever there's a full box of diaper wipes handy. Just saying. 
Carey's post-chemo meal of ramen noodles and dry toast.
Three times a day every day for the first few days.
Thank you, makers of noodles, broth, and bread.
On a scale of 1 to 10, Carey’s nausea normally measures a full-blown 10 following each chemo cycle. But this time he says it never got past a 7. Think I’m not happy about that? Think again.
Patty Jo amusing the giggles out of Carver 

And this beauty, my daughter-in-law Patty Jo, who tirelessly ensures doctor appointments are made and kept, medicine is taken, the dog is walked, children fed, and STILL found time to root for her Michigan State Spartans through March Madness. I’m so very glad she’s a strong part of our family.

An average reading selection

We're a family of bibliophiles and have collectively read nearly every genre out there. So it came as no surprise to see this volume of Ezra Pound cantos alongside Dr. Seuss' Fox in Socks. 

But it still makes me laugh.

Eldest son Cody enjoying some Eli time.

I’m glad for the quiet steadfast strength of our oldest son Cody. I could not rest easy when overseas if I didn’t know cool Uncle Cody was close by in Virginia. Always so willing to do whatever we ask of him.  Even happy to risk a little blue cake frosting on a clean white shirt.

(Someone please come up with a caption for this!)

Things often end up where they don't belong. Sometimes it's frustrating, like when I can't find my car keys. Other times, like this, it's just adorbs.

Carey and sons. If I could bottle and sell this energy . . .
Any level of energy between chemo treatments is a welcome sight for this gray-haired momma. Carey's almost halfway through his chemo and still manages to get down on the floor and rough-house with his boys. Heart-gladdening horse play.


The Cunning Man and the Generous Rex

And finally this man.  For 32 years, my husband and closest friend, Rex, who not only understands the gravity of it all, but manages to make me laugh through it. He recently sent me a text that said: “Spend liberally.” What’s not to love?

Cancer has completely torn down our family’s plans and hopes. It’s forced us to reconstruct, to find another way. But it didn’t decree how we did that. That was our choice.
And I’m glad just to be glad again.