Friday, January 3, 2014

A 3 a.m. thank you

It's 3 a.m..  Trying to get back to sleep, thinking about a zillion things and nothing.  I started replaying yesterday in my head.

It must be said:  I have an awesome family.

My parents and my sister came over yesterday to do stuff.  I got a call from mom who said:  "we're coming over, we're going to help where we can, what time do you want us there?"

Ummm, ok.

So they cleaned, threw my stockings filled with ice on to the roof, put plastic on a window, did laundry, changed some lightbulbs.  Stuff you should do but put off.

My mom and dad - in their 70's - have been married 53 years.  What a big deal!  They seem physically smaller lately.  But they are still giants in my eyes.

My mom has a forgiving heart, that whole unconditional love thing.  A mom heart, I suppose.  She'll give you her time, a loan, advice, a kick in the ass when you need it most and want it least.  She's pretty.  She has the white-gray hair you envy.  She'll tell you she's wrinkly and wonders about a face lift.  I'll tell you she looks great.  A life, well-lived.  In my eyes, the ideal of aging gracefully.

My dad is a quiet leader.  He's honest and true, he lives by his convictions.  I'd say that I live my life in gray places, in uncertain shadows.  He lives a life in black and white.  He wants to climb Mount Everest.  At 70, he road his bike to New Orleans.  He does these big things that make you go "wow" but he does these little things - taking the grandkids skiing or iceskating, coming over to fix my door and put in smoke detectors, he shows up at every single football game of my brother's - it's these little things that make me say wow.

My sister is 7 years younger than me.  She's married with two boys.  She's the energizer bunny.  I don't know how she does it.  She works.  She's a full time mom.  She took the time to come over and clean my laundry room when I'm sure she had 1000 other things to do.  She came over with food I could put in the freezer,which is the third go-round on the food.  "No big deal," she says, "just made some extra."  It's a big deal.

I live in between my parents and my sister so we're close.  Close in proximity.  Close in heart.

My brother doesn't live as close.  We aren't as close.  But I know, I really truly know, that not if, but when I need him in the coming months, years,  he will be here.  His girlfriend (wait!  fiance!) has made us food, has offered support.  That whole family thing.  It's a blessing.

My laundry is caught up and the laundry room is cleaned out.  Bags of donations lugged up to the garage.  It feels good, light.  One or two less worries.  But what feels even better is the knowledge that when I need it, even when I don't ask, my family is there.

I'm a grateful daughter.  A fortunate sister.

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