Goodreads quotes it by Allen Saunders, but I always think of it from the song Beautiful Boy, by John Lennon. I can't think of a truer statement to advise any child.
This holiday season was the first time I remember actually feeling the Christmas spirit; the anticipation of seeing family, tree hunting with my son, and decorating our pine smelling treasure neighbors would see from our window in our our apartment on the beach. I was looking forward to big family gatherings and hearing my son laugh with his cousins, like a song I never want to end. The holiday season is magic and I was looking forward to ringing in the new year with our friends on the beach, holding my son with pots and pans at the ready to make noise at midnight. Yes, I was busy making plans.
Then, for many of us with plans, life happened. I was admitted into the emergency room after Thanksgiving Dinner. One week later, I was diagnosed with an infection in a bone in my toe called Osteomyelitis. If untreated, or not caught in time, the infected bone would have had to to be removed. Luckily, because of my proactive attention to my body, and wonderful healthcare provided by the Veteran's Administration, I have access to the best treatment there is: six weeks of IV antibiotics every eight hours.
I am unable to administer the IV antibiotics at home, so I will be admitted into a long term care unit here at the VA, where I will be able to get my medication dispensed without the risk of missing a dose, and the ability to keep my foot as immobile as possible. I don't like to ask fro so much help, but this is a situation with no room for error. I am very attached to the bone in my toe.
On the surface it sounds like the end of the world. And
yesterday for about an hour, it was. Then I decided to change the plans I had. Of course I aways have a choice, I can complain about not getting the holiday season I wanted with son, but that would be an invalid complaint. And for me, unless a complaint is going to bring about change, I refuse to waste my time with them. So, however will I get through what could be the worst possible holiday season ever? Easier than one would think. I jet have to adapt my plans to my medical needs. Sure, it could suck, but it doesn't have to.
My son can come visit me and we can have small adventures. There is art to be done, lunch in this amazing city of Long Beach and playing in the park between infusions. We can take what life has "happened" and make it special. Sure, there will be no tree in our home or baking cookies and decorating, but I bet we can find a good bakery to bring back to my room. And even though I won't be able to ice skate with him as I planned, there is a google of things to do, I just need to look them up and see what other adventures we can have.
Life gets ugly at times, but ugly times never last if I look for what's possible. Everything worth having, takes some work and some things take more work than others. And yes, sometimes, I do want to crawl into a ball and sleep until the ugliness passes. I tried that in the '00's and I missed an awful lot. And I do take time to process these things that happen that interrupt my plans by drawing under my covers for a short pity-party. I have learned to keep my pity parties t a short guest list of one, and leave very early. It's okay to grieve over a loss, but it's even more important is to move on and don;t stay so long at those pity parties. Wel, at least that's what works for me.
So this holiday season, my son and I will making up plans as we go along. We will be together, and there is nothing more magical.