I woke up to my 6:00 am alarm with a stretch and some deep breaths. I turn on the bedside lamp, having the light on helps me stay awake. 6:15, still in bed trying to convince myself to get up and get a shower. The arguments in my head are many.
“It’s too cold!”
“You don’t need a shower, let’s just stay in bed.”
“Get your ass up and shower, we are supposed to be there at 8:00!”
“We need to wash our hair, we have to get up now if we are going to not be rushed”
I force myself up and walk across the hall to the shower. I dislike showering. Actually, it isn’t showering that I dislike. Once in the shower I could stay for an hour, I love it. I have found that it is the transition part that I hate. The transition from cold to warm, dry to wet. It is just…. ugh… almost painful in a way. I have to force myself to shower, every time. Pretty sure that is not normal.
But today I must, and I must do it quickly because I have to leave at 7:15 and I have to let the van warm up and scrape snow and ice off of it before I go. I manage a quick shower and blow dry my hair a bit. On the way back to the bedroom to get dressed I smell coffee. Hubby is up too and he has made coffee and is taking Greaser out, Greaser is my 15-year-old miniature poodle. I am grateful for how thoughtful my hubby is being today. I get dressed.
Dressed in the layers Michigan weather requires, I make my way to the kitchen. Hubby has poured me a sippy cup of coffee to take with me and I also hear the van running. Super thoughtful this morning. Again, I am thankful.
I begin my drive. The sun is rising. Soft cotton candy clouds are on the horizon set against a powdery blue sky. The trees are covered in snow. The snow reflecting blues and pinks with the light and colors of the rising sun is so freaking beautiful. I have forgotten just how much I love this time of day. It has been a while since I have risen with the sun. A long while. I am grateful for the beauty and the reminder that my soul needs this. I mentally make a note to make myself get out of bed early more often.
I make it to my destination. Mom’s house. A little ranch house surrounded by trees and filled with all sorts of books and knickknacks. Her husband greets me and fills me in on what meds she has taken and what she will need and when. I am thankful for her husband, he takes such good care of her.
My 80 year old mother, has just had back surgery to fix a degenerative disk that was pinching nerves and causing her excruciating pain. She told me before the surgery that she felt she has nothing to lose by choosing the surgery, as she was already in pain so if it didn’t work then she is still in pain, no biggy. Also, although she very much wants to live, she isn’t afraid of death. If the surgery helps and she can get back to LIVING and doing the things that she loves the risk is worth it. I agree with her. I am thankful for her warrior spirit and desire to LIVE.
I now sit here in her quiet house. She is sleeping in her easy chair, snowy white hair tussled around her shoulders. She is cuddled in crocheted afghans with her cat, Serenity, resting on her legs. I watch her breathing, thankful for each breath and that she is still here. Mom has been through so much in the last few years; Breast cancer, mastectomy, radiation, heart surgery, a small stroke as a result of the heart surgery. Then, while in therapy to recover from the stroke, Covid hit her hard… twice! Still, she fights and fights hard to live her best life.
She has a long road ahead to gain her strength back and heal, but she will. It will be good to see her able to walk without pain again. She is looking forward to kayaking, hiking, metal detecting, and visiting lighthouses and nature sites. I am looking forward to see her smile again.
I have much to be grateful for. No matter how ugly life can be, there is still so much to be grateful for.