It was pointed out to me this morning, by someone I love more than life itself, someone who has been a crutch to me, a financial support in desperate times, a loving advisor, a shoulder to cry on, that perhaps I should focus more on the good things in my life.
And I heard her loud and clear. I mean, I have a home, and it's actually quite a pleasant one, if small. I am able to feed my family. I am richly loved and befriended. I have not died of breast or ovarian cancer, as might have been my lot had I been born even ten years earlier than I was.
Of course, on Friday my van -- which I affectionately refer to as the "scheissbox" -- broke down on the MassPike as I was driving Benjy to a much-needed psychiatry appointment at Mass General, so I may not be QUITE so lucky, all things considered. I mean, that was SCARY. And the last time our family broke down on the MassPike, in 2008, it was 2 years before Ben would ride on any highway again. Even a big road would cause acute panic. (I bet you thought only soldiers got PTSD.) So I did feel pretty sorry for both of us that day. Especially Benjy, whose fear, as usual, waxed ginormous. And he never got his psych session.
On the other hand, yesterday I got to spend two-and-a-half hours at a salon having my hair colored and being treated like someone special -- although most people probably just take things like that for granted.
So yeah, there's some stuff to be thankful for. Also, I do not live in Syria or Afghanistan or a myriad of other places it would be unfortunate for me to live in at the moment.
Wow, I felt awful. I know she did not mean to make me feel so. I know it was meant as a helpful suggestion. All this sadness is toxic, both to me and the people around me. I KNOW THIS.
So I sat on my couch and cried a little and resolved to be a better person and more thankful for what I've got and to talk less about Benjy when I talk to people.
Five minutes ago he woke up walked down the stairs, wrapped in a blanket.
"Hi, Mom," he said, and sat down beside me. I was on Facebook. He looked down at the lower right corner of my screen.
"Two-twenty-four-thirteen" he said. He said it again. And again, as he made his way toward the stairs. I knew what had happened. His laptop sometimes decides to change the date on him. We don't know why, but it screws up his gaming.
When he was halfway up the stairs I said, "Do you know what day it is?"
"Yeah," he replied. "Saturday. No, Sunday."
But of course he lost the date. "So Mom, what's the date again?"
"But what's that? April? June? November?"
I tried to keep my voice from shaking as I answered. "February, Ben. It's February."
"OK Mom. Thanks."
My son is wearing Depends. He is not certain whether the second month of the year is April, June, or November. He barely connects with anyone anymore. He is not the person I used to know.
Why the fuck do I have to be grateful for anything right now? I guess I just have to be aware of how my grief affects others. Because I can see that it does -- and the very last thing I want to do is bring anyone else down with me.
That includes you, Dear Readers. Sorry this blog has become such a bummer! There MIGHT actually be some good news to report soon. So don't jump ship yet!