Written by Family Support Worker Joan Buczek
Part 1 of 2
On Thursday the 21st of December my twenty one year old daughter Nitana flew in from California where she has been residing for the last two years. She wanted to spend a couple of days with her great grandmother in Massachusetts.
My plan would be to pick her up on the twenty third and bring her to Vermont to spend the holidays with us.
On the twenty third I arrived at grams house where a few family members were gathered. Nitana opened the door. I hadn’t seen her since last October. Our eyes locked and I was instantly taken back to the day I gave birth and looked into her eyes for the very first time. I fell in love all over again. We hugged and cried and laughed all at the same time. We sat in the living room with our other family members including my eleven year old daughter, Nehanda, who remarked that seeing her sister “felt like a dream”. We shared stories of the good old days until late that evening and were all thankful that we could be together during the holidays.
The next day Nitana, Nehanda, and I set off on a four hour drive back to Vermont. Nitana shared stories of her adventures and people that she has met while living California. She told me about her boyfriend Wesley and how he had taken a trip to India to go rock climbing. He shared with her many of his experiences with the people of India.
One of the things that struck him was their positive attitude about everything. In India one wakes up in the morning expecting to have a great day. If the day becomes stressful one is encouraged to clap three times and say “Yes, yes, yes this is going to be the best day’! Indians say that this positive gesture never fails. Nehanda thought it sounded like Sponge Bob Square Pants “This is going to be the best day ever’! We all had a good laugh. Anyone who has ever seen Sponge Bob knows that no matter what horrible thing happens his positive attitude turns it around. Maybe Sponge Bob isn’t such a stupid cartoon after all. We talked about India a lot on the way home. It was a good ride.
We had a wonderful Christmas together and before we knew it New years eve was upon us. I sat with a glass of champagne and watched the New York city countdown to 2011.
I couldn’t help but think of what a tough year 2010 had been. My daughter Nehanda’s father passed away in July, my favorite cat who was sixteen died of old age, the transmission and drive shaft on my car went and the real estate market was so bad it forced my guy to take a second job.
After a few moments of reminiscing it occurred to me that I was a blessed woman. Yes, Nehanda’s dad was taken from us too soon, but we were able to get to the hospital on Cape Cod and spend two days with him before he passed. When we returned home we were able to talk to him almost every day. It was getting hard for him to talk but he passed knowing how much we loved him. Some people don’t get that kind of closure.
It’s funny because he never called me by my real name. He always called me Jay. I never asked him why. I guess I never really cared. Turns out I was the last person to hear him speak and do you know what he said? He said “I love you JOAN”. I am grateful.
Yes, my favorite cat Angel passed away. He was the best little guy ever. When he started getting really old we used to laugh because nothing bothered him. My other cats run at the slightest little sound but old Angel wouldn’t even get out of the way for the lawn mower to pass by. We gave him a good life. He died in my arms knowing how much he was loved. What are the odds of me being home during that last half hour of his life? I am grateful.
Yes, my car cost a pretty penny to repair but I had the money, and some people don’t. I am grateful. Yes my guy had to take a second job but at least there was a job for him to take. I am grateful.
Yes, my daughter lives a long way from Vermont but she has turned out to be a lovely human being and I am grateful for any time I am able to spend with her.
Yes, life is painful sometimes but I choose (and it is a choice) to look at the wonderful in every situation.
As hard as last year was, I am grateful for it. It reinforced what I have always believed was important. Gratitude.
I am grateful for the man in my life and all the friends, co workers, and family members who helped me through 2010.
I am grateful to still be here contemplating 2011. I choose to expect a miracle every day.
Yes, yes, yes this is going to be the best year ever!