On February 8th (date is not from memory, I had to look it up) our furnace was broken for a week, and I wrote a blog post titled “Just Because It’s Bad Doesn’t Mean It’s Going To Get Worse”.
In a gallows humor way, this is now absolutely hilarious to me.
Did you know that the death of a loved one, moving, and change of job circumstances are three of the six most stressful things that can happen to you? (Yes, I looked that up, too. The other three are major illness, incarceration, and divorce, if you were curious.) I haven't (and won't) write about some of it here, but, for awhile--between my family and my clients and the IKEA furniture that needed to be put together--I was having a recurring nightmare that I was a mother cat trying to rescue my kittens from a fire. There were 10 of them; I could save 3, and I had 5 seconds to choose with all of them looking up at me plaintively with their sweet pink noses.
At the same time, my family was...nope, scratch that...is...surrounded by love. Like, hardcore, real, amazing love. Our friends showed up and moved everything for us. We didn't have to make dinner for a solid two weeks. We've had help painting and fence building and child wrangling. My co-workers have kept me on the rails and backed me up and let me talk and cry and then talk more. (Really, y'all, I'm incessant when I'm trying to process things. I try to not, but it's bad.)
With the help of all that love, I got one of my kittens to safety today, unofficially at least, and it feels so good. Incandescently good.
Make no mistake, we are still healing. There are so many things I wish I'd said, so much I wish I could have fixed, and my three favorite humans need so much of my extra love right now. It's complicated and messy and most days I'm angry and sorry and exhausted and all of the things all at once. (Because, for reals, the hallway took four coats of paint. Four.)
That being said, something I've been particularly mindful of this past month is that you really (really) never know how much time you have. You can't help the past, but if there are things you have to say now, you should say them. In that same vein--and somehow, I feel like my mother-in-law would appreciate this--when you are happy you need to notice it. Shout it out, even. Get a fancy cocktail and have a toast. Raise your arms in a big "V" and scream from the mountaintop.
At some point in the next few weeks--when that kitten gets official--I'm going to go buy myself a real nice glass of scotch or maybe even get a tattoo. But, in the meantime, picture me, arms up, shouting to the sunrise: I am happy. I have so much hope for the future. I don't know my endings from my beginnings right this very second, but I know that, even if it takes a bit, we're all going to be ok. Because I'm going to make it so.