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Season to count blessings

Peace, Love & Happy HolidaysThose familiar with this column might recall that my mother is battling cancer.  She is still with us, though her cycles of chemotherapy treatments don’t come with a hope for a cure and will inevitably fail to hold the cancer at bay.

My father’s mobility is continuing to decline: he gets around with a walker and a cane, but he still falls from time to time.  I am holding my breath for a fall that causes the kind of fracture that tends to mark the end.

My parents are not unique, of course; many reading this column are, themselves, living with similar challenges.

So many others live with ailments that limit them physically, psychologically/psychiatrically, and/or limit the time they will have with us.

I write from time to time (some might say “preach”) about the chronic pain and other chronic symptoms that can arise from car crashes, hoping that increased awareness of crash consequences might bring about increased care with driving.

There are countless other injuries and ailments that have a minute by minute, day by day, year by year impact on so many.

And here I am, not a physical hardship to speak of.   My hands feel a little stiff this morning, but that’s the healthy aftermath of spending most of yesterday digging out a snow hut.

Any physical ailments I face are entirely self-inflicted.   My “down days” are the direct consequence of over-drinking and my ever growing girth is a similarly foreseeable consequence of self-affliction.  Apart from my mother and father, those closest to me are wonderfully healthy.

It has taken a few days of down time with the family to reflect on how very, very blessed I am.  That has led to further reflection: the aggravations and challenges I face in my life are so incredibly inconsequential.  The stresses and strains that I use as excuses for being irritable and, at times, self-destructive, are entirely unworthy.

My mother has helped me, by example, with that realization.  She has managed to maintain an incredible optimism and a mood that is consistently more positive than my own.

I should clarify that my sense of “blessing” is not in the religious sense.  If there is a deity handing out blessings, I would be the last on the list to be a beneficiary!

Perhaps we might each of us count our blessings, to assist us with a more positive outlook that will help others do the same.

Best of the Season to all of my Castanet friends, and thank you for your continued interest in my column.


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