I’ve been reminded this month that if we are fortunate, day-to-day events follow a trajectory of highs and lows, moderate ascents and descents that we navigate with pleasure or annoyance accordingly. That’s how my December transpired. Good news and bad news.
Bad news. My dad had a fall and landed back in the hospital, followed by a stint in long-term care. We were warned once again that he can’t go home alone. This time we accepted that fact, but had no plan in place.
Good news. A local personal-care facility had one bed available exactly when we needed it for dad. It’s a homey place where he has independence. The coffee pot is on all day and three meals are served in a cheery dining room.
Bad news. We must now empty his apartment that remained furnished with all my parents’ antiques and collectibles, none of which had been touched since my mom’s death six years ago.
Good news. Every one of the grandchildren shows interest in taking the vintage furniture. Plus, a local antique dealer will take all the collectibles to an early January auction.
Good news. My dad settled in his new residence in time for Tami and me to enjoy our sister-getaway to Waverly, New York.
Bad news. Tami, who traveled to Waverly with sister-Kim and my niece Stevie, had a flat tire after dark near Olean, N. Y.
Good news. The local Walmart stayed open just to fix the tire. I arrived at the B & B earlier and met my other niece, Holly. We sipped wine and had a great one-on-one visit in front of the fire.
Good news. The holidays arrived with moderate temperatures. Tami arranged for dad to attend numerous holiday events.
Bad news. My dad wants to know when he’ll be well enough to return to his apartment.
Good news. Paul and I spent a fun Christmas with Reed and his daughters in Canada.
Bad news. Freezing rain halted our travel back to the U. S. from Reed’s house.
Good news. We stayed over and spent extra time with the grand girls.
Bad news. When we headed home the wait at the border lasted forever.
Good news. I studied our passports and found meaningful quotations recorded there.
Bad news. The ice caused a power outage.
Good news. The wait at the border delayed us long enough that the power was restored when we arrived home.
As adults we learn to deal with disappointment, solve problems, and take comfort when unexpected good fortune arrives. Analytics might reveal a median rendering of events and emotions. Highs and lows averaged as expected life experience.
I observe that some individuals traverse a course above the median, always appearing to thrive and enjoy thrill after thrill. Others I know appear to tread below the norm, facing more than their deserved share of struggles. Whether each life realizes a fair balance I cannot know.
As long as life’s graph peaks and dips within sensible parameters, people cope. What I can’t figure out is what happens when the life-line goes haywire, plunges to extreme depths, and people experience devastating loss. That has been the case for many. What long stretch of blessed events, good news, or future joy can ever bring a life back into balance?
I hope such sacrifice establishes a debt of joy owed these individuals beyond anything imagined. And that they might claim their happiness in due time rendering their expected life experience balanced at last.