Monday, 2 January 2012

2011: Sunshine in the land of the living

The glass is usually half full in my life.
I'm just that sort of person.
Life has hit me with a few body slams. Of course, it has. You don't get to be 55 without losses and disappointments, and I try to take them in stride.
But I have to say, being on Facebook makes me even more grateful for a relatively stable and uneventful life.
Two years ago, one of the my university friends lost her mother and brother within days of each other. Mom died suddenly of a heart attack and brother died in a car crash. Last year, my friend lost her father.
While many of us were opening presents and toasting the baby Jesus, Rose spent Christmas eve rattling around the old homestead, by herself, talking to ghosts.
Another Facebook friend had to take her dog in for emergency surgery just before New Year's and had to cancel a planned and deserved holiday.
Yet another Facebook friend had to put down her ailing retriever on New Year's Day. She was absolutely devastated.
There is sad news today that my cousin Bruce Simpson died early this morning; at the age of 59, he lost his battle with dementia.
I didn't know cousin Bruce well. He was a close and admired friend of my brother Bob. I've never heard of anyone having dementia that young, and it seems holy unfair that a disease associated with old age could snuff the candle of someone who was so vibrant.
I was reading all of this last night while pondering a visit to the ER. I took a nasty tumble down a flight of stairs just before suppertime after getting my legs tangled in a gaggle of canines.
I wrenched my ankle fairly badly and it blew up like a football.
I was sure I'd broken my ankle but opted for RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and cocktails rather than an eight-hour visit to the Ottawa Hospital. I just couldn't face a showdown with all the skiers and the drunks.
I was at the hospital on Hallowe'en.
On holidays, they have ONE doctor.
I didn`t relish a repeat performance.
Still hurting this morning, I am able to bear weight on my foot and the swelling has gone down, so it appears I made the right choice -- red wine and Baileys and a nice turkey dinner -- over snotty nosed kids and holiday yahoos.
I'm missing my daily jaunt to the gymnasty, and I'm expecting a week off at least, but I can't help but feel grateful.
And I can't help but think that my decision to get fit last year has paid off demonstrably. I fell down a flight of stairs, wrenched my ankle and landed on my hands and yet I do not appear to have broken any bones. My wrists aren't sore either.
Strength training has indeed paid off.
I`m also lucky.
Bones and tissue mend quickly but hearts take a long time to heal.
My love and best wishes go out to the broken hearted on this day.
To Rose, Retriever Fred`s mom, Leslie, and to cousin Julie who lost her brother. To Freda, Bruce's devoted wife.

And to Fred, the retriever. May you always run in fields of gold.
Today, I pray for sunshine for those of us lucky enough to be in the land of the living.

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