A Subdued Start

It’s been said, “The world isn’t interested in the storms you encountered, but whether or not you brought in the ship.” While the purpose of this quotation is to motivate, it totally misses the mark. It is about getting through the storm. A storm batters. It challenges the spirit and tests the character of those affected. Whether one emerges whole, no worse for wear, it is important to know how to weather the storm. If one is floundering, many others are in position to offer their help, whatever it may be.  In my previous life, our credo was to do the right thing, every time, all the time. If someone asks for your help, you help by offering your best effort. You don’t have time to stand around mulling over the situation. If you don’t offer help, then no one will come to your aid when you need it.

My family and I have encountered such a storm over the long, holiday weekend. It began in the late morning hours of Thanksgiving Day, last Thursday. I checked in with my parents, in advance of dinner, which we were privileged to host. Andrea’s parents already had called saying they didn’t want to venture out with the deteriorating weather (icing conditions), perfectly understandable. Laurie’s dad, Ben, was staying in Texas to celebrate the holiday with Cindy (Laurie’s sister) and her family. Since my parents do not live far, I would pick them up drive them here, and drive them home sometime after dinner. That was the plan.

When I arrived, my dad had his hands full. Mom was having a very bad case of the chills. She repeatedly asked for our help though we were both at her side covering her with a pair of quilts and a heavy comforter. We even heated towels in the dryer to cover mom. The 30 minutes of witnessing this episode is one I would not want to revisit. Dad and I saw the distress in her eyes, on her face. With Laurie and Andrea called in to handle an emergency at the hospital, we depended upon ourselves to take on the storm. Laurie and Andrea saw mom late in the afternoon, doing what they know and do best. The culprit may have been a minor flu bug. Though mom was frail already, this has challenged her considerably. She is slowly recovering her strength. Similarly, her appetite is sketchy at best.

Though our holiday season is beginning very subdued, we hope to reclaim some of the joy often found at this time of the year. We have good friends who have offered, and are offering, many prayers on a continuing basis. Also, mom’s one-time nutritional counselor is more than happy to offer any kind of help on the appetite front.

The seas remain very rough, but we are confident we will find our way to calmer waters and safe harbor.


About the photo

A heavy marine layer and rough surf at the beach, in late June 2015, near Dana Point, CA.