Staying open to positives

Dear President Trump,

Today it’s been exactly a month since our brother-in-law (BIL) passed away. I’m guessing countless people have previously observed this in the aftermath of a close one’s death, but it seems simultaneously like we just left his hospice room a few minutes ago and like it’s been more than a year since he died. Or maybe my bad sense of time is really what’s going on here. I’m not sure. Either way, it’s a strange experience to not have a good temporal handle on his death.

It’s also possible that things are fuzzy for me because we are in the final countdown in terms of launching our daughter off to college and it’s frankly hard to reconcile this major new beginning for her with the enormous loss of BIL. Then there is the lack of sleep. Last night our daughter called and woke us up because she’d been bitten quite badly by a dog on her hand and needed to go to the ER. She’s ok (nothing broken, didn’t end up needing stitches) but it was a long, long night. I am really happy, though, that she knew she needed to get it evaluated right away and has handled everything really well. It does help the mom-confidence level quite a bit to know she’s really very sensible.

Because I was feeling a mix of tired, raw, and sad most of the day I decided to look for positives to buoy me up and I made a list. 1) I checked some key stuff off my work “to-do” list; 2) crossing the street from work to get to my car people stopped right away to let me pass on both the southbound segment and the northbound segment (there’s a median in the middle of this major thoroughfare), which basically has never ever happened before; 3) I saw a hawk up on a light post on the freeway and a female jay in a tree when I was almost home, and 4) we had a nice dinner with the kind young friends who are going to house and dog sit for us while we are gone this weekend and next weekend. So even though I’m in a serious “one day at a time” mode right now, there are some bright spots to be grateful for if I remember to stay open to everything that’s going on and not just fixate on the negatives.

May we get through our days safely.
May we be happy to notice little positives, especially when life feels heavy.
May we take care of ourselves and one another.
May we choose kindness and perhaps make someone’s day a little easier to bear.

Tracy Simpson

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