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Suburban Island

Homeward Bound
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2003, 12:58 a.m.

QUESTION: How many times do we count our problems instead of our blessings?

WHAT I LEARNED: Step up to the plate.

Sitting on the plane on my way back to my own daily life, I have a little time to consider what I take for granted:

  • My health,
  • My family,
  • Friends,
  • An education,
  • A roof over my head,
  • Wheels,
  • Food on the table...

And of course – the uplifting quality of faith when times get tough.

I am glad that I was able to visit my friend in Atlanta right after her surgery so I could be some help and support to her. I am not a natural nurse but I am a natural mother and so I had to call on my maternal instincts to get me through things like emptying drains and such – which I had never considered until after my arrival. Imagine my surprise at receiving instructions on my first night on how to milk tubing and empty drains by a visiting friend who is also an oncology nurse. My friend is the most stoic woman in the world. I am sure I would be whining and complaining but she never did an ounce of moaning and groaning. Considering that, I figured the least I could do is shut up and start my late career as an aging Cherry Ames, visiting nurse.

When I was going through my own battle with cancer over 12 years ago, my mom came and stayed with me for a week after every round of chemo. She made meals, straightened up, and took good care of me. I really appreciated it. I know after a few days of helping out my friend that it is a two-way street. I was so happy to get that help from my mom so many years ago. However, this experience with my friend has reminded me of how rewarding it is to do the helping and how much love can go into some small task like vacuuming a room, washing a load of clothes, filling a dishwasher, or making a meal, when those things are making someone’s life a little easier at a time when that really matters for them.

I’m no Mother Teresa but my friend has clean sheets on the beds, a vacuumed house, a couple stacks of clean laundry, and my undying gratitude for letting me come down when she got out of the hospital to help out for a few days. Sometimes giving is better than getting or maybe it is just that sometimes when you give you get back in way that may surprise you.

Thanks again to everyone who has kept my friend in their prayers and in their thoughts recently. She is still not out of the woods, so keep it up! Our dear Christopher of spritopias fame, and who is soon to celebrate his 1000 diary entry, recently noted that I have never provided my friend’s name in the course of these diary entries. Duly noted Christopher – her name is Linda.

Goodnight, from the wild blue yonder and a 9:40 PM Delta Flight home.

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