Friday, December 10, 2010

Disappointments & Blessings

I am an optimistic person by nature.  It's not that I see life & all of its happenings through rose-colored glasses or that I muster up some sort of false cheer that everything's going to end up "happily ever after".  It's more that I think that every situation contains a lesson to be learned or a blessing of some sort.  I believe what God says, that He "works all things together for good for those who love Him & are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).  It seems to me that this is the very sort of situation that we have right now over here at the Bungalow.

It started off I guess a little more than a week ago when Michael realized that this just might be the perfect year to make the trek back to LA for Christmas.  Being a cardiac surgical unit ICU nurse, he's slated to work either Christmas Eve or Day every year on a rotating schedule.  It's worked out so that this is the first year since we married where we could actually be in LA for Christmas!  That means we could be with my family on my birthday.  We could go to the Christmas Eve service, we could sneak over to my brother's house early Christmas morning to watch our nieces & nephew open their presents, & we could have the traditional Christmas morning breakfast with my parents followed by the even more traditional mid-day feast.

We could, but we won't.  Unless you're completely new to our humble little blog, you know that my sweet baby girl - Ginger - has end-stage cancer.  She's getting chemo treatments weekly now, which are becoming less & less effective.  Those weekly treatments coupled with the fact that we are somewhere close to the end sounded the death knoll for our LA Christmas dreams.  And so enters the disappointment.  Not that I begrudge my time here with her, not in the least.  But I am sorry to have to miss another Christmas with my family.

I try not to allow myself much time for wallowing in disappointments.  I find doing otherwise to be completely unhelpful & counterproductive.  So, I search for a lesson or a blessing, & I don't have to look far before I find quite a few here!  Of course, at the top of that list is time with Ginger.  I'm not sure how much longer we'll have her - God has already blessed us with so much more time than we ever expected possible - & I want to enjoy her for however long that will be.  It can be rather stressful to travel almost 7 hours with a dog that loves to bark at motorcycles, 18-wheelers, & bridges.  (Okay, in the name of honesty, I love that & even encourage it, but it stresses everyone else, which stresses me.)  We get to avoid that, as well as the stress of having to watch over said dog in someone else's home.  Another blessing is the ability to celebrate Christmas in our own home observing our own traditions, which are always fun for young families to develop.  In a similar vein, we can be quiet & peaceful rather than running to & fro as we always do when we go back to my hometown.  Of course, we'll get to be with Michael's family - his sister & her family are some of my favorite people - which is always wonderful.  Finally, it's our tradition that I go with Michael to work & sit in an out-of-the-way corner so that we're not apart on Christmas.  With us being here instead of traveling back from LA, we'll both be rested for that.

So!  Yes, there's a little disappointment, but there are lots of blessings to be found, too!  Blessings that I thank God for & am actually really looking forward to!