I have recently enjoyed an unusual amount of time with my mom, who (from what I can tell) has had some sort of very painful surgery on her right leg. While I try not to think too much about my time on the streets, I recognize now that those down times have helped me embrace all sources of positivity in life.
Don’t get me wrong, I am hardly happy that my favorite person is hurting so badly that her occasional 3 a.m. tearful cry of pain wakes my dad and I both up. In fact, I feel her cries in a way I can’t quite figure out how to describe. But I do recognize that it is most likely because she is recovering from this surgery that she hasn’t been leaving every day to go wherever she goes for all those hours at a time. The extra time with her – as well as her visitors – has been such an unexpected blessing. I do try to see good in all things, but trying sure gets a lot easier when good things come as a surprise.
I’m certain that must be why mom spends such an inordinate amount of time wrapping boxes up with pretty paper and ribbons this time of year…the packaging becomes an element of whimsy that elevates something that might seem ordinary to one person into something extraordinary to another.
This got me to thinking about those unexpected moments that make life worth living. When I got my fresh start in my new home, I made the decision to seek out things that make me happy no matter how insignificant they may seem. Fortunately for me, I have some pretty silly parents who seem to share a similar philosophy.
Whimsical or otherwise, I have noticed that my mom has a set of traditions focused around her gift wrapping regime. She puts together a plate of goodies (often including a treat or two for me, bless her heart) and turns on something I’ve heard her call “Love, Actually.” The story that unfolds on the big moving window inevitably makes her cry what I hope are happy tears, regardless of how many times she has seen it.
Though the storyline lacks any canine appearances, I have come to appreciate the meaning behind the surprising ways the stories between the various characters intertwine. More importantly, I appreciate how my outlook on life aligns with the closing line in the picture story that “if you look for it,” joy “actually is all around.”
I suppose that would be my voice of encouragement to both my canine and human pals this holiday season – take time amidst the hustle and bustle to revel in life’s little surprises.