Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The End of the Tunnel January 17, 2015

It reminds me a bit of when mom had her knee surgery. I got to spend a lot more time with her than usual as she recovered. The nights were long, and contained the occasional tearful cry at 3 a.m. that woke both dad and I up. That part was awful. But all the extra time with her was certainly the silver lining. As was hearing her tell me my snuggles helped her leg feel better. It’s kind of like that again.

Except this time, it’s my dear Aunt Morgan who is recovering. She had something called carpal tunnel surgery on her hands recently. Recovery has been far from easy for her, especially since the surgeries happened surprisingly close together, but it seems to me like the worst is definitely behind us now. Throwback Saturday

The best part is I can say so knowledgably because I’ve been fortunate enough to see it happen. I watched the faint twitch develop into a terrible inconvenience for her before the surgery. I watched her struggle to do a whole lot of anything for the first couple of weeks post-surgery, since her hands were bandaged fairly heavily. And I am happy to report I watched today as she picked up dear baby Carter (a few times) with no issue what-so-ever.

I’ve been fortunate enough to witness all of this first-paw because she’s been around my forever home a lot recently. And I’ve got to say, it bothers me when she points it out like it’s a bad thing. When she says she’s imposing or bothering us or intruding on our plans. Because she never is.

She’s a welcome presence in our forever home. We all think so. And you should see how happy Carter is to see her at any given moment. Beyond that, we all know this is a phase in life that will one day all-too-soon come to an end. So I don’t even listen to that nonsense she says about being around too much.

Instead, I embrace the moments of joy that happen when this segment of my forever family is all together. Like when she picked Carter up so many times today. That was special to me not just because of the love captured in their embrace, but because it demonstrates renewal coming full circle.

She got a fresh start with this surgery. And I know there were probably times when it seemed like the pain would never end. But it is. This too shall pass. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now and it’s a welcome sight.

 

All In the Family January 23, 2014

A memory long forgotten. The motivation to run another mile. The last piece to a mysterious puzzle. In a few precious beats, music can evoke so many reactions deep within our hearts and minds. Today it brought laughter to my living room.

It started simply as it always does. The cast of characters is familiar, including my mom, dad, aunt Morgan, grandma and baby Carter. One second Carter was crying, the next he wasn’t. The crying ceased almost instantly upon the start of mom, Morgan and grandma singing.Family

“A stinky foofter is a smelly fart,” they cooed, “it wafts through the air, making nostrils flair. Some will turn away…others sniff, shrug and stay…a stinky foofter is a smelly fart.” And, as if on cue, a baby foofter resonated through the room as the verse drew to a close. It never ceases to amaze me how such a small person can emit such noises. And (even though he had absolutely no idea what was happening) his comic timing was uncanny.

It was a song they made up when mom and her sister were young. For those of you who are unfamiliar, foofter is our family’s word for fart, as it was long ago deemed less offensive than its counterpart in reference to human gas emission. The song is an ode both to the ridiculousness of the word itself, as well as to the quirks of the family.

Everyone knows it could hardly pass as music to anyone other than us. Most people would probably find it to be absolute gibberish. But it doesn’t matter. It worked. Carter stopped crying. And my people were laughing together. In that moment I felt completely overwhelmed with love for my (albeit admittedly quirky) loved ones. Because that’s the thing about family. From the ground up, we love. Wholeheartedly and completely and in spite of (as well as because of) all the things that make us a unique sum of our parts.

“In every conceivable manner, the family is the link to our past, bridge to our future,” suggested American writer Alex Haley.

Today music brought laughter to my living room. And with it came a reminder. Family. We need them for so much. But sometimes we need them for so little. Like a smile. Or a hug. Or, in my case today, a round of laughter thanks to an absolutely ridiculous bit of nonsense.