Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sometimes Things Go Wrong

Sometimes, they go terribly wrong. The worst thing happens. And it's the holidays, which somehow weights bad news with heavier lead than in, say, summer, or spring. Maybe it's because we know we will think forevermore, "Thanksgiving = Mom dying," or "Christmas was when that drunk driver ruined our lives."

My mom died 21 years ago, not on any holiday. I've not been in a horrific car accident this month, nor has anyone I know. But something has gone wrong, terribly wrong, and it's private. The thing that was never supposed to happen did, as happens in life, and I'm old enough to know that, well, shit happens. To all of us. At any moment. In spite of holidays.

This isn't a plea for sympathy or prayers. This is a statement of fact, and I say it only because I know that sometimes things go wrong for you, too. At the worst possible time. The thing that was never going to happen didn't care that you ate green leafy vegetables or sprinkled salt on the icy sidewalk or sent your son to the best doctor in the city. It happened anyway.

So let us just stand together silently, those of us with these wrong things happening, and be solid in our conviction: This is a part of my life, just as happiness and good events are. It does not change who I am even though it makes me horribly sad or angry or frightened. I'll curse and cry and mope and wallow, and I'll get through it. I will still find joy in life, take breaks from awfulness, and ask for help and support and love and talking and forgetting when I need to.

And I'll notice all the things going right all around me. Every day.


  1. Such a great reminder to pay attention to the things that are going right, Jennie. Peace to you, and love always... Here's to celebrating the good things, even amidst the shit-- but wallow and swear as much as you need. I just said a few choice sailor-worthy comments out loud for you, and I'll pass on some genuine joy and gratitude aloud as soon as other ears are near, too. xox

  2. Update: I am not sick. I am not dying. Sorry to have worried anyone about that. No one I know is sick or dying. I was trying to use general examples of things going wrong. My thing is private because it is about someone I love. Lord knows I keep very few things about myself private. :-)

  3. Jennie,

    I realize this is not being silent. But what you wrote is beautiful and so real and I am moved by it. By the fact that being alive, being HERE, means taking it all, all that this life brings.