It has been difficult for me to blog daily about gratitude this week. As always, this time of year rolls around and my life slowly fills with gloom. I associate the weeks between Halloween and New Year's with bad luck and trouble, especially the week after Christmas. Year after year, bad things happen to me during that week and now I have an almost superstitious dread of it. Things usually start going wrong around now, and the last week of the year is the climax. I realise this sounds melodramatic, but just consider a small sample of things that have gone wrong for me during past holiday seasons:
1. GB and I blew a transmission on I-95 one year while driving to Raleigh, NC to visit family. We were stranded by the interstate for HOURS that day (a Saturday afternoon) with no idea how we were going to get home. It was awful. I cried.
2. Our last dog, an almost 16 year old beloved cocker spaniel named Nicky, got very sick and was in horrible pain the week after Christmas. He had to be put to sleep on Dec. 28. It remains one of the hardest things I ever had to deal with.
3. Last year, I got the news that I (and a handful of people I cared about) would be losing our jobs--also on Dec. 28.
4. My grandfather died unexpectedly on Christmas Day when I was 14. He literally just dropped dead that afternoon, after walking upstairs to get something. It was a heart attack. The doctors said he was dead as soon as he hit the floor.
5. On Thanksgiving a couple of years ago my dad got very sick and had to be admitted to the hospital. They found a blood clot in his leg and had to monitor his condition very closely, since he had/has some serious health problems to begin with. I spent the next few weeks scared that something was going to happen to him.
This is just a small sample of what my holiday seasons have been like throughout my life. There are many, many more things that have happened this time of year that aren't so dramatic. Those were just some of the highlights.
I wonder why certain periods of time are unlucky like this. I know plenty of people who feel the same way about other months or seasons. I wonder if it somehow becomes a self fulfilling prophecy? You get what you expect? I don't know. I sure wish I could find a way to change it if it's within my power! That was one of my reasons for trying to focus on gratitude for the days leading up to Thanksgiving. I was giving it my best shot--focusing on my blessings and what is going right in my life--and hoping that the final weeks of this year would be uneventful and (dare I say it?) happy.
Then yesterday I got a call that my dad was sick and at a doctor's office here in town. I went to sit and wait with him. He had an abscess behind a tooth, near his sinus cavity, that had to be lanced. I know that ordinarily something like that wouldn't be a huge deal (although he felt awful) but for someone with heart problems and problems healing, almost any medical procedure can be risky. I was frightened, and trying not to show it to him or my mom. I kept thinking that if anything did happen to him, with my luck, it would be just this time of year.
Thank goodness, he seemed to be OK after it was over, and his mouth felt better. I spoke to my mom later and she said he was much better, to my great relief. I worry about my dad, especially when some new health issue comes up. So today, this is what I am thankful for: my dad, and the fact that he doesn't seem to be in any serious trouble this time. I'm still having a hard time shaking the nagging fear and worry, though. Especially with the holidays looming.