Skip to main content

Bright, Sunshiny Day

This has been a heck of a week.  Lots of craziness ensued with the anticipation and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the monster storm/perfect storm/weather event that could not be stopped.  Schedules have been disrupted, property has been damaged, and lives have been changed.  The recovery begins.

My Mountains
In between the madness, I took a scheduled trip to Boone, NC.  The primary purpose was a guest lecture opportunity at my former alma mater, Appalachian State University.  One of my former professors is teaching a class on syndromes and wanted some assistance with the autism portion of the class.  When I agreed to do this back in June, I had no idea what this weekend would have in store. 

Originally, the weekend was going to be a road trip with my mom.  Friday morning, she woke up with a head cold.  Given the potential for nasty weather as well as my mom's intolerance for cold, we thought it best for me to make the trip on my own.  

Not a big deal.  I loaded up the car Friday morning.  My iPod was stuffed with music, new podcasts from This American Life and Hey! That's My Hummus, and I had a car full of snacks. I made the six hour drive to Boone.  All weekend, I watched the weather move in to the East Coast.  As Monday approached, I was asked multiple times if I wanted to cancel the lecture and go home early.  I decided to hold out and make the best of it. 

Snow flower
Monday dawned cold and snowy.  It was wet, sleety snow that melted almost as soon as it hit the ground.  I watched the East Coast continue to get battered with wind and rain.  I made my way to campus, giving a mini lecture on brain tumors to the neuroanatomy class at 11:00 and the autism lecture at 2 PM. 

The lecture went very well and I high tailed it "down the mountain" just as conditions started to worsen in Boone.  From there it was smooth sailing.  There was wind and rain but I managed to make it home by 10 PM that night.  

In my solitude, I rediscovered Holly Cole's music.  I was pretty much obsessed with her music in college but hadn't had her on my iPod for a while.  I think most of my six hour drive home was a Holly Cole songfest. While belting one of my favorite versions of one of my favorite tunes, I heard these words:

"I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.  I can see all obstacles in my way."

I think about these lyrics a lot whenever I am facing a problem.  Sunshine doesn't make our problems go away.  Instead, it clears the air so that we can see the world with a fresh perspective.  We can see ALL the obstacles in our path.  It sets the stage so that we can solve our problems, one step at a time, instead of stumbling around in the dark of the storm.  

This year has been momentous for so many reasons.  I released a book. I received noteworthy recognition for efforts in my professional life.  CJSTUF is growing and successful.  Every day, I can feel the storm clouds dissipating just a little bit more.  I am sure that I will face more storms, but it is good to bask in the sunshine, even if for just a little while.  

Popular posts from this blog

The Edge of Seventeen

It's that time of year when the blog musings center on my grief journey. Every year, it seems like we are busy with end-of-the-year school activities and the start of summer, planning vacations, and then (kablam)'s almost July 9.  Grief is funny. Grief is weird. I remember very early after Charlotte died, I watched the movie Rabbit Hole.  There's an amazingly poignant scene where Nicole Kidman's character is talking with another woman who lost a child over 10 years before (played by Dianne Wiest). She talks about grief being like a brick in your pocket. It never goes away. Sometimes you can even forget it's there. But it comes back and makes its presence known from time to time. And (she says) "it's what you have of them."    I probably did not fully realize then what a powerful and true analogy that is. As time goes on, our grief changes. Yet, it is always there on the edge of things. It sits in that pocket and sometimes makes itself known.  This

The Stages of Grief: COVID Edition

It's 2020. It's almost Christmas. We're still in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, we are experiencing what appears to be an incredible surge that is exerting tremendous pressure on our healthcare and social service system. The headlines are clear: we're not done with this madness and December 31, 2020 will not magically be the "end of it".  Earlier in the year, our family thought about whether we might be able to travel at this time. We thought that maybe the curve would be flat enough that we could take a few days away from home during the Christmas holidays. We realized that the pandemic would still be happening, but with the right protections and with prolific mask usage, we could get a much-needed change of scenery. During what is now (clearly) a delusional thought process, we booked a stay in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for the week of December 19th. Spoiler alert: we canceled the trip almost two weeks ago.  Canceling this trip was not a tragedy. In fact, I

Bittersweet Sixteen

I think about Charlotte every single day. However, this time of year, I'm flooded with all kinds of memories as we commemorate the anniversary of her birth. This year feels like a bit of a milestone. Sixteen.  If cancer had not taken her life back in 2010, I have a feeling I would be planning a massive birthday celebration this year. 16 always feels like a landmark year in someone's life.  I have been thinking a great deal about the last birthday party we had for Charlotte in 2009. We didn't know it at the time, but we were halfway through her treatment journey. We had been through three major brain surgeries and a few rounds of inpatient chemotherapy. Treatments were not going well. In fact, right after her birthday, we would make the trip to Houston, Texas where we would settle in for about 10 weeks of proton beam radiation treatments and a new customized chemotherapy protocol. This was the unspoken "last chance option" to beat that aggressive brain tumor into