Friday, December 21, 2012

Share the Light

If you're reading this, it means the world hasn't ended.

(Not so) Whew.

You wouldn't know that from around here as it seems this house has already been hit by the ten plagues.  I'm hoping that we have seen the end of it as we've pretty much cleaned out all the baby Tylenol in our area.  Twice.

In my last sick post, Boogie Wonderland, I talked about battling the Martian Death cough.  We did eventually get over that and my post-bronchitis cough was receding.  We even got out of the house twice:  the first outing was with ICDSP and the second at a friends house where we met their newest arrival.  We had to leave the last one early as Wyatt spiked a fever and started sporting the green walrus look again.

By the next night, in the middle of my shift, I started to feel crappy again.  It started with a few sneezes and by 0730 I was a sore, choking, feverish mess. I had managed to acquire, after being off antibiotics for only a few days, a nasty sinus, throat and ear infection.  So nasty that even a gram of acetaminophen only took the edge off my fever/pain. The doc prescribed some serious antibiotics this time;  they are of a particularly nasty variety with a list of side effects as long as your arm.  I was also less than enthusiastic [read:  beside myself] when I went back the clinic with the rest of the family the very next day.

Sean and Wyatt went on (different) antibiotics as well; poor Wy got an added insult with a separate eye ointment .  We were a coughing, hacking sputtering lot with this bug, dubbed Boogie Wonderland 2:  Expectorate Boogaloo.  After a week of Tylenol, meds and narcoleptic fits (yes, really), I'm happy to say that we are almost back to health.

Through a series of tragic events that also happened within this time (and shall not be recaptured here), it became apparent to me that despite everything, I have a lot to be grateful for.   Yes, we were all very ill,  Wyatt and I especially.  However, as I initially grumbled to myself while picking up yet another prescription on Friday afternoon, it occurred to me that I should be grateful for many things.  I was thankful that I was in the position to afford my prescriptions and even more so for having a job with benefits that covered all of them completely.  I was grateful that my son did not become more ill, as those with T-21 tend to... I was appreciative of the fact that all my children were very much alive and snuggled in my arms at various points throughout that evening.  The last one especially.

Ahh, the kids... so full of light and magic as of late.  All are quickly developing into the people that they are going to be.  Zoe's speech is improving daily;  she can count to ten and you can understand more and more every day.  Wyatt is working on standing;  my little boy stood with his worker the other day, holding onto the table and otherwise unsupported for quite some time.  He has popped a few more teeth this week which opens up a whole new world of chewing and dietary additions.  My eldest, Quinn, is continuing to demonstrate a dazzling intellect, a pointed wit and a deep appreciation for art, music and the creative process.  And science.  Don't forget that.  He only mentions it eleventy-bazillion times a day.

I had started my Inspiration post before I was sick and it lay untouched and unfinished for days.  I was both physically sick and heartsick.  During that time, it felt like the sun had been taken out of the sky.  That hope had been lost.  Although we were all still throwing apocalypse jokes around, it seemed that it really was the end of civilization as we know it.  In a whirlwind of violence and hatred and spin and pain and anger... there seemed to be only darkness.  And fear.  

There was also my gratitude, lets not forget that.

This time of year has been special since time immemorial.  People have lights their houses, they light a menorah, a tree, candles, even a Yule log.  We do this, fundamentally to banish the dark.  In (one of) my personal traditions, on the solstice we welcome back the sun.  As of today, the days are officially getting longer.  Spring is coming.  Hope is reborn.

With everything seemingly gone to hell in a handbasket, I needed a little of that light early.  I had been inspired by a wonderful group of parents (and their equally wonderful children) the week before.  Armed with this, and knowing that so many were feeling some of the same things I were, I encouraged folks to bring some light, some hope, some good tidings to my Facebook Page.  I started an album for pictures and for lack of a better title called it "Share the Light".  As people shared their interpretation of "light" (a candle, an angel, a sunrise/sunset, an inspirational saying, the smile on a child's face), I shared them back.  A few of my friends picked up on it and started filling their newsfeeds, not with tragedy and spin and speculation and anger, but with light.  And love.  And hope.

I went to bed that night feeling much better.  I know more than few more people felt that way too.

The past (almost) two years have taught me a lot about human nature, especially my own and my place in a vast thundering herd of humanity.  We are all prone to sadness and in these times of uncertainty and loss, well, it's easy to be overcome by darkness when fed only fear and ignorance.

"Share the light" is a pretty good metaphor for a lot of things.  The seeking out and sharing up to date, factual information. The encouragement of ideas and creativity.  The lifting up of anothers spirits, for no other reason than it's the right thing to do.  To be kind.  To provide warmth and shelter and sustenance to those that have not, whether that be physically or spiritually.  I'm not perfect and neither are any of you...  But, there has to be something to all of this if most of the world's major religions are based on it.

I am grateful for what I have.  My job, my family, my friends, my abilities, my me-ness. I am thankful for those in my life, for good or bad, for it is through others that we learn. With this, I think I will be leaving this particular album up and adding to it now and again.  We all need light, especially these days.  Today, since the world didn't end or anything, why don't you share a little?  Do something nice, do something positive.  Give a little of the flame that is you;  you don't know how far it will go or how much warmth it might mean to someone.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Blessed Yule.  Happy Holidays to you and yours.  May your home be filled with love and laughter. 

Share the Light.

My thanks to my good friend S., who shared this poignant quote from Albert Schweitzer with me,
in a moment when I truly needed it.  xox

Join us one last time for the T-21 Blog hop.  Due to lack of interest I will be probably discontinuing this event in the new year.  Let me know your thoughts.

Join Down Wit Dat on the 21st of Every Month!

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