Friday, January 23, 2009

Seek and Ye Shall Find

Friday -and I'm doing a post for the "Only the Good" which I have neglected to do for quite a few Fridays now. Not because there weren't many, many good things easy to be found on those days but that my mind was elsewhere and I just plain forgot on some Fridays when I did post, to label the things I've experienced as "Good" -also as plentiful in many instances as well.

This morning though, several things are on my mind and when I first started to think of the good stuff, my brain wasn't wrapping well around the concept.

Last week there were lots of issues. The cold -bitter, deep-freeze cold with temperatures well below zero and wind chill factors that took the "feels like" down even further. BRRRRR! A Big time brrrr! What's so good about that kind of weather?

Well, for openers for me, it gave me a reason -a darned good reason in my mind too -NOT to venture out of the house. And so, yesterday Mandy mentioned to one of Kurtis' therapists (the occupational one who was here) that "Mom hasn't left the house for three weeks now." This really shocked the therapist and she asked me why that was. My reason was simply that I saw no need to go out and I didn't -except to put Maya on her van, get her off the van once or twice and a couple evenings I did venture out to look for the evening newspaper out in the snow or by our cars. But to go out somewhere specific, which meant trying to find clothes that would keep me really warm -toasty warm -bundling up against the severe wind chill -was just something that I saw no earthly purpose to do that and opted to stay inside, with a blanket across my legs, in my favorite chair, and utilized the time to complete one table topper I was embroidering and to begin -and get a good jump start too -on the tablecloth I am currently working on then.

The cold weather took a toll on the old house though -for sure. Ice and snow building up on the roof over the porch caused a leak between the overhang and the little roof on the stoop over the front door. This leak of course immediately froze, solid, and created issues with the new storm door Mandy had purchased last summer and which my older daughter's fiance had spent an entire day working to get said storm door hung too. As a result, the door couldn't be closed completely because of the ice build-up there and if it was closed completely, it would become stuck to the frame by the ice! So, we had to leave it (the storm door) slightly ajar and then, the wind began to whip it so we ended up having to tie the door to one of the poles under the stoop and doing that removed the problem but it also removed that little bit of draft protection the storm door provided too.

When the wind whipped the door open and while it was banging away there, the force then pulled the spring thing that fastens the door into the door frame out, splitting the door frame. That means the door frame which had a tiny split in it prior to installing the new door, will now HAVE to be removed and replaced. And what's so good about that? Well, sometimes one does have to dig a bit to find good in things and the good there is that this needed to be done before but was felt it could be put off and by putting it off, since it was an accidental event that really did the final split, it does appear likely that our insurance will cover the bulk of the cost then of a new door frame sometime this spring -after the weather breaks, when the whole thing can be taken apart and rebuilt then. Ok, I know -that is really reaching for some good, but that's how I see it today, anyway.

This week has had a few other things that bring to mind "where is the good in that?"

Monday night, Kurtis went "exploring" on the steps going to the upstairs and as a result of that venture, lost his footing and fell down the stairs. The good there is that the fall was only from about the half-way mark and that aside from scaring the living daylights out of me and his dad, he wasn't seriously hurt -just a little bruise on his leg and a tiny scratch on his belly. And another good thing too is that maybe it taught him a little fear again of those steps too! Unlike many small children his age, he hasn't been one who was fascinated by stairs, wanting all the time to try to climb them but now, when he does eye them up, he tends to draw back a bit and re-think "why do I want to try to climb them?"

Then Wednesday afternoon, someone else in the house was reminded about how tricky stair steps can be to people as Mandy was rushing down the cellar steps to take care of some laundry work, she tripped, slipped and fell, landing in a ball at the bottom on the concrete floor with her left foot injured!

Yeah, that event scared her -and me too! She couldn't stand to touch the foot when I got down there to her side and all I could think of was how in the dickens am I going to help her get up and get upstairs? I rarely traverse the cellar steps because there is no rail there, nothing for me to hold on to, plus they are a bit on the narrow side and my balance isn't always very good with stair steps as my right knee has a tendency to lock up on me unexpectedly, which interrupts my gait and my balance. And the last damned thing I NEED is to take a header down the steps and break any bones at all in m creaky old body.

Mandy did finally manage to get up, pulled herself up the stairs and in the meantime, she asked me to phone our neighbor and my good friend, Kate, and ask her to come look at her foot to see if she thought a visit to the E.R. was warranted. Broken bones in the foot are often not quite as obvious to the naked eye as are broken bones of other parts of one's body -and yes, I know that first hand from having broken a bone in my foot about 19-20 years ago. So, after looking the foot over, both Kate and I felt it would be best if she did go to the E.R. and get it checked out properly. I called Bill to come home from work and away they went. Thankfully, the x-rays showed no breakage -just a very bad sprain -and they sent her home with one of those protective boots to wear on the injured foot to allow her mobility without as much pain and to allow the sprain to heal better then. So that was a good thing that there was nothing broken there.

Yesterday, after Mandy had brought up the fact of my being such a hermit the past three weeks, she then put me on a guilt trip by asking me to go in town with her as she had to take Kurtis in for his "Floortime" therapy session. Her main reason for wanting me to go along was because she needed to go by the office of the fuel oil supplier that my son uses to drop off a check to them so they will deliver 100 gallons of oil to his house today. A check that Mom had to write out because, as usual, my son hadn't remembered over t he past several months to budget for the cost of a filling his oil tank. (He will repay my checking account when he gets back home tomorrow.) She said if she went alone to run that errand, then she would have to deal with getting Kurtis in and out -in the cold -and trying to lug him, while walking with the gimpy leg, across the snowbanks along the street in town. Yeah, yeah, nothing like a guilt trip like that to inspire me to get off my duff and go out into the frosty cold! But the good thing -and yes there was a good thing to all of this -with my decision to leave the house, it first inspired me that the need to get my hair done -cut and permed -was really a major necessity so I called and got an appointment with my friend Nila, to get that taken care of and also, I took along a book I had stopped reading back in August when the embroidery bug hit me and managed to read a good bit more of it while waiting at the agency where Kurtis gets his therapy! Sometimes, to get me to do things that are right in front of me does take almost an act of God ya know and the hair thing, as well as the book -yeah, pretty much those both came under that header -good things yes, and something dire to motivate me too!

However, when I arrived at Nila's to get the hair done, one of the first things she told me as we began our normal catching up conversation we always have while she works her magic on my hair, was not something good to hear. Not at all.

She informed me that sometime overnight Wednesday, into early Thursday morning, a man, formerly from here, had died.

He was seven, maybe eight years younger than me but I've known him, his family the bulk of my life. My feelings about him are very strong as I have been friends with his three older brothers -good friends with them -and he was a bit like a younger brother in some ways in my mind.

His oldest brother is a priest -a very intellectual person -always has been even when we were kids. Father Bob is a year my senior and someone I often seek out to sit and talk to, catch up as it were on lots of things and also, who I confide in about things in my life that are unsettling as well. I know he is a priest in the Catholic church and I am a Lutheran but he doesn't look at that difference, but rather embraces it, as do I. And, because he -like me -being raised here, knows the little quirky things about others in the village -and ourselves too -and we have an excellent raport, understanding then, of each other.

The deceased's next older brother -Den -was the same age as me and we had been friend -very good friends -from first grade on through to his passing at age 44, twenty years ago this past September. That was a loss I wondered at times if I would ever be able to completely come to terms with as I very much valued Den's friendship. Heck, for almost 15 years of my life -from first till I was almost 20, I had the most ferocious of crushes one could possibly have on him! And, yes he knew it too! And in later years, we even talked about that and joked about how I had eventually reconciled myself to the fact that a serious relationship between us would never work. That's a fun story for another day though.

And the third brother -who is four years my junior -I was close to when in high school and when I worked in Washington, because he went to college at Catholic University there and as such, he and I kept in contact during his college years. He and his fiance were among the few friends I invited to attend my wedding back in 1972 too. And, whenever he would come back home and I saw him, it was always a joyous occasion -hugs, lots of stories shared, always a lot of laughter there.

And so, I thought as I wrote this today, what good can I find in the loss of Ron -the youngest of these four brothers? Because in the death of a relative, a good friend, acquaintance -whatever the relationship -at times it can be difficult to find anything good in that loss. Right? That's where my mind was, of course, initially. What good is there in his passing?

I know he had a problematic life - difficulty due to addictions, yes, plus a marriage and two daughters but one that ended on a very bad note in divorce. However, five years ago, shortly after I had been diagnosed with cancer, had surgery and all that, he too was diagnosed with cancer. His prognosis at that time had been very poor though because his system was very run down from the abuse he'd given himself over the years. THe disease had been more wide-spread in him than it had been in me too. But somehow, he had managed -with surgeries, good doctors, and finally, getting his life a bit more back on track to come through that and the last I'd heard about him from his brother, Father Bob, was that he was handling things quite well.

The thing is, as we all know, none of us is here forever! Eventually, the time does come that signals the end of the line for each of us. And as much as it does bring sorrow to know Ron too is now gone, joined with his brother Den and also with their uncle, my wonderful friend, "Uncle Joe Benny" I know the good here is that I knew him -as I knew his brother, his uncle and problems aside, he was a great guy -funny, interesting, and yes, a friend.

A friend whose memory I will cherish and who I know and believe that he is now at peace -out of pain and resting comfortably - a welcome respite from the hard path his journey on earth had often taken him.

For the years you were here with us though, for the friendship we shared over those years too, that is the good I take away from this too!

And with that said, I'll dedicate this post to the memory of Ron Humenay.

Proof somehow that somewhere, there is always something good to everything, isn't there?


Skittles said...

So much to read here, Jeni! Instead of commenting on each thing individually, I'll just make a general comment that will (hopefully) cover it all..

The ability to see the good part of any bad experience is a wonderful tool to possess. A tool I try to use, but sometimes it's lost in the bottom of my toolbox and I forget it's there.

Thanks for the reminder. :)

gigi1953 said...

Lovely post! An attitude that I hope rubs off on me! Wonderful!

Suldog said...

Those are some major league icicles you've got there!

God bless your friend Ron.

This Eclectic Life said...

Oh, girl. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend Ron, but glad you find "good" in it.

Thank you for being a part of "Only The Good Friday."

Vic Grace said...

I guess there always is a silver lining God grant that we always have the grace to find it.

I understand about not going out. That is the way I feel all winter, I just wait for it to go.

Kanani said...

That was an excellent accounting of events!
Love the photos of the icicles. We had the opposite issue here. It was so dry and so hot that everything in garden was dying. And it's only January! Thankfully, today it rained.

terri said...

You HAVE been posting lately. I've wondered where you've been. 5 of your posts just popped into my reader sometime today. I'll be back soon to catch up.

terri said...

So sorry about the loss of your friend but I am amazed at the good you've been able to find through this sad event.

Smalltown RN said...

It's like trying to find the silver lining...something I seem to be struggling with these past few weeks....sorry for your loss...hugs my friend...

Mary said...


Wow! It's been a rough week for you with tumbles down the stairs, the door not working properly and then being damaged so you have to fix it and then the passing of your friend.

My sincere sympathies in the passing of your friend. I agree that he is now resting peacefully.

About the door. When winter comes next year, spray the door and the door frame with WD-40. That will stop the door from sticking to the frame. WD-40 works for a lot of things and sticking doors is one of them. It works well on car doors when temperatures rise, snow melts and then the temperature plummets. It will also keep ice storms from freezing your car doors shut when they get frosty.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your weekend and stay safe and warm. You aren't the only one who has been hibernating. I did take the boys out for ice cream today after school. Other than that, I haven't been out of the house since hubby and I went to Mary Maxim. Before that it was at least a week. When temperatures plummet, I'm like an old bear and go into hibernation. I only go out if it is absolutely necessary.


Debo Blue said...

You are so awesome to dedicate this to your friend.

Now his name is in the blogosphere as a good thing.

RuneE said...

I see that Life doesn't come easy, but it is the only one we have got so I try to make the best of it while I can (I had a heart transplant in 2004).

PS Thank you for the comment! Paris is a lovely place indeed. If you follow the link in my post, you'll find a video of the trip in the lift to the top of the tower. I took that on a previous trip to Paris.

Bruce Skye said...

Attitude, as they say, is everything. Bravo!