Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rainy Days Get Me Down

When it rains, pours, day after day, you begin to think that the earth is turning to water. All I can see from my window is rain in the yard, the fields, and every other low spot in between. The skies are a hundred shades of gray.

It’s hard to let my sunny disposition shine when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. I have found myself thinking too much and doing too little. I’ve vegged out on the couch two days straight. I watched show after show. My listless, do-nothing self became my dominant trait. It’s the rain’s fault.

The fall decorations were clustered together waiting for me to get up the energy to put them away. I dragged out a few of my snowmen, one of my small trees, and other Christmas odds and ends. But the bulk of the decorations are in the garage in storage tubs. Then, I turned on the tree and flipped on the TV to watch a Hallmark Christmas show. About ten minutes in, I realized I’d already seen it.

I went to bed and read until about midnight. I’ve had trouble sleeping since it started raining. The thinker keeps on thinking, and my normal slumber-inducing methods aren’t working. For two days, the negative past swooped down on me and washed away the positive thoughts like so much driftwood.

I woke up this morning out of sorts. Testy and grumpy. At least I found the energy to tackle a few tasks.

As I sat down to write my blog post, I noticed a message on Google Plus. I called my mom to share what was written. A person on the other side of the globe wrote to comment on my special Mom after reading “Under Control” in Chicken Soup for the Soul Thanks To My Mom.

The note said, “I was very impressed with your mother’s unconditional love for you and for Jim when she tirelessly took care of him. She was still mothering you despite the fact that you have become a mother yourself. Mothering is not something perfect women do, it is something that perfects women. If she is still alive, please convey my greetings to her and tell her that someone across the globe is very proud of her.”

Happily, I responded that my mom was in excellent health and would be turning 89 in January. I had originally titled the story “Spicy Chicken Sandwich,” but the editors at Chicken Soup renamed it, which is probably why they have bestsellers and I don’t. It is always awesome to be in a Chicken Soup book. The competition is fierce.

This story didn’t make it so much on my writing merit as it did the story itself. A story of how my family became my support system when I was a caregiver. They put up with me on sunny days and rainy days to help me keep Jim at home as long as possible. In “Under Control,” I focused on my mom, because you can only say so much in 1200 words. The story could have been about Jim’s mom, my kids, my sisters (in-law and birth), cousins, friends, neighbors, and eventually professional caregivers.

Caregivers have a lot of rainy days. It seems that down days come in clusters.
Rain, and bad days, may seem like they are going to last forty days and forty nights. Just about the time you think you should get started on that Ark, the rainbow brings the promise that everything is going to be all right. Next thing you know, the sun pops through and dares those dark clouds to show their frowning gray faces.

Yep. It’s still raining here in Missouri, but I’ve passed through the gloom and doom. I’m ready to tackle the world—tomorrow.

Copyright © November 2015 by L.S. Fisher

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