Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grateful For Being There When Mom Calls

Did you ever get the call?  It came last night.  I was getting ready to enjoy an early evening walk, when mom called to tell me she was going to be admitted to the hospital.  She's not feeling right.  Something seems wrong.  Tests.

Imagine not being able to get in your car and hold your mom's hand when she's scared.  That feeling of helplessness.  So grateful that this time I'm home.  I'm not out of town.  My daughter said she couldn't stay in her apartment knowing that grandma was alone.  She was at the hospital when I arrived giving mom a facial.  Priorities.

I'm sorry for the times that Blago will get a call.  He'll have to hang up and feel helpless.  Whatever the test results, I'm grateful to be there for mom.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Give Your Barber An Extra Tip. He's A Luxury.

This exercise in gratitude is catching on with my friends.  A guy I work with told me he felt great because he had just gone to his barber.  He looked at me, rolled his eyes, and said, "Yes.  I know.  I'm grateful I didn't have the prison barber work on me."  

It's official.  Blago's barber has announced the former governor's dark hair is dyed and will turn grey within the first few months in prison.  Worse.  He taught Blago how to trim his own hair.  Next time you only have the funds for a quick trim at Super Cuts, leave an extra tip to show how grateful you are for this overlooked luxury.  

If you visit the prison on Alcatraz, they'll tell you how the prisoners would listen to music that was heard from a nearby dance hall.  (My daughter just returned from a visit to San Francisco. I'm not obsessed. She shared this story.) The prison guards lived on the island, and they would dance on the weekends at the hall.  It made the prisoners very sad to hear the music, and not be able to dance.  It's incredibly warm out today.  I have to work.  I'm looking out the window and I get how the prisoners felt.  I'm going out to enjoy the warm weather tonight.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Would Being In Prison With Blagojevich Really Be So Bad?

My daughter mentioned this blog to her friend, D.  D has a great memory. Funny response. "This doesn't make sense.  I remember your mother would say how prison might not be so bad.  She'd have peace.  She could read in solitude."  Thanks, D. 

There's something to that.  The Colorado setting where Blago now lives seems idyllic.  I can imagine having nothing to do but read and getting lost in great stories.  No one there to ask if dinner's ready.  I've read that guys get so used to the solitude, that they can't stand it when they come out.  All of a sudden, the bills are due, the tires need to be replaced, the house needs to be cleaned.  Who wouldn't think about solitude?

I'm going to make the time to read this summer.  I haven't used that hammock in a long time.  I can read as long as I want, at any time of day.  I won't have to report to the warden...well....sort of.  

Last night my son came home from baseball and asked if dinner was ready.  I realized that he's leaving for college in a few short years.  No one will ask me if dinner is ready again.  I gave him a huge grateful hug.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sleeping In Never Felt So Right

Yesterday morning I was able to sleep in.  No alarm.  Most days I would never have appreciated this, but it dawned on me that every morning, Blagojevich is forced to wake up at 6 a.m.  Every morning.  I imagine fluorescent lights being turned on.  A loud buzzer in the prison cell.  I was grateful to hear the birds chirping.

A new day.  A fresh start.  New adventures.  Days in prison have been described as a scene from, "Groundhog Day."  Same old thing.  Funny.  That's how I describe my own life sometimes.  No more. 

I met up with my younger daughter.  Both my girls are my best friends.  They're brilliant, funny, independent women.  When I told her I was trying to make the most of the next 14 years, she realized she is the same age now as Blago's younger daughter will be when he gets out of prison.  She reflected on all the milestones big and small since she was 9 years old.  So much to be missed.  I was grateful that I had been there with her. 

If anyone out there has a young child, always know that your child's life is just like a swing.  You push them in the air as an infant, and the swing comes back at you with a young adult.  I swear, I have no idea where that time goes.  Pictures and scrapbooks won't help you.  I looked at the cutest photo of my 14 year old son when he was 4 years old.  I asked myself, "Who was that?"  Blago will be talking to his daughters every day.  It might be for only one minute, but that minute is going to be full.  I'm grateful for all my minutes with my children.  I promise myself to make sure I don't take that time for granted.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Choice To Choose

Hmmmmm.......Should I wear a green necklace to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, or the green earrings?  I'm so grateful that I have the choice to choose one or the other.  Blago is only allowed to wear a single wedding band.  

It was an exceptionally warm day, and I really wished I had a new spring skirt to wear,  but I was grateful that I was able to choose something other than the same old plain khaki pants and an orange prison shirt.  

My son and I had a heart to heart talk this morning over breakfast.  That rarely happens.  So grateful that I could touch him.

My mother, daughter, son, and I drove around for over an hour trying to choose a place to have lunch.  We wanted to sit outside near a lake.  We ended up finding a terrific spot.  I'm so grateful that we had the choice to choose. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

What Will I Be Doing During The Next 14 Years While Blagojevich Is In Prison?

I watched former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich walk into prison yesterday.  He's going to spend the next 14 years there.  Imagine all he will miss.  His daughters will have gone through high school and college.  Perhaps they'll be married. 

He's my age.  I got to thinking that the last thing I want to do is find myself with nothing to show for the next 14 years.  I don't want to find Blagojevich has saved more money by cleaning prison toilets than I've saved.  I want to appreciate every day for at least one special reason.  If nothing else, I want to find myself watching Governor Blagojevich leave prison and think to myself, "I experienced so much while he was away."  So today I begin my own journey of gratitude.  Grateful not be Blagojevich.  

Yesterday afternoon I purchased hair color for my roots.  SO grateful that I can cover the grey.  Blago has to let his hair go white.  My family watched the NCAA Tournament.  I was grateful that I had my own bag of sour cream chips to munch on.  I imagined Blago watching the game on his sad little metal bed without his favorite chips.  Last night I was grateful for an extra blanket.  Really.  I even had THREE pillows.  So grateful.  I saw a photo of his cell.  One blanket and one pillow.

This morning I was grateful for my shower curtain.  Grateful for my privacy.