Today, Ladies and Gentlemen, I cleaned my bathroom.
Now while this may not bring tears to the eyes of the average soul, it signifies Great and Wondrous Things in my little corner of the world. Yes indeed, GREAT AND WONDROUS THINGS.
You see, for some reason or another, Christmas has become a season of less than joy for me. While I have tons of decorations downstairs, that's exactly where they stayed this year. Downstairs. Nary a strand of tinsel found its way topside. Not a one.
On the day we were supposed to go cut down the tree, the weather called for rain. With a 2-month old granddaughter along, we decided to wait until the next weekend. However, the next weekend I was sick and suffering from an extreme case of insomnia. Since there was another snowstorm called for that afternoon the rest of the family decided to go bright and early to cut the tree. I, being comatose, elected to stay home.
The tree came home, and every so often someone would say, "Hey, let's get the tree up. It's only ___ days until Christmas!" This was, more often than not, met with disdain by the teenaged members of the family. Finally it became a joke, albeit a very sad one. Suffice it to say that this was the first year in all of my 50 that we didn't have a tree for Christmas.
Unless you count the one that resided in the garage, that is.
There was no Spirit of Christmas in our home. There was bickering and fighting and oh-my-word-will-it-ever-be-over. There were very tired people, fighting colds, bronchitis, viruses, and all means of other illness. There was a general aversion to Christmas music, much like vampires to a cross. The happier everyone around us got, the more we wanted to hole up in some cabin somewhere until it was all over.
And then the day came.
The family squabbles were there. The tiredness would not go away. Halfway through we didn't know if we'd make it. But then last night happened.
We met as a family at my brother-in-law's home. There were brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, grandparents, grandchildren, all the way from a great-grandother to a 3-month-old. My brother-in-law had just survived successful colon cancer surgery. My 92-year-old mother-in-law was there. All of my children and all of my grandchildren were there. As I walked in the door, the 20-month-old granddaughter smiled at me and yelled "Hi Nana!" melting my heart with her words. I played "chase" with the almost 3-year-old and found the joy I was missing. I got to rock the 3-month old to sleep and experience the love only a grandmother can know.
I looked around that room and realized how incredibly blessed I am to have the family I do. How incredibly blessed I am to be able to see them all in one place at one time! All of my children, close enough to hug and tell them how much they are loved. The blessing of the good health of my mother-in-law and brother-in-law. The love of nieces and nephews. The gift of a wonderful husband.
And how God, in His infinite wisdom, helped me to see all this by showing me both ends of the spectrum...both the worst and best Christmas I ever had.
So today Hubster went to the doctor with his cold/bronchitis. He got enough medicine for both of us to survive. And I took a blow torch, some steel wool and industrial-strength bleach to the bathroom.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring?