Good Humor

Wanting a snack after our lunch yesterday, Evan trekked to the hospital snack shop where he called me with ice cream options. Klondike bar? Ice cream sandwich? Good Humor Bar? Nestle Crunch bar? Wait. Did you say a good humor bar? What on earth? How could I resist getting a good humor bar during Campath week? What the heck, I’ll try it. We could all use some good humor.

It was packaged as a strawberry shortcake bar, and I ate it a little late so it was somewhat melted. One of the nurses had come into our room and was talking with us, and it seemed rude to eat ice cream in front of her. We talked, and the bar melted.

Eventually I found time for it. I looked at the label for jokes, not really expecting to find anything. There was an ad for the 10,000 winner “sweet stakes” (a pun!) though, check your stick to see if you are a winner. I pulled out the stick that I had carelessly wrapped in the wrapper. “Try again. Free chance to win a prize.” So, we hadn’t won anything. Where’s the humor in that?

So I wondered, where is all the good humor in this thing with Zoe? It feels like we are running a marathon, even a triathalon, and the task in front of us has felt so incredibly daunting at times. There have been days where the weight of it all has felt crushing.

We take things one step at a time and seize upon the good things. Good lab reports. Coos and playfulness. Pleasant interactions with medical staff. A fun email exchange with a friend. A heart felt visit or phone call.

Zoe’s beautiful quilt, made by a friend who chose colors so bold and beautiful it would make anyone smile. Whimsical interactions between Maya and the butterflies in our yard at dusk as she chases them, misses, and they fly away and then return to land on her hand, her shoulder, her hair. Little wonders all around.

How can anyone bear the weight of hardship without taking pleasure in the little things? Is it irreverent to look for the sun in the middle of the night? Do we choose to sink into bitterness for the hand that we have been dealt? Those “little things” that make up our lives are the things that save us. We are grateful for them all. Grateful for those moments, and grateful that we continue to have Zoe in our lives.

4 thoughts on “Good Humor

  1. MIchelle, what a great essay. Everyone has their favorite virtue, I suppose, and mine has always been gratitude. When I do it well, it lights up the world for me. Without it, life feels dull, even pointless, and it is so easy to slip into despair and bitterness. Hold tight to your capacity for gratitude. It contains in it all the wonder of the world and all the wonder of Zoe. Love, Mara

  2. God bless your beautiful family! Andrew, Stella, and I are so happy that Zoe is taking the treatments well. What a strong spirit she has! Must have gotten it from her wonderful parents! Love, Gina

  3. dear Evan,
    thanks alot about your care about my sitiuation .
    i received your E.MAIL but i can not contact the person you give me his e.mail as my massage did not delivered to him .
    I think there is something wrong with his E.mail .
    now, i want to know the exact price of the operation in U.S . I know it would be with high cost but what i can do !!!! let my dauther die . i have about 20.000 $ that i can colect from my relatives and all i have .
    i hope i not annoying you
    sameh

  4. Hi Sameh,

    It’s the weekend here, and that office is probably closed yesterday and today. I will see about sending your email to him directly so that you can follow up or he can contact you.

    Hopefully you can reach him tomorrow and find out answers to your questions, I honestly don’t know anything about costs at this point. Many things affect cost and we have not yet had a transplant, so I wouldn’t want to even estimate.

    Please feel free to follow up with me directly via email: hlhjournal@gmail.com

    Evan

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