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.