Positivity and The Art of Caring

I asked Drew – Drew is my super awesome husband – what I should consider discussing on my blog. I explained that I wanted some positivism. Confused by this, he gave me the “uh – WTF” look.  You know – one eyebrow raised. I’m known for this signature look. Therefore I am an expert on interpreting the eyebrow language. This meant he was clearly thinking, “Who is this person talking about positiveness?”

Then he said, “But I thought this was your way to vent, b*t&C about random stuff, and “grow as a person”.” He even used the hand gesture of quoting me. I giggled and rolled my eyes.

It became even clearer that I needed to be positive tonight. This time of year is considered new to me still. Two years ago this week, my Dad’s battle with brain cancer was coming to an end. On August 4, 2009, he passed away – not surprisingly – but definitely too soon. Seriously, when you have brain surgery to remove a 9cm level-IV glioblastoma multiform tumor from your left frontal lobe, I wouldn’t run to the races and bet on living.

When I recall the year of events that transpired leading up to his passing, it’s obvious that I am still grieving. There are lots of steps to go through when you grieve and you can rotate back and forth through various steps for a while. The amount of unanswered questions that I have, that will remain forever unanswered, is very frustrating for someone who is a truth-seeker and wants to learn more and solve problems. Sometimes I obsessively reevaluate why and wonder “what if” over-and-over again. However, there are times when there are topics not for us to know about or understand. I can replay every moment with my Dad that year in my mind. I can recall each phone call, every precious outing, all emotions of guilt, anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, the helplessness that I felt for him and our entire family.

So now you’re thinking, ” WHOA – this is too depressing. What happened to positivism?”

I am positive today because when I think back to that year, not only do I remember the awful physical and emotional pain and suffering Dad had to go through with brain surgery, chemo, radiation, a broken neck, broken ribs (he fell down stairs and then found out he had the tumor through the MRI), I remember the people who made him happy while he was still alive. I remember the people who kept his spirits up when others couldn’t face him or his family. I remember each person who helped our family through ways that I can and cannot explain.

I also remember those who said nothing, who didn’t show up, those who wanted to step in and make decisions when it was not their place. There were surprisingly many who wanted to control a situation when there were already too many emotional cooks in the kitchen. I regularly recall those who couldn’t face the darkness of death upon the doorstep, or those who attempted to add a dramatic, self-centered decision-making “skill set” to elevate their position in the hierarchy of our friend/family org chart. (You know you all have one). Those are the people who I have issues with, which is not healthy. Trust me. I know my issues. Forgive and forget is not one of my best skills.

I realize now, through this continued process, how much stronger some people are than others. In odd cases, people you wouldn’t normally consider your “go-to” people are really your “go-to” people.  It’s amazing who actually steps up when a family is in crisis. Those people who just go to your house without asking or telling and take out the dog, do the dishes in your sink, run a load of laundry, and collect your mail. There are those who show up with casseroles or randomly order you pizza and Chinese food. There are those who bring wine, make sure you’re surrounded by your family, and make sure you tell stories – as many as you can, good and bad. There are those who sit for hours putting photo collages together making sure your need for perfectionism becomes a reality, even if it’s crazy and probably impossible. They are the ones who step-up and become a pillar in your world, if only for a brief moment in time. That is the art of caring.

This week, leading into the first week of August, I think about the positive people pillars in my life. With them, life is even more amazing and should be a cherished process that we have a chance to go through. Those who care and show it, and who are amazingly great at it, truly do represent awesomeness in a world that is a clusterf%$k. My mind races with appreciation and thankfulness for those who bring “the little things” to light. I know they offer greatness in small packages. I know who they are. I trust them. They never ask “Do you need anything?” or say “If you need me, just call, I’m here for you”…. They are the ones who step up and take action.

By the way, I also keep another list of those who do nothing, sit on their ass and offer no strengths to any situation. But that’s beside the point.

Now if you really know me, you know I am a non-believer of “who-ha” magical remedies and cures, or non-scientifically based/pseudo-subjective methods and/or procedures. I am, however, into personal development. Yes, this can be subjective and in some cases not possible. Regardless, taking time to figure one’s self out and become a better person – IF that is possible – while ultimately learning how to be positive in general, is something that I strive to become better at each day. Again, you might think, “Um, Greta, you are a cynic… is it possible for you to be positive”? I believe yes. The truth sometimes hurts because we bring to light flaws others may not want to see or hear. Either way, I will continue to try and be positive, even if it looks like I’m the bad guy.

So here’s to those on my “Positivity Go-to List”. Your strength is in taking action, caring, and giving, even if not always successful. If I could drink to you, I would. You make me happy that you care! You make me proud of your awesomeness!


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