LESLIE CRISS: Life can be whiny, but gratitude still abounds

By Leslie Criss | NEMS Daily Journal

“Write what you know.”
– Mark Twain

“I think I’ve discovered the secret of life – you just hang around until you get used to it.”
– Charles Schulz

“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”
– George Bernard Shaw
My friend and former editor Charlie Mitchell once told me a column I’d written in The Vicksburg Post was whiny.
I got all defensive and told him he was wrong.
He wasn’t wrong at all. The truth is, life is sometimes whiny.
That doesn’t mean folks enjoy your whininess shared.
“What’s your column going to be about this week?” my friend Cheryl asked me on Wednesday.
I had no answer, which always makes me nervous if it gets to be mid-week and no idea has burst forth from my brain.
I remembered Mark Twain’s encouragement to “write what you know.” But, honestly, all I feel I know these days is what’s going on with my own family. And, goodness knows, I don’t want to be whiny.
Then I thought about the crisp, cool weather, and that we’re in my favorite season, the one that takes us right into the season of giving thanks.
So, I’ll opt for being grateful rather than whiny. Here’s hoping it works.
My parents are living at my house these days. We thought it would be temporary until we got Mom stronger and walking again after a July stroke.
But a recent hospital stay, for what we thought was another stroke, brought a different diagnosis. I am grateful my Mom was already in Tupelo and was taken to North Mississippi Medical Center, where she spent a week in the Acute Stroke Unit.
Let me say, there are some fine folks in that place, who remained kind and patient even in Mom’s less-than-friendly moments.
My living room is now Mom’s hospital room, where caring, compassionate and capable staff from Sanctuary Home Hospice visit multiple times each week. I’m not sure how my family would function just now without them.
Tossed in among all this other stuff was a knee surgery for me a week ago that has rendered me of little help to anyone as I recuperate. I’m grateful to Dr. Bill Rice for the repairs and will be even more grateful when the pain is only a fading memory.
For the past weeks, my family has been the recipient of some excellent hot meals from our church family group, Journal friends and co-workers, and other kind souls who just wanted to do something.
Not having to cook every night is no small gift, and I am so grateful for the kindness and nourishment.
More than anything, I believe I’m thankful I can offer my home to my parents, where we can surround Mom with lots of love for all the tomorrows we are given.
It’s small repayment for all my parents have done for my sister and me.