Life Lessons from Frank’s Broken Neck

My 51st birthday came and went… I suppose I am officially mid-life.  (yes, I am assuming I am going to live to 100;)  Every year from my birth date through New Years, I reflect on the year gone by.  Given the events of this past year, I thought I’d write about some of the life lessons that continue to resonate.  What better platform than Frank’s broken bones…..  😉 

{The short update, in case you missed the ‘adventure’ – my darling husband did a swan dive off the top step of a ladder.  He broke his neck and his wrist.  Miraculously he is okay – You can catch up on the Saga here:  Life almost got REAL shortHospital Update for FrankSympathy is not on the shopping list!Train ‘friends’} {If you missed it, please don’t be insulted… I have been quite overloaded and mentally tested.  This is my feeble attempt at a full update.}

As for this years ‘take away’s’…

First and foremost – Triple-L knows no bounds!  (THANK YOU GOD!)  What man can fall head first off a ladder, break his neck and walk away?!  Frank, that’s who!  Everyone (except Frank) was, and is, amazed!  He should not be here, much less walk into an ER on his own accord, fully functional.  (Okay, maybe ‘fully functional’ is a stretch – after all, he shouldn’t have been on the stupid ladder…)

Second – Humor is a seriously binding component to relationships.  It was the glue that helped us survive on so many levels.  My ‘darling’ husband never ceases to be a comedian! …and although many times I have wanted to pummel him, he gives me lots of great material to write about.  (The witty jokes, the satire, the absurd wisecracks – that most times only we get – has kept our relationship spirited and engaged – even during literally life threatening moments.)  

The fact that life is not a given was solidly driven home! Someday it CAN and – hopefully in a very distant future – WILL be taken away.  At any moment, life can turn on a dime – and though all of our journeys are varied, in the end our destiny’s are one.  We are all heading for the same placeThe King and Queen go into the same tattered box as the Pawn.

One of the toughest lessons I have learned this year is this. Sometimes you need to step back and let people fall(This is SO against my grain!)  The scary reality is that people are going to do what they are going to do.  (no matter how much you beg or scream)  Allowing people to ‘suffer’ their own consequences is a very hard task – but the truth is, no one appreciates being controlled.  And on the flip side, it is impossible to be caretaker of all.  This year I have relinquished my ‘powers.’  None of us can ‘fix’ anyone but ourselves.

Lastly, I have decided – It’s okay to not be okay.  Something beautiful happened in the midst of all the chaos.  I reached out to friends and family and let them know the real deal – as opposed to sugar coating the dirty laundry.  Okay, it was not fun, but… it allowed them to be there and care.  (I have grown to hate the four letter word ‘fine’ – as in ‘I’m fine’ when your really not.)  It is still a process for me, but I am making a point to reach out more often – good, bad or indifferent.  

I am still in awe of all the support and love shown to Frank, myself and my family during this past year.  True colors shined brightly.  Even my neighbors, who I don’t get to talk with often, were awesome.  (Except that one that saw Frank lying on the ground and just walked away – no surprise.  Their colors were already revealed, I just didn’t realize how brown they were…)

Life is forever interesting.  I wish there wasn’t so much misery and hardship to go around – of which we all have scars of proof.  That said, it is not a contest.  My vote is to stop making it one.  Someone is always going to have it worse – someone is always going to have it better.  Comparing only serves to belittle or minimize, and someone is always going to ‘loose.’   No amount of one person’s suffering will ever negate another person’s suffering – so please, do not feel bad for feeling good.

I am happy to point out that there are ENDLESS positive, joyful, inspiring, love filled moments to counter anything you encounter.  Sometimes it takes rain to appreciate the sun… and gardens don’t grow with out getting soaked...  

In the days and months ahead, I am looking forward  – as I hope each of you do –  to a particularly blessed new year.  I intend to find the funny in every and any thing I can.  🙂

My new favorite mantra word, and my wish for the New Year – BALANCE. (and I’m not talking about Franks… 😉  It’s the lovely pivot point between the inhales and exhales, the silence and noise, excitement and calm, and maybe even sane and crazy. 

Here are a few stories that resonated with me this year – outside of my own.  I thought I’d share them as well. (and I wanted to save them as reminders to myself)

Exonerated Man Dies Days Before 124 Million Dollar Lawsuit

Charlotte Kitty’s last blog post – intended to be shared after she died…

This 29-Year-Old Newlywed Is Determined To Take Her Own Life After Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

6 Things Obituaries Can Teach Us About Living Better

I wish you all a WONDERFUL Holiday and a VERY Happy New Year!  May you find JOY and HAPPINESS EVERYWHERE!!  Cherish every moment.  There’s plenty of them to go around! (YAY! 🙂 ) 

Here’s to ENJOYING LIFE!  {clink} {yes… I’ve a drink in my hand… lol}  


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