Erin's Journals

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Just a thought… Optimism doesn’t wait on facts. It deals with prospects. [Norman Cousins]

You can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

I want to start by acknowledging here some of the best, most dedicated, hardest working heroes among us: nurses. You have kept us healthy, gone through horrific times, and when the rest of us have felt like giving up, you’ve had to mask up and do your job, day in and day out. This is Nurses’ Week and I am in awe and feel only the deepest gratitude for your sacrifices, your patience (and patients) and for the incredible toll this pandemic has to have taken on your lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You know I often say here that I’m the kid who’s digging through the pile of manure, thinking, there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere, right? It’s never been truer than it was this week and I’ll tell you the story right after I lay a bit of background.

If Rob says, “I’m going out to the garage,” I immediately think, Oh, he’s planning a surprise. He’s going to bring in flowers. And, of course, that never happens, but I am never, ever disappointed in him. It’s just where my mind goes.

Seriously. When our daughter-in-law, who is coping with spells that could be associated with an epilepsy diagnosis, called last week and said, “I feel something coming on…” HONEST TO GOD my immediate response was, “A song?”

Of course, when she told me it was her health, I apologized immediately, but as I say, that’s where my mind goes! Someone is always about to break into a Broadway show tune and they have to call and tell me about it. (As it turns out, she was having a spell and was eventually fine, but we were grateful to be able to jump in the car to go over and make sure she was all right.)

But the clearest sign that I: a) need help, or b) am an incorrigible optimist, came the other morning when I heard a truck motor outside the house, presumably in the driveway.

I was in bed, Rob in his robe and I said, “I think we’re getting a delivery!”

He said, “It’s garbage day. That’s a pick-up.”

We both laughed. Classic ME.

And yes, there’s probably a cure for this, but I don’t want it.

You might think that the events that broke our lives apart in 2015 would have been the reality jolt that I needed to stop being so positive and, of course, for a time, it truly was. But as the months and years (now six) went on, we found ways to move forward. Writing Mourning Has Broken helped with that because I hoped it would help others and I’m still hearing on a weekly basis from people for whom it’s doing just that.

I turned the sadness that came from being away from radio and the people I loved connecting with – you – into video journals and two, soon to be three, different podcasts.

It does get better. For everyone, it’s not “every day and in every way,” as John Lennon sang in Beautiful Boy, but some days and in little ways.

I want to be like our beautiful boy, Colin, who reacts when he sees a key in the mailbox (that means there’s a parcel) with an exuberant fist pump and “Yess-uhhhhh!” We’re still laughing about that. He makes us close our eyes while he brings out our mail and then comments on everything, every flyer that looks interesting, every free pad of paper from a realtor.

I never want to lose that inner child – even when he no longer gets excited about the mail – that hope that no matter what we’re in right now, something better is around the corner. Because it has to be.

Like the rainbow picture I shot on my birthday in 2016 up north. I’ll never stop being that person who’s always chasing rainbows like the old song goes…or as the Beatles sang, “For tomorrow may rain so I’ll follow the sun.”

It’s there, you know. Sometimes the clouds obscure it, but all you have to do is rise above them or wait. It always gets better, because it has to.

And on that note, I’ll wish you a peaceful weekend and again a VERY happy Nurses’ Week. And (corny as it sounds) thank you for being my rainbow connection.

Rob WhiteheadThursday, May 13, 2021