Friday, December 22, 2006

End of year gratitude

What a year this has been!

More and more lately I have to simply abandon even keeping track of the body count in Iraq. I can't stay that angry. I can only hope that the change in leadership in Washington will do something to balance the abuse of power, and get us out of that quagmire. I take no solace in having been right about this war: I've had a "No Iraq War" sign posted since before we even got there. If I knew it was a bad idea, why didn't Hilary and the rest of the Democrats who could have voted against it? Why didn't our President know it? Or did he?

As a stark contrast, my life with Ben has been so filled with goodness this year. Making this move to Ann Arbor was scary and exhilarating. I was so fortunate to be able to sell my house (literally at my yard sale I held to clean it out in order to sell it), to be able to afford the move and the incredibly high cost of housing here, and to live in this town that was declared the third brainiest city in the nation. We beat Cambridge, Mass., coming in third after Boulder and Bethesda.

I miss my friends of two decades who stayed behind in Port Huron, and my sister and brother-in-law and nephew, but we keep in touch and Ben and I get back there about every six weeks or so. Ann Arbor is such a cool destination, they visit us too. Jackie and Phil were here just Wednesday, and we had a wonderful dinner, replete with tears and laughter. I really miss them, and I miss having a house full of friends eating and drinking and laughing, the way we did fairly regularly at my house in Port Huron.

My job is rewarding, even today when I basically dealt all day with parents who can't set aside their own grievances to allow their children to have unfettered relationships with each other. It's so sad, especially at Christmas: one mother who had snatched her kids early from school to keep them from going to celebrate Christmas with her ex-husband's family was talking to me with the kids in the car, on her daughter's cellphone. "If they go with him, who will I have at Christmas?" she said, as if, of course, it was all about her. On another call, after I listened to the dad lay out his grievances, I suggested that he needed to learn to talk to his kid's mom. "Oh, I don't talk to her," he said. Job security for future generations of therapists.

My co-worker Jayne reminded me that there are lots of parents who make it work for their kids, and we don't hear from them because they are making it work. Of course that's true--we have 22,000 open files in our county, and I only dealt with five sets of parents today. It's a matter of perspective.

Tomorrow Ben and I leave for my mom's, where we'll be joined by my two sisters and three nephews and one brother in law. I am glad both my parents are living and in relatively good health: my co-worker Sarah is watching her father die in her home this Christmas, with Hospice lending compassion and care. I am so glad my sisters are making the trip so that we can all be together for this holiday. Ben will love it, and my sisters and I always have fun. Two Christmases ago we were all at my sister Melissa's house in Boca Raton, and I confess it was nice to sit on the veranda with a cocktail and look out at green everywhere. It's been so warm here this winter, our grass is still almost green.

I'll be offline for a few days. I am grateful for those who keep reading and encouraging my attempts at writing here in Blogosphere. One of you even traded couplets with me this afternoon, just to keep our spirits up. May each of you find inspiration and encouragement in your corner of the ether.

Peace, shalom, salaam to all of you, and to all a good night!

1 comment:

Ben & Bennie said...

My dear friend, make that little boy spoiled! You two are a gift to each other! God bless you all always!