I have discovered what it's like to have my "normal" create sadness within others, and I don't like it. Good Midwestern Irish/Germans do their right best to make other people feel comfortable, not make them cry.
My precious mamma sobbed this weekend. People I've never met at Mom's church teared up meeting me, and said that they are praying for me; I made my friends Aimee and Cathy tear up yesterday; and all of these tears just break my heart.
How does one adequately lie and tell others that everything will be okay - that things are good? I dread this upcoming surgery, as I have no idea how I will bolt it on through what promises to be exquisite discomfort. I simply can't bear to see more people sad about this.
Several people have asked about how one keeps a positive attitude when their body is literally falling apart before their eyes, and the answer is simple. The alternative sucks.
If the desire to curl up in a fetal ball in a dark room under a mountain of covers feeling sorry for myself ever takes over, I do it. Alone. Yes, that really happens, but who wants to be around that person? I sure as hell don't.
The sunny disposition is not an act, however. It's a newfound appreciation for the things in life I took for granted for 40 years. Don't become the person that makes others cry before you discover truly being present in your life to enjoy these simple things:
The color of the sky in the morning
Shapes that clouds make
The intricate veining of every individual leaf
The amazing softness of your pets
The warmth of a doggie belly
The sound of a bumblebee
Cultivating a garden
Basil and Ginger
The feel of a breeze
Moving a joint without pain
The breath of a sleeping loved one on your skin
The smells during cooking
8,000,000 other things
It's not focusing on the things I can no longer do that I loved, but discovering the joy in the things I've always had and never realized. I wish this for you, without the pain, without the tears.