A Bad Day Turned Good

A bad day turned good.

Today was the fourth anniversary of my mother’s passing. We all grieve in different ways, but for me, anniversaries like this can be tough. I dread it every year, and today, I cried several times. But they were not tears of sadness. They were tears of joy. It turned out to be a good day!

I managed to sleep last night, which is quite a feat in itself, because in the past, on this day, I have found myself awake most of the night. So I slept through the night…a good thing…a gift.

I awoke this morning at 8:00, when my husband brought me coffee in bed. He does that every morning, and it’s the perfect way to start the day. I’m a much happier wife, and he has a much happier life because of that first cup of coffee.

Soon thereafter, one of my favorite friends came over for a cup of coffee. Yes, I was getting caffeinated, but I had a headache, anyway, and caffeine helps the migraine meds kick in faster. My friend came in, and we sat and talked for over an hour before she had to go. It was a great way to start the day…we are good therapy for each other. We have been friends for more than 16 years, so we understand each other. Good friends are hard to find, and I definitely found a good one in this one…a gift.

After she left, I finally decided to get a shower and get dressed for the day. I knew I would feel better if I put on “real clothes,” instead of the comfy clothes I tend to wear around the house. So after I got out of the shower, I decided to put on a red shirt…color makes me feel happier. And because I was going to have cocktails with friends later, I wanted to wear some festive, happy earrings. I have some “statement” earrings I haven’t worn in quite some time, but I thought they would be perfect. Because they are large, I keep them in their own box, so I got out the box and found a surprise! Several months ago, I misplaced some treasured pearl earrings my husband gave me soon after we married. I was heartbroken when I realized it, and I turned my bedroom/closet/bathroom upside down looking for them, to no avail. I had to put it out of my mind and put it behind me, because thinking about the missing earrings stressed me out. But today, when I opened the “statement” earring box, I found the pearl earrings right there with them! Oh, I was so excited that I cried tears of joy! I know it will sound silly to some, but I felt like my mother, on the fourth anniversary of her passing, had delivered me a gift.

Later, at 2:00 in the afternoon, I went to a friend’s house. She had invited me over for holiday-ish cocktails. Last year, we had cocktails on my driveway, because of the pandemic, and she brought edible shot glasses she had made from chocolate and cookie dough. And because we had so much fun with it, she decided to do it again this year! Some good fun on the anniversary of my mother’s death, and to top it off, we put Bailey’s Irish Creme in the shot glasses…my mother’s favorite. My friend had purchased it just for the occasion. Most of the time, I pick good friends, and I picked this one 11 or 12 years ago. She’s a keeper…a gift.

Afterward, I came home just in time to greet my nephew and his girlfriend when they arrived to spend the weekend with us…a gift in itself. It’s always fun when they come to town, but this time, they brought boxes of pictures from my mother’s house…two giant Rubbermaid tubs of photos!

Before we could go through the photos, my husband and I walked down to a neighbor’s house to have cocktails in celebration of his retirement…another gift…great neighbors. We are very fortunate to have lots of people around us who are good people. It was fun visiting with them, and it was nice to see the new retiree so happy.

After we got home…late in the evening, we had the best times going through the photos from the Rubbermaid tubs…laughing as I told family stories to my nephew and his girlfriend. And near the bottom of the box was a mini cassette recorder. We opened it and found a cassette inside, so we decided to replace the batteries and find out what was on the tape…and what a gift it was! It took me a while to figure out that it was recorded in the fall of 2000, when we all met in Panama City, Florida, for my cousin’s wedding. It started with one of my nephews, who were almost three years old at the time, singing into into the recorded. And the recorder was left on after that, so I could hear us all laughing and talking for about twenty minutes…in 2000! What an incredible gift! My mother’s voice! My daddy’s voice! My daddy and my brother playing with my nephews! And all of us laughing! What a joy! It was like a visit with my parents…a gift!

Also, near the bottom of the box, I found an envelope that contained a photo of a group of women. It also contained a list of names and addresses, and I finally figured out it was from a reunion of my mother’s nursing school class. Apparently, she didn’t attend the reunion, but someone had sent her all the info afterward. I scanned the list and recognized a few names, and then I saw a last name that was familiar. It was the same last name as the married name of a friend from college. I texted her and asked if she was related to the woman. She replied, “That’s my mother-in-law. I’m almost afraid to ask why.” I explained that her mother-in-law went to nursing school with my mother! Small world! Another connection made…a gift.

So yes, the fourth anniversary of my mother’s passing was a good day. I went to bed happy, knowing my mother had sent me gifts and memories. It was a bad day turned good.

Maybe I should have purchased a lottery ticket.

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