By the way, my Buddhist friend who had a double mastectomy last Thursday was at the culture centre chanting on Saturday morning and shopping in the afternoon with nothing more than extra strength Tylenol in her system. After I stopped blubbering, I called her and spoke to her just to confirm what I had been told. She sounded so great and so happy. She said she felt our daimoku the whole time. She felt so grateful.
Frankly, if I had had a cold, I wouldn't have gotten up early and dragged my ass to the culture centre in the freezing cold, never mind surgery.
Note to self. No more excuses.
I had a really great conversation with hubby the other night about being grateful for family. His older brother was being a bit persnickety about something. And as usual, hubby starts barking into the phone and then they hang up on each other and then he gets a phone call back and then they express how their tender emotions and the fight is over.
You know how I complain about how cheery his family is at this time of the year and how overwhelmed it makes me feel. I only have memories of sullen, dysfunctional Christmases and yet I still crave to be with my side of the family just once without having it feel like something I have to ENDURE. I told him how lucky he was to have a great mother, and warm and caring relatives, that they should never let petty complaints get in the way of their love for one another. Like every family, they have their issues, but for crying out loud, they actually talk to each other even if they're mad. They have always made me feel so appreciated and accepted and I know so many people who have to endure with in laws or relatives with gritted teeth.
My family wouldn't know the honest truth if it smacked them upside the head. I've tried to talk privately with each of my sisters about things and they have an uncanny ability to avoid actually being alone with me. We have a tendency to report events, not share how we really feel. When things go wrong, it's usually me that tries to "fix" things. I can count on one hand the amount of times we've been alone together in the past 10 years. I would also have fingers left for the amount of times they've actually called to see if I needed anything.
So. With this in mind, I will do my best to embrace my husband's side of the family with more gratitude and appreciation for who they are. I think his mum wants us to go to church. I have no idea why people who never go to church insist everyone go at Christmas. Oh, man. This is going to be tough.
And I'm not eating trifle... no matter what.