Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them. – Alan Watts

It’s funny. No really, it is. You would not think that anything could be funny at a time like this. My mom is in the Critical Care unit at Virginia Mason. Three days ago we were having conversations with the doctors where they were advising us that if her condition were to get much worse we would have some “difficult decisions” to make. I looked at mom shortly after that and I was convinced that she was saying to me, “What’s the point?” Joe and I were discussing mom’s medical directive and how long mom would want to live on the ventilator if it came down to that decision.

Today, mom’s personality is nearly fully intact. She has her sense of humor and when the kids came down to see her, the first concern that she had is that they write down their Christmas lists. Physically, mom still has a long way to go, this infection will have taken a big toll on her lungs and (of course) she still has the same battle with MM to fight. She is nowhere close to the finish line in this race. Still, today we are laughing. Mom is talking about spending Christmas with our family and she has a bright energy in her eyes.

My kids have a book called Priscilla and the Pink Planet. The premise of the book is pretty simple, a Queen loves pink more than any other color and for as long as anyone on the planet can remember everything that they have ever seen is some beautiful shade of pink. Priscilla being the questioning type does not take this at face value, and is beginning to really hate pink; she needs answers. Eventually she meets the Queen and in a flash of brilliance Priscilla convinces her that pink will look ‘even pinker’ when seen with other colors. Voila, the pink planet is awash in every color of the rainbow.

One of the silver linings that we are given when dealing with a personal tragedy is that the good things in our lives are even better. Our bad jokes are even funnier, something that normally would embarrass us seems to matter a little bit less. Mom’s eyes are just a little bit brighter and I am very happy to be sitting here next to her at 11pm, watching her sleep.

Among millions of other things, thank you mom for the perspective.

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