I am grateful.

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As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thinking about the rough start to my year.

My ex brother-in-law died in a really terrible car crash the morning after Super Bowl Sunday. And my father was diagnosed in March with stage four lung cancer and he died 6 weeks later, on my husband’s birthday. My marriage took a few more hits while I was in recovery for our dysfunctional patterns and his suicide gesture two years ago. I never knew I needed training for suicide intervention when I walked down the aisle.

But I’m grateful because he is still alive.

I am grateful I am still alive.

The year wasn’t all bad.

There were some deeply beautiful moments.

I made a few new friends.

I saw a few good plays.

I fell in love.

Well, not “fell”, actually.

It simply creeped up on me – “slowly, then all at once”.

I was given the chance to remember what it was like to love and be loved WITHOUT having to deal with crazymaking.

Easy, peaceful, kind, open, affectionate, playful, joyful, soulful.

I read a post yesterday on facebook that went like this:

“Relationships are supposed to be fun. Not filled with misery, sadness and boredom.”

And I remembered what having fun in a relationship was all about. I’d forgotten in the aftermath of raising difficult spirited children with a partner who had been battling the twin demons of depression and alcohol abuse.

It wasn’t his fault. It just was.

I understand, now, from the inside what mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote in the introduction of his autobiography, giving a summary of the work and his life [titled WHAT I HAVE LIVED FOR]:

“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy—ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness—that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what—at last—I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.”

Some don’t, can’t, won’t try to understand the choices I’ve made.

That’s all right. I do.

No regrets.

Not one.

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About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
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