The Art of Seeing the Good | East Texas Moms

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I am a recovering pessimist.

Seeing the good and thinking positive is difficult for me. I have to work hard at being positive; especially if it involves me and mine. For years, I have heard people say, “There is always good”, and I always questioned it and their authenticity; especially during tragedies or tragic events. “How can there be good in tragedy?!”

It wasn’t until my husband got Leukemia that I really began to consider this idea and believe it. Crazy, right?  My husband gets cancer and that’s what it took for me to see the good in seemingly bad situations. When he was traveling back and forth to Houston for treatments, me, him, Jackson (2 then) and my mom would all go.  We would stay in a fun hotel and go on fun outings the whole weekend, in between treatments. We got to experience really cool parts of Houston, like our favorites Herman Park, Shake Shack, North Italia, Yia Yias, other yummy food and fun.

 

My theory is maybe my super positive husband rubbed off on me. He is light in the dark and he has been since the day I met him. Always positive and always seeing the good.  He actually reminds me of Clark Griswold in the Vacation movies, because Clark is for most of the movies, until he throws his iconic fits, positive.

Since then, there have been sad events in my life.

My sweet, 92-year-old grandmother, Maw, got sick around Christmas and passed away on February 20 (Valentine’s Day); and now the situations surrounding COVID 19. I have, while experiencing sadness, been able to still see the good and focus on it. Now when something bad happens, I think of at least one good thing.  There is always at least one.  Now, trust me, I have to actively think about doing this; it doesn’t come naturally. Seeing the good is a practice; an art.

While Maw was sick, we took care of her at home, then we took care of her in assisted living, then the nursing home and the hospital until she passed. It broke our hearts to see her not well and at the same time, there was so much good. We all knew that she loved us, but during this time we all could really feel how much she trusted us. She trusted us with her life and you could see it in her eyes.

We are a close family and this event brought us even closer. We came together as a family in order to give her the best possible care. One day, while we were trying to help get her up, we decided to count to 10.  That was the first time that Jackson counted to 10. It brought my grandmother such joy to hear that, even while she didn’t feel well.

A very special moment between me and Maw was when I got to feed her. She was unable to feed herself for a few weeks and I got to feed her, twice. It was one of the most special moments of my life. To be able to care for her in that way and to be able to help her was so special.

While she was sick and in between the hospital and nursing home, my mom stayed with Frank and I since we live closer to the hospital she was in. We made sure my mom got a good night sleep and ate well. I was able to stay up and wait for her to come home the night Maw passed away and that will always be so special. I was able to be there for her first.

After Maw passed away, I was on a call with my brother, who lives 5 hours away and he said something I will never forget. He said “‘it’s time for me to come home.” He called our childhood home, “home”. I guess it will always be home, even though his home is with Amy and the girls. Maybe you can have two; the one you’re from and the one you have now.

COVID 19 has brought anxiety, worry, fear, sickness, death; bad, negative things. Everyday during our “stay at home” I have noticed the good. Since our stay at home order there have been things I have noticed and things we have done that have been so good for the body, mind and soul.

  1. Wine Down Wednesday – My friend Jenny, my mama, my sister-in-law and her sister and I have a Zoom meeting, every Wednesday at 5 PM.  We call it Wine Down Wednesday.  We drink our wine, cocktails, coffee; our drink of choice and we just chat about whatever we want.  The thing is, we never did this before COVID 19; at all.  It’s so fun and Jackson enjoys it because he gets to see his cousins on the “TV”.  I would like to see it continue once things are normal again.
  2. Group texting with Jenny and Colleen.  Jenny and I met Colleen through CrossFit 259 and we began a group message when we were all banished to our homes.  We discuss our plans, upsets, anything we want. It’s fun and a really good way for us to get to know one another better.
  3. CrossFit 259 on Zoom – I thought I was a “work out at home” gal, until I started going to CrossFit 259.  Now I am an “I need to GO to the gym” type of gal. It’s my hour away to do something good for myself. When they closed down the gyms, our fearless leader, Lonnie, put the workouts online via Zoom. We meet online and it’s different but it’s also fun and we get to see each other and still work on our goals. I also think it’s helped us all to get to know one another better. You get to see the interruptions of working out at home, hear the background noise, see other family members, etc.
  4. Frank (my husband) gets to go to work later. Normally on Tuesday and Friday he gets up at 4:30 AM, which means he goes to bed the night before at 8:30 PM.  Since the stay at home has been going on, we put Jackson to bed and watch our favorite TV shows, which we didn’t do before.  It’s a fun routine of popcorn, snacking and TV!  We finished Breaking Bad (best show ever; watch it immediately if you haven’t), El Camino and now Better Call Saul.
  5. Sending gifts to my parents via Frank on Fridays.  Frank goes to Waskom typically on Fridays and we send my parents goodies such as letters from Jackson, wine, banana bread, polaroid pictures of Jackson, etc.  They really love it and it’s something we started during this stay at home.  We also started mailing my parents little letters and pictures from Jackson to surprise them
  6. Lastly, before COVID 19, I was always  anxious about taking Jackson places. Fear of germs, sickness, etc. We went places, but we could have been doing so much more. Now that the option has been taken from me, I see the error of my ways. You better believe that when this is over and it’s safe, we will be going places with Jackson having fun.

All of these are examples of seeing the good. The good is there. Sometimes it’s hidden and sometimes it’s right in your face. I know that right now, times can be scary and uncertain.  I know we all miss our normal routines, our jobs, our friends and family.

There is always good.

And if you really look, I promise you will see it.

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Marie Murphy was raised in East Texas. She got her degree in Family and Child Development and Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2006. Marie worked for the Adult Protective Services as an investigator and then at Community Healthcore as a caseworker. She met her amazingly wonderful husband, Frank, in 2013. She is now a stay at home mama to their beautiful 3-year-old, Jackson; he loves exploring, climbing, being outside and entertaining…to say the least and she has two bonus kids; Ben studying psychology in college and Elliot playing varsity tennis in high school. Marie also takes care of 2 cats, 2 dogs and a fish. She loves being with her family, hosting dinners, laughing, talking with friends, working out, being outdoors, cooking and writing.

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