Category Archives: sadness

When Joy is Hard

Joy at Home
Sometimes the Christmas season is holly jolly, merry, and bright. Sometimes Christmas is hard and sad. It hurts when things do not go as expected, when we miss people who are not with us for one reason or another, and sometimes when traditions change.

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Lows & Highs: The Best Day Possible


Grandpa enjoyed dinner, even though Grandma couldn’t come.

Low: Unmet Expectations

This week, my low was not getting the celebration I had hoped and planned. My family had been planning for at least a month to have our traditional “Early Thanksgiving & Fall Birthdays” gathering last Saturday. While we did get to celebrate over dinner, my grandma was admitted to the hospital the day before and could not come to my aunt & uncle’s house with us. Most, if not all of us visited Grandma at the hospital and the day was good but not what I had hoped.

On the way home, I had a Twitter conversation with a new friend and was reminded of what my mom says about her patients (she’s a nurse): I can’t fix them but I can make today the best day possible. In the same way, as much as I would like to just fix everything to be perfect for everyone I love, it is never going to happen. I can make today the best day possible, though.

Highs: Sweet Memories

My highs are small snippets of memories from Saturday. Brian and I found out it is possible to adjust the driver’s seat of “his” car so it is comfortable for me to drive on road trips, too.

Brian & I

My sister and dad worked together to make the oyster casserole that Grandpa has always made at Christmas and Thanksgiving. I have never developed a taste for the casserole, but it is an important holiday food for several family members.


Sara, Josh, & Eli (& his new Olaf, of course!)

Eli knows my name! …or at least to call my phone “Abby phone” but I’ll take what I can get. I let him play with the camera and take photos of his forehead, the ceiling, the fan, and his fingers. (Side note: Guided Access on iPhone is a marvelous tool to lock a user into a single app and they can’t get out without a passcode.)

After lunch, I offered to let him play with my phone again. He looked at me, “Game.”

“Do you want to play with the camera?”

He looked at it and back at me expectantly, “Game.”

“Um, try this one. Touch here to shoot the tower and then it falls down.”

“Fall down?”

Away he went, playing the game and figuring out how to switch levels. Occasionally, he would say to himself or others, “Abby phone. Fall down.”


We gathered at my aunt and uncle’s house.


Eli “crashed” Gramps & Gram’s (a.k.a. my parents’) photo, but I don’t think they cared.


Luke & Christine


My youngest brother, Ben

What are your lows and highs this week?


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Filed under celebrations, sadness, stories, Travel

Lows & Highs: 9/26-10/2/12

My low this week was feeling overwhelmed with trying to do my midterm project, prepare lessons for two different classroom observations, and month-end processing at work.

Students shared lows of finding out a godmother has a brain tumor, coping with a mom’s Huntington’s disease, hearing two classmates who were injured in a car wreck over the weekend, and worrying about a brother who was in a coma following a wreck. Please pray for these students and their families.

Note: I found out early this morning that the student’s brother passed away.

1) I had to do a “Community Connection” project for my TESOL* practicum this semester, so I organized a bilingual story time at the public library and had an excellent turnout.
2) Both my classroom observations went well and I am feeling more optimistic about the rest of the semester now that I have passed those hurdles.
*Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

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Lows & Highs: June 26-July 2

Low: My parents’ new puppy, Copper, got very sick over the weekend and died Sunday night. It was frustrating and sad because we did everything we could to take care of her, including antibiotics from the vet. I spent most of Sunday evening sitting on the floor with her in my lap, coaxing her to eat and drink and using a turkey baster to dribble liquids into her mouth. They had her less than two weeks.

High: On Saturday, my boyfriend and I went to visit my grandparents and have lunch so he could meet them. (It was all his idea because he had scheduling conflicts and could not come to any of my family gatherings this summer. The next family event is in October but he did not want to wait that long to meet the grandparents.) They live on the family farm where Grandpa was born, less than two hours away from where I live.  During the chatting and telling stories over deli sandwiches and homemade desserts, we made a fun discovery: We knew we each have a grandma named Ruth but had not connected the dots to realize they have the same birthday (one year apart)!

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