Patrick and I have always disliked those "family newsletters" you get with an obligatory christmas card every year. It's not that we don't enjoy knowing how our loved ones are doing, it's just that they always sound like life is "so perfect" that they end up sounding like a Walgreens commercial. Unfortunately, my sister's are the worst. (LOVE YOU THOUGH, SIS!) We would truly just rather have a signature on the card and save the update for something one on one at their convenience and when we can find out how things are going beyond the surface.
"... and we were blessed with a brand new house and Jimmy is getting straight A's at his private school...and "M's" mom was here for two weeks this summer and we had the nicest visit...and blah blah blah." Bah humbug.
I'd much rather hear the truth.
"...and the house we just built was built over an ancient Indian burial site...and we still can't get Jimmy to take responsibility or do any chores.. and when "M's" mom was here this summer, we couldn't get her to leave and she stopped up the toilet and it overflowed and she didn't TELL anyone...and oh yah, Merry Flippin Christmas."
Okay, maybe thats a bit drastic. But you get my point. I think this year I should write a "family newsletter" that could really put all the other "perfect" letters to shame. I haven't decided whether to let it all hang out and give it to them like it is, or just be so sweet and "perfect" that folks will wonder if I've be dipping into Patrick's meds. Either way, if I were to write a family newsletter this Christmas, it would be drastically different from what I thought I'd be writing about if you had asked me six months ago.
The good news is we still have several more months for more "perfect" things to happen to us before I have to start writing it. There certainly have been more things to be thankful for this year- all I have to do is look at my husband, his progress over the past six months,and the fact that he is alive and is smiling at me everyday to know things could've been alot worse.
Patrick's and my lives are not "perfect". And I certainly will never be able to pretend they are. Our lives would not be anymore perfect had he never had a stroke- there are always challenges. But our lives now are good, and because of the stroke I can appreciate the things in life that would have slipped right by me before.
I guess I now know what kind of letter I have to write. Honest, from the heart, and thankful to still be able to get all those annoying "perfect" letters from everyone else.