No Party without Clean Up
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No Party without Clean Up

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Ok, saying good-bye is never easy and while I was anxious to get home from the Philippines, I started to miss my brother and the family, my caregivers Pol and Niesel, the drivers, housekeepers and everyone who so tried very hard to make it a grand vacation. As we got to the airport, the rain started to drizzle on us, the boxes and as I was carried for the last time into my manual chair, tears started welling up my eyes as we hugged and said so long to everyone. I really had no time to indulge in my sentimentalism as we had to get busy with the present demands of the moment—getting in line for the check in, preparing the passports, the tickets, the boxes and bags, etc. During flight, Victoria was sick in the stomach and when she wasn’t coming out of the lavatory, I thought we had to fetch for emergency help but luckily my sister Christine, a Kaiser doctor was with us and she sat in vigil until she got better. After we landed at LAX, the abrupt change in the weather and the chaos of having to go through seat transfers by total strangers, the waiting for the chair and the bags and the INS and customs were really grating on my nerves and exhausted body. It took another 2 hours before we could get home.

When we finally did get home, I was finding myself short on temper, followed by the insidious creeping in of negative thoughts or feelings of dissatisfaction. I wanted to just throw my shoes to the floor and just walk barefoot with total abandon and plop myself in bed if only I could walk. But here back in LA, I no longer had the extra personal care support I had during my vacation. Everyone in my household was tired and I was on my own to check on myself and attend to my needs. I had to be the guide once again, making sure that we could bring temporary order out of the chaos of boxes and suitcases into a home still full of Christmas decorations and left-over clutter from 2012. Vacation was truly over! As I finally inched my way into bed, I was seized with guilt that after all the wonderful gift that the vacation was (and I haven’t even really detailed the delights of each day yet), I was grumpy!

But the gentle Spirit, as I was beginning to doze off, seemed to whisper in my ear, “There is no party without clean-up!” I was puzzled at the thought, “no party without clean-up?” I wondered what that meant for a while. But I thought harder and then I began to understand. The vacation was the party—it was a grand big party of people, sights, thrills, joys and unexpected delights of course, but when it ended, there was the need for responsible clean up. But I had to start with myself—I had to put my mind back in the present, my heart back in the habit of loving and my hands back in the habit of serving. I had to sweep away my dissatisfaction, throw my negative thoughts and keep the atmosphere clear with the sweet smell of harmony! Very corny indeed but useful for my mental health! I thanked the Spirit for the thought and the loving way He handled my grumpiness! –Lillibeth Navarro, January 8th, 2013

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