Perfect Moment Monday: Joy in small things

January 2, 2011

in Death & dying, Perfect Moment

It was a bittersweet holiday. We spent it with my in-laws in New England, which is the sweet part. The bitter part I wrote about last summer, when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer (she’s a non-smoker).

Our visit coincided with the making of The Big Decision. About as big a decision as a family can make.

Before dawn one morning last week, my husband, his sister and father took his mother to the nation’s pre-eminent cancer institute for a scheduled chemo session. After the vitals check and before the actual treatment they had a meeting with the doctors to reassess The Plan in light of the day’s findings.

The good news? No more chemo. The bad news? No more chemo.


So we find perfect moments wherever we can.

Not knowing the outcome of the decision, the children and I set about to make the homecoming as happy and welcoming as possible. I pulled out some portable speakers I’d acquired as BlogHer swag and played some kick-a$$ P!nk on my iPod.

Tessa unloaded the dishwasher and reloaded it. Reed emptied the wastebaskets into a big trash bag. I unadorned the Christmas tree and swept up the needles. We cleared and stacked and put away. We danced and cleaned and rocked the house at the top of our lungs, our healthy, bellowing lungs. We tidied up lovingly as a gesture of doing what we can to brighten a bleak day.

It felt really good to contribute together.


Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel January 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Oh, how true. The bittersweet.


a January 2, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I’m sorry to hear that there are no better options available. But I’m glad to hear that you and your children provided a wonderful homecoming for everyone.


jill January 2, 2011 at 8:25 pm

This is so touching. I really enjoy reading your perfect moment posts :) I hope the decision to stop chemo helps with her quality of life.


Quiet Dreams January 2, 2011 at 9:04 pm

So very sorry about this news. May your mother-in-law find many perfect moments in the days to come.


Kristin January 2, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Truly bittersweet. I am so sorry to hear the news about your MIL but I’m glad you and your kids were able to enjoy getting the house ready for her homecoming. {{{Hugs}}} and prayers.


Baby Smiling In Back Seat January 2, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Oh, my friend, you know how sorry I am for your whole family.

It was an honor to be able to see Grandma Lisa again during such a difficult time. I hope that the babies lightened her heart if only for a moment.


luna January 2, 2011 at 10:10 pm

such a tough decision, though I hope everyone can find some peace somehow. I hope your MIL has some quality of life remaining. so glad you were all able to spend this christmas together. and how wonderful you could all unite in support of her, tessa and reed joining in as well. sending love to you all. xo


Chris January 2, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Thinking of you and your family, my friend, as you all make this difficult journey together. May your MIL finally find peace and comfort in the days ahead. I know you all are such a blessing to her. ((hugs))


Melissa @ Full Circle January 3, 2011 at 6:00 am

Truly bittersweet (I am sitting here in tears–having dealt with that with Mama, it touches so close to home). Everyone else has said it so eloquently.. kudos for finding joy!

You all are in my prayers, dear friend


RobinJP January 3, 2011 at 8:36 am

How tough. I’m so sorry you’re all going through this. And I love how you infuse your spirit in your kids daily.


Kir January 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

oh Lori, my tears are from my heart. I envision all three of you fixing up the house , singing, pushing bad stuff out the door with the needles. My heart and prayers are with you and your family during these bittersweet days.


Dora January 3, 2011 at 10:56 am

Oh, I’m so sorry. Such hard stuff, but what a loving homecoming.


jjiraffe January 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I am so sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. This is wonderfully inspirational, yet heartbreaking: “So we find perfect moments wherever we can.” Hugs…


loribeth January 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I am sorry to hear about your MIL. I’m sure that having you all there over the holidays was a “perfect moment” for her, & I hope she has many more before her time comes, whenever that may be. (((hugs)))


Lynn January 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Oh, Lori! My heart broke for you reading this. I’m glad you are able to find good moments through this, but it is such a hard thing your family and your MIL are going through. Please know you are all in my thoughts!


Nicole January 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm

I am once again humbled and inspired by your ablility to find these perfect moments amidst such a painful and heartbreaking time. Hugs to you my friend.


caitsmom January 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Ah . . . (((((hugs)))))


battynurse January 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm

So sorry for your MIL and for all the sadness that is touching the entire family. Wishing you all much peace.


andy January 4, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Oh Lori, I’m glad at least that you could all be there together.



Alana-isms January 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm

What a difficult time for your MIL and entire family. And what a wonderful way for you and your kiddos to contribute!


Jamie January 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I’m so sorry for your MIL and your family. I know it was a bittersweet moment for your family, but I know it was a perfect moment for your MIL. ~HUGS~


Martha@A Sense of Humor is Essential January 5, 2011 at 9:41 am

Sorry, Lori. Thinking of you all with <3.
You and your children did give a lovely and kind gift indeed.


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