Attitude Allowance

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I just returned from being with my family as we joined together to honor my brother who recently passed away from a brain aneurysm at the age of 56 years of age.  It was a surreal experience that actually saw some interesting events that took place that wound up causing me to be late for my own brother’s memorial service.  What happened was the brakes to the vehicle I drove down with seized up and I wound up spending a good portion of the day getting these things fixed as quickly as possible so I could get to where I needed to be on time.

Okay, so I wasn’t on time, but I still made it.  Everybody was still there and it was all good.  The reason why I am bringing this up in this particular blog is I wanted to share my experience with anyone who cares to read it.  In essence, this is what I have done with all my blog posts since I started doing this thing.  For those who have not figured it out by now I just put what is on my mind at the time either as a means to vent or just express myself in a manner I see fit.  I do not do this for appraisal or approval.  I actually don’t even do it for attention.  I treat my blog like a diary of sorts and just share it because it is my hope that whoever comes across whatever I write either takes it as an educational experience or a dose of amusement, based on however you view my little rants and raves.

This past weekend was more eventful than I bargained for.  Already I knew it would be a trying one because it was not a pleasure trip I was embarking on.  It was to pay respects to my brother in a manner that was almost robbed from me because of the mismanagement of his affairs by someone whom both he and I thought could be trusted.  I could go into the full scale drama about it, but this would not honor my brother or bring him back so I choose not to go there.

The direction I am choosing is more focused on the importance of recognizing our blessings as we get them and count them all for what they are worth.  This even includes moments where they may not seem like blessings as they’re happening, but once reality sinks in that is precisely what they are.

Before my boyfriend and I even embarked on our trip there was a decision as to which vehicle to take for the trip.  I had just traded mine in for another the day before.  Yes, this was odd timing, but my vehicle trade was already in the works prior to my brother’s death and as profound as that situation was the truth of the matter is life still goes on.

The dilemma between the choice between the two vehicles was to either take one that I hardly know yet on a long distance trip (9 hours one way) or take one that already had rough brakes.  I wanted to take mine, but the boyfriend insisted to take his so I went with his decision.  I figured since it was mostly highway driving it shouldn’t be that bad.

I was wrong.  For starters, one of the highways we took literally deserves to be dubbed Highway From Hell because that is precisely what it was.  The very fact this road was even accessible to the public is a crime by the transportation department itself.  It was extremely dangerous and definitely contributed to the rapid decline of the condition of the brakes of the vehicle we chose to drive.  However, a guaranteed fact is if we took my car instead of his we would not have made it through that highway at all.  My car is much lower than his SUV and some of those bumps and holes we encountered would have mutilated my machine and we never would have made it out the province of Saskatchewan let alone my own brother’s memorial service.

So, in a sense, I counted my blessing with the fact that we did go with a vehicle that had brake issues.  This is even after the fact that once we made it to our motel I had observed the grinding noise of these brakes did give me strong cause for concern.  However, despite knowing this I knew there were still tasks at hand that needed to be done.  This included picking up my brother’s remains from the funeral home that was kind enough to honor my wishes.  This also included meeting up with members of my family for an evening where it was just a tiny handful of us before the big day, which was slated for the next day.  My boyfriend opted to stay behind at the motel as he was fatigued and has actually been battling a few health ailments.  For me, the very fact that he chose to come with me was enough.  It was initially agreed the day of the memorial service would be more ideal.  He has only met a tiny handful of my family once while the rest are still perfect strangers to him.  Meeting them while sick and fatigued would not have been a good move so I allowed him his night to relax while I got my night with some of those closest to me to share stories and vent.

It was a great evening until I attempted to leave their home for the motel.  I couldn’t even move the SUV.  I could start it, no problem, but going in reverse was out of the question.  That was the only way out of the driveway.  My cousins come out and we try to figure out the problem.  No luck.  This vehicle was not going to move.  We noticed 3 wheels were willing to turn.  However, in order to get a vehicle moving properly you need all 4 of them to cooperate.  Clearly the 4th was not going to cooperate and we saw why.  Something was seized or melded in such a manner that the only way this vehicle was going to go anywhere was by a tow job.

Realizing there was nothing further we could do for the night given the hour (everything closed by then) my cousins were good enough to drive me back to the motel and then agree to come and get me again in the morning.  I explained all this to the boyfriend and to my surprise he took it better than expected.  He is one of those types of people where if something does not go well he will have some sort of emotional meltdown.  Now granted, he did not take the news well that his SUV was hooped, but shared the same mentality I did.  No point fretting over something you can’t do anything about just yet.  Tomorrow is another day.  Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

We spent the rest of the evening simply relaxing until the next morning.  This is when I sprung into action.  First it was a call to my cousins to see when they’d be at the motel to pick us up.  Immediately after that it was contact a garage that could work on these brakes on a Saturday.  I found a garage and explained my situation.  They were great.  Already they knew what to do from their end.  Now it was a matter to get that SUV to them, which I knew would be a long haul and an expensive tow job.  The towing fee was already $100 just for the hook up, plus $3 per kilometer.  The mileage is approximately 80 kilometers so do the math.  $240 + $100 = OUCH!  And if anybody has had any kind of mechanical work done to their vehicles you know this is not a cheap undertaking.

Luckily for me, there was roadside assistance coverage so no towing fee all to take care of.  We actually had our coverage lapse, but my relatives whom my SUV was still at came through with their coverage and all was well.  When my cousins drove me back to their place we arrived just moments before the tow truck driver did and once all the details were mostly ironed out it was agreed I’d accompany the tow truck driver to the garage the SUV was being taken to.  My cousins actually followed us in with their car.  They saw to it that I was not left hanging or stranded by any means.

This is the point now where I should point out that my boyfriend’s ailments did not get any better.  Although no longer fatigued, the stress of the situation simply forced the ailments he had already been experiencing to be compounded to the point where it was best he stay behind in the motel room and just take it easy.  The financial details was left in my hands, but with his funds as it was his vehicle.  He trusts me enough to know I would never do anything dubious, just as I trust him the same way.

Now, getting back to the SUV story, once we arrived at the garage I observed how great the tow truck driver and the garage staff were.  The way they handled this immovable object without error was so impressive I swear I was watching a live artwork taking place before me.  Truly amazing.  At the same time, my cousins showed up and they stayed with me for as long as they could before realizing they had to be back in order to help their mother finish with setting up my brother’s memorial arrangements.  I, unfortunately, had no choice but to stay behind but oddly enough I was okay with it.  Why?  Because I knew between these awesome relatives of mine who got so involved with this showed me my brother was in good hands with them and I had nothing to worry about.  All I needed to do was show up.

The staff at the garage knew this and were nothing short of speedy and professional as they did whatever they could to get my SUV road worthy before the end of the day.  One positive we did learn before my cousins had to go back was that the SUV would indeed be ready before the end of the day.  The negative was how much it was going to cost, but again the positive side to that one is there were enough funds to cover it.  I will tell you right now in this regard you have on idea how thankful I truly was that we were somehow blessed to have enough to cover something that was a very costly repair to do.  Normally we don’t have such funds but the company whom my boyfriend and I both work at paid him a very healthy bonus for his loyal workmanship that it was enough to take care of something immediately without too much stress about it.  For me, as unfortunate as this situation was I actually counted our blessings that the ability to come up with quick resolves to such a sudden handful of unpleasant experiences was there.

Granted, the situation was stressful but I was okay with it.  Even my less than healthy boyfriend was okay.  We were both okay and before the day was done the SUV was okay too.  Well, sorta.

Turns out it was more than just one brake that needed immediate attention.  There were two.  Both were replaced but we also observed the tires were not wonderful.  In fact, two of them are bald.  Very bald.  The garage didn’t have the right tires to have them replaced, but did rotate them as they were originally in the front.  Now placed in the back, even if they blew on the way home for some crazy reason it is way easier to handle a vehicle with a blown tire in the rear than it is in the front.  It still won’t be a pretty experience, but certainly more manageable.

Lucky for us it didn’t come down to that.  We were able to make it home without any further vehicle trouble.  However, I should point out I did wind up late for my own brother’s memorial.  However, of those who attended, they were all good enough to at least wait until I got there.  That was great.  It showed me how awesome family truly is.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  It was never about me.  It was about my brother.  It was also about people who cared coming together and just enjoying family time together.  For me, this is more important than anything.  I don’t get to spend enough time with my family as it is, so this was great.  It would have been better if my boyfriend was with me too, but I am a firm believer everything happens for a reason.  We may not always agree with it at the time and it may not always be pleasant, but the very fact that a person can still get through it without losing their cool and still hold their head up high speaks volumes.  To me it shows that the power of positive thinking and a good attitude goes a very long way to help a person get through even the most difficult days.

I also believe in the power of prayer.  I believe in God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and even in angels.  I firmly believe the human race is connected by what the Holy Spirit provides in all of us.  We are all connected and this is what I find an essential ingredient that binds our humanity to where it needs to be.  God is our creator and our one true father.  We each have parents, yes, but without God’s say not even this particular blessing would have come into light.  I believe each of us have people and situations in our lives that give us the sculpting tools needed to shape who we are and what we wish to become.  For those who make the most out of it by opting a positive road and counting their blessings no matter what the occasion is, I honestly believe these are the best qualities that make humanity such an awesome masterpiece in my eyes.

There’s been situations thrown in my face, especially recently, where I could have opted to feel sorry for myself and hate the world as a result.  I have learned both my brother and I have been wronged by someone we trusted and while my brother is no longer alive to do anything about it, I am.  However, instead of taking the hateful road and condemning those who’ve done those wrongs I opt to make a positive out of it.  That positive is helping me realize just how valuable family and friends truly are who exercise the true meaning of compassion, love and understanding.  This is what defines the human race and what drives me to do whatever I can with whatever power I have to believe not just in God, but in humanity as a whole.

Family to me is everything, as are my friends.  I am not the most emotional person in the world and at times I may actually come across as cold, but in truth I am far from this.  I am passionate, there is no doubt about that, but at the same time I do try to keep my sense of humanity in check.  This means doing whatever I can to maintain a positive attitude no matter how dire a situation becomes.  I do have moments where I fail and have a breakdown, but those are momentary at best and I believe needed moments to just let the pressure go.  Each person experiences these, but the key is to make the effort to bounce back.  Don’t look at a bad event or situation as a curse.  Look at it as a blessing in disguise.  Life throws all sorts of curves in our direction and it is up to us how we wish to learn from the experience.  Do so in a positive manner and be a better person for it is my favorite option because it keeps me focused on what’s truly important in my life.

Not only is family and friends the most important aspects to my little world, but my faith in humanity and in our creator.  I believe as crazy as our weekend was what helped us get through it was believing in that one way or the other everything would work itself out through the wonderful combination of prayer and resourcefulness.  To be perfectly honest, I do not believe you can have one without the other.

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