A Lucky Minute–In Which I Wish You a Happy St. Patty’s

Dear Lily June,

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, my dear, a day associated in America (where we’ve co-opted it from the Irish) with three actions: wearing green, drinking yourself into the golden oblivion at the end of sobriety’s rainbow, and celebrating sudden, unexpected, undeserved good fortune like it were as simple to find as a Spring clover poking its quadracephalic glory up out of the dirt.

I don’t know exactly how the expression “the luck of the Irish” came about. I only know that, in my experience, it tends to play out ironically, with every Irish lover I’ve ever taken–your father included–ending up being lashed to Fortune’s wheel and spun around cruelly until their dizzy fate was vomited back up into their laps.

I’ve been a passenger with your dad, for instance, in two cars that crumpled–one that was backed into a pole in the parking lot of a Piggly Wiggly and the other that was t-boned when the sunset blinded him to a red light. I’ve held your father as he wept over family members lost, and I’ve laughed bitterly alongside him when he spent one Independence Day trapped in a hospital bed being treated for a complication from degenerative arthritis in his back by a physician named, I kid you not, Dr. Pepper.

This year, Fate saw fit before the grand day of luck to strain a ligament in my wrist as I lifted you up. I heard a pop like the cork of a champagne bottle rocketing off and felt a rush of pain to my wrist like you might feel a flurry of intoxication post-drinking that champagne rush to your head. Only each tingling bubble that popped inside me was actually another wrenching twinge.

I’m splinted now and awaiting the relatively minor (read as “obnoxiously painful but largely unsympathetic”) injury to heal with the panacea of time while I ignore doctor’s orders and continue to type 100+ words a minute as part of my job. In the meantime, feeling hang-dog about my crappy luck, I went on a walk during my lunch break and tried to remind myself that I’ve already pocketed life’s golden ticket in so many ways, not the least of which was in having you.

Remember, Lily, that we were given the prediction that we’d only have a 5% chance of your making it through my pregnancy. Yet here you are, you lucky duck, stuck with your whiny mother who loves you. The fact that I have working legs to take the walk I did to think about that turn of events? That’s luck. The fact that I don’t have environmental allergies that prohibit me from looking over Spring’s handiwork–bursting buds and burgeoning bright green baby grass–is Luck. That we got our first big bonus from tax time that’s just enough to scrape by as the bare minimum down payment at the exact moment we started our house hunt? Luck.

Because my wrist aches and your dad’s back continually stabs, it would be easy for us to fall into being sad sacks. But then, we watched an episode of Louie last night together with a doctor who was overly apathetic to Louie’s own pain in the back, which got me thinking.

The doctor essentially claimed it was a lack of evolution that would cause almost all adult backs to ache, and when Louie asked, then, what he should do about it, the doctor gave this reply:

“Use your back as it was intended. Walk around on your hands and feet. Or accept the fact that your back is going to hurt sometimes. Be very grateful for the moments that it doesn’t. Every second spent without back pain is a lucky second. String enough of those lucky seconds together, you have a lucky minute.”

Lily June, I have spent most of my life guilty of ruminating on every unlucky second I’ve ever spent when the truth is, I’ve had my fair share of lucky minutes, too. Once you hit adulthood, it’s guaranteed that something in you will hurt, even if that something is just the memory of your childhood. I would consider myself as having struck gold if that’s not the injury you hold in your heart. I would imagine I’m enjoying miraculous serendipity if I find, each day, your father is still the one I wake up next to (literally and figuratively).

And I would count my lucky stars if I could think of a single sentence to win this writing contest that I wanted to serve as the inspiration for this post. Unfortunately, I could, in no way, craft something better than what this post started with, which would be a lousy entry in my humble opinion. Back to the drawing board, dear Lily, my lovable leprechaun. Wish me you-know-what.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you a little gold in this post’s pot. Leo Buscaglia wrote the following quotation which I love (and he was lucky enough to die before he found his words continuously though erroneously attributed on the internet to Buddha):

“Let’s rise and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we may have learned a little. And if we didn’t learn even a little, at least we didn’t get sick. And if we did get sick, at least we didn’t die. So let us all be thankful.”

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25 thoughts on “A Lucky Minute–In Which I Wish You a Happy St. Patty’s

      1. dearlilyjune says:

        Thank you, Amy and Bits, for your compliment to Lucy! I have no idea where that girl gets her charm from. How does a 10 month old know how to instinctively pose, for instance? Sometimes, it really seems like she does!

        Like

  1. Patricia says:

    I bequeath to you one of my stupid stories: I went to a bar to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with friends. I should tell you that I am 4′ 11″ and at that time I weighed about 86 pounds. As I walked in the door, a drunk guy grabbed me and yelled to his friends, “I got me one, I got me one!” and when he was asked what he got he said, “I got me a leprechaun!” I couldn’t be angry the first time he did it because it was funny but after the 3rd time, I was ready to stomp on his foot. Not that he would have felt it, being drunk and me being so light but it would have been the principle of the thing. 🤑

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Allie P. says:

    She’s so cute! I love those cheeks. Work gave us scratch off tickets as part of out luck of the Irish fun. Alas, all of my co-workers will still be returning to the office tomorrow. But to your point, we have jobs and for that I am thankful.

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  3. Lonna Hill says:

    Such a cutie! I want to pick her up and snuggle the little bug.

    On Monday I accidentally spilled tea on my laptop and it died. A stupid mistake on my part. I was a mess of worry on Monday (a brand new computer and hours of work in documents that I didn’t save to iCloud). It was such bad luck. But then again, if I try to look for the good in it . . . it did remind me of the difference between what matters and doesn’t matter. A laptop and lost documents, in the grand scheme of things doesn’t matter. The health of my family, having food and a roof over or heads, does. It sounds petty thinking of it now . . . how shallow I was to be so upset and worried about a computer (talk about first world problems, right?). I’ve since pulled out my very aged netbook and am doing my best to continue with the writing projects I was working on while I wait for the tech guys to tell me if they can salvage anything off my hard-drive.

    I’ve thought a lot about this and I usually side with providence instead of simple coincidence / luck. I like the thought of everything in life happening for a bigger / greater reason. But I guess no matter how we think of it (whether one prefers to think of providence or luck), what really matters is our attitude about how we deal with our circumstances in life. And, I know that it’s going to be a lot harder for me to say that when life throws more than a broken laptop in my direction.

    You have to deal with so much, sometimes I read your posts and think you deserve some kind of medal. I don’t know if you would say so yourself, but I feel like you deal with hardships so elegantly.

    Thanks for yet another great post. I love your writing, and I think you could win that contest with so many of the sentences I’ve already read in your blogs 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. dearlilyjune says:

      Lonna, thank you for your kind words, and forgive me that it’s taken forever to get back to them.

      There’s nothing like killing a laptop, especially if you, like me, have absolutely no technical expertise. When your computer, your car or your own body break down–if you’re not a technician, mechanic or doctor at least–it reminds you of how vulnerable you always are, and by extension, your things. I hate feeling dependent, and yet, at those times, I’m forced to admit how little I really know about how much I regularly use. But there’s the upside, too: I’m also forced to remember how interdependent we all are, how much we need each other in this world to make it through.

      Blogging reminds me of this, too, and kind comments like yours, Lonna, inspire me to keep going. And I love reading your posts to learn what it must be like to be an ex-pat or to imagine what it would be like if my family had the money to travel. Though I can’t afford to see the world, posts like yours about your family bring the world to me, and for that I feel truly lucky, or, as you say, I see how Providence has brought so many of us bloggers together! So from the bottom of my heart, please accept the only gift I can afford to give you: my gratitude. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lonna Hill says:

        No need to apologize. I totally understand. I’ve fallen quite behind in my reading this past week or so because I’ve been taking an online class and have had extra responsibilities at my son’s school. So I apologize, too, that I haven’t read your last few posts. Your blog really is one of my favorites, so I do plan to go back and read them all. Your writing gives me insight and so much to think about. I love that.

        You probably didn’t want to hear my ramblings that I left in the previous comment. It sounds silly, but my reaction to a broken computer really did slap me in the face and reminded me what really matters. I was ornery all day after it happened. The next day I felt incredibly convicted of being petty and shallow. Like I said previously, it was simple bad luck that broke my computer . . . but in an odd way, I kind of needed it to act as a mirror for me to see my reaction . . . and that I needed to re-check my values.

        It’s comforting to think of everything that happens is providence. And yet, every time I see people I love enduring hardship, I can’t help but to remember Ecclesiastes 9:11. I look around at everything I have and I know that I don’t really deserve any of it. Not really. I graduated valedictorian of my high school knowing that I was not the smartest person in my class. I got a great job after college because I happened to be in the right place at the right time, not because I was the best candidate. And I see a family member struggling to find a job and being turned down for what would be a perfect fit and wonder why. The verse says “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent . . .” So often I feel like I am the weaker, but won the battle. But when I see the stronger walk away defeated, I mourn for them and feel guilty.

        Sorry for getting philosophical on you, just talking about some of the ideas I’m struggling with.

        Blessings to you. Keep writing your posts. I’ll keep reading them . . . even if it takes me a while to get to them sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy says:

    It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I don’t believe in “luck.” (I call it something else. “Divine graciousness,” for example.) But I know what you mean. Regardless of what we call it, I guess thankfulness is key to the perpetuation of the good fortune… Whatever the name!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. dearlilyjune says:

      It doesn’t surprise me at all, Amy, that you would see Providence where others see chance, and I’m glad for the reminder to consider things that way. I want to remain open for Lily’s sake, letting her come to faith on her own terms, but whatever she decides on–the grace of a god or of man for instance–I hope she will still be thankful when good things happen. And I’m thankful for your and your comments! 🙂

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  5. originaltitle says:

    What a cutie-patootie-pudding-pie (not sure if this is a commonly used term of endearment, but it’s one of the only few I know haha)! Your daughter is so beautiful!! She gets it all from her mother, I’m sure! I’m so sorry about your wrist. That definitely throws a wrench in your writerly days (at work and at home). I’m glad you’ve remembered the lucky minute of your life in so many seconds. It’s something we should all do more often. Another great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dearlilyjune says:

      Her beauty is truly all her own. She couldn’t look more like an exact blend of her father and I if she tried, but it created this entirely new look that’s all Lily June. My wrist, after much rest, is finally better. I know I owe you emails, Alex, in the meantime, and you know I’m good for it. I’ll get there.

      Liked by 1 person

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