Recently, a chronically mopey person asked me “Why are you
so cheerful all the time?” It was stated
like a criticism. And it got me
Several years ago, I was in a serious car accident. I was simply in the wrong place at the wrong
time. A young girl with a two-week old
driver’s license lost control of her car and hit me head on.
I didn’t walk away from it; it took me two years to walk
without canes. Even with extensive
rehab, that collision changed my life. I
could no longer go hiking. I could no
longer dance Flamenco. I have arthritis in
every bone that was broken.
Around that time, my best friend Ruth died of MS. She had been battling the illness since she
This was a devastating, life-altering time in my life. I mourned my friend deeply. I lost a lot of the physical agility that
defined me. It was tempting to wallow in
I had a choice. I could succumb to the darkness. And sometimes I did. But then a voice started in my head.
Be grateful that you lived through the accident. Be grateful that it didn’t disfigure your
face. A young man in the other car went
through the windshield. You didn’t.
Be grateful that you can walk without a cane now. It
could have been so much worse.
As I grow older, I have joined the club that enthusiastically
bitches about “yet another damned thing” that happens to you as you age.
But it is good-natured bitching. Because we in that club are grateful to be
growing older. We are here to bitch
about it. So many of our generation aren’t.
I’m cheerful because I’m here to live another day. It’s as simple as that. And if my being cheerful, and funny, and
maybe even a bit silly can make another person smile, then we’re all better
Happy Thanksgiving to my American Friends! I'm grateful you read this blog.
version of “Why are you so cheerful” that I receive occasionally is “Why don’t
you write something serious instead of all those humorous books.” Again, this is stated like a criticism.
My answer is simple. Of
course I could write more serious fare (and in fact, I have. See my award-winning short stories, such as Hook, Line and Sinker.) But truly, there are sufficient sources of
dismal fiction and alarming news in the world. I would prefer to bring smiles
to readers’ faces.