My sisters and I know that Dad doesn't intend to make us feel selfish; he just wants us to have some perspective. Heather recently told me she'd been having a tough day, that work was difficult and her boys were cranky, but that, when she opened her wallet to pay for the groceries, she saw the tiny slip of paper Dad had given her on Thanksgiving that demands, "Be Grateful!" "Each time I see it, it helps me keep things in perspective and makes me realize my problems are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things," she said. "And, you know, it just makes me feel so fucking selfish."
Dad tells us, whenever he thinks we need to hear it, that "You cannot be bitching and grateful at the same time. So you have a bad day, you feel lonely, you feel down or uncertain, these days are bittersweet to me. I use them as a reference point, like when I travel from California. People who live in California all the time don't realize how lucky they are to live here. When I'm having a bad day, I know it will go away, just like I know the sun is above the clouds. Where you focus your energy is what increases in your life, and I want mine to be happy."
I have made my calls to my family and gotten my fix, for it will be more than a week before I can speak with them again. Now it is late and I am tired. I can barely breathe because of my allergies, so I probably won't sleep well. David just informed me that the Zurich gallery bumped his show up a day, meaning we will arrive after a full night's travel on Wednesday morning and must rush to get to our hotel, check in, shower and ready ourselves for David's first European show, which will take place early that evening. We have absurd amounts of luggage to check, collect, and recheck during our 19-hour journey. We are riding coach across the Atlantic Ocean. But I am not worried. In fact, I can't wait. I bet it's going to be a nine-out-of-ten day.