A day with our kids and other families, swimming in a cold river, eating fresh pineapple, grilling burgers... a night spent laughing and dancing to Johnny Dee and the Rocket '88s... and then a phone call early on that Tuesday morning afterwards that made me realize how much I had been taking for granted and how quickly life can change directions.
That Tuesday was fourteen years ago today. Tom left for work, expecting it to be like any other day, but it wasn't. He didn't expect the other car to come into his lane, didn't expect to spend a week in the hospital or the summer trying to heal and recover instead of building our home. He didn't expect to live with pain for the next fourteen years.
But that's what happened, whether he expected it or not. And the thing is, we got through it. We built our home... not that summer, but there were other summers, and I'm grateful for that. We've spent more days swimming in cold water with family and friends, and evenings laughing and dancing. I don't think a day goes by when Tom isn't in some degree of pain, but somehow he moves on and doesn't let it stop him from doing what he needs, or wants, to do.
(I took notes and turned them into an essay as therapy... click "In the Aftermath of a Car Crash" if you want to read more about it.)
It wasn't the last unexpected detour in our road we've encountered, and I'm sure there are more waiting for us. I can't say I'm grateful it happened. I'd love to tell you something positive that came from it, but honestly, I haven't been able to see that ray of light yet. Perhaps it's shining where I can't see it. I can only hope so.
But I'm still grateful, period, that whatever roadblock is in front of us now, we're approaching it together.
Life is just too short for grudges and regrets that burn holes in your heart, for dwelling on the past or the future so long that you miss your today.
It's too short not to pursue your passion even if you only have a few seconds free each day to do it.
Too short to sit back and wait for things to happen, or for someone else to do it, or to make excuses.
Too short not to love with your whole heart, leaving no room for pride or selfishness, always trying to understand, listen, forgive, and ask forgiveness.
Too short not to take care of yourself and those you love.
Life is just too short, period, and too wonderful to take for granted.
(I've spared you the most graphic images of Tom. His face was split open. You're welcome.)
And now for a few sweet! moments of my week...
Sunday: chunks of time for writing; sitting in a dark theater, laughing at Dark Shadows with 2/3 of your kids, flashing back to watching the series with your dad; theater popcorn, courtesy of your son; giving my time for a friend
Monday: being asked to critique a high schooler's short story; friends pulling together to support another friend; a framed photo of you and your daughter from more than a decade ago sitting on your desk while you work, a belated Mother's Day gift from your baby girl
Tuesday: a songbird greeting you first thing in the morning; a day with your daughter, running errands, grocery shopping, meeting her new roommates; a funny movie with friends; popcorn for dinner twice in one week
Wednesday: Texas farmland and wide open spaces; supporting a dear friend as she says goodbye to her mother; catching up with long-time friends; your husband taking care of a mama mouse and her babies that he found in the garage, rather than put them outside where they'd surely be eaten by a snake
Thursday: working out for the first time in a week; hours free to work on your book; two walks with your dogs in one day; friends who send you links to freelance jobs; not having to drive anywhere all day!
Friday: turtles and yellow-crowned night heron sightings, even if you forgot to bring your zoom lens on your morning walk (do you spot it up there in the drying-up pong?); your puppy pouncing through the tall grass after lizards; scratching things off your to-do list; a call from your sister; sigh-evoking engagement photos of your son and his love; your baby girl home for the weekend
Saturday: having your husband by your side, through good days and bad days
Share your sweet moments with me! I think sharing makes them sweeter.
I hope your coming week is full of sweet, magical moments and that you remember not to take a single one for granted!
This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle; wonderful, inscrutable, magical and more, to whosoever will think of it.