Tom and I once spent a week in a downtown Austin high-rise which had fabulous views of the city. It was especially beautiful at night, with the Texas State Capitol and other downtown buildings all lit up.
Unfortunately, that high-rise was Brackenridge Hospital, and Tom wasn't in any shape to appreciate those gorgeous views. He was recovering from a head-on collision that gashed his face and broke a LOT of bones. A morphine drip was his best friend that week.
Friends and family rallied around us, but one of my best friends was a spiral notebook, where I chronicled our visitors, his treatments, and my thoughts, which I gathered for my essay "In the Aftermath of a Car Wreck", eventually published in the State Lines column of the Houston Chronicle's Texas Magazine.
I've been thinking about that experience more than ever lately, mostly because today is the 19th anniversary of his wreck, but also because Brackenridge Hospital is now empty, scheduled for demolition. All of the patients have been moved to the new Dell Seton Medical Center.
That makes me sad for some reason. I realize it was the amazing staff who saved him, not the building ... the EMTs, the surgeons, the nurses ... and I'm so grateful for them, and that they will still be around, always ready to save another life.
But even though my memories may not seem like good ones, they are infused with gratitude for our friends and family who were there for us, who stepped in to help and encourage us; for the nurses who cared for him and allowed me to stay in his room; for the plastic surgeon's skill (the scar was barely noticeable after just one week!)
Mostly, I was simply grateful to sit there and watch him sleep, his chest lifting with every breath of life.
He's still here... and that is much more than sweet!
If you have lived, take thankfully the past.
And now for a few sweet!s from this past week (I'm trying to get back on track with posting these!):
Sunday: not receiving dirty looks when all you contribute to the Women's Guild soup & salad luncheon/meeting is a bag of potato chips because you didn't have time to go to the grocery store after your husband and sons stock up for their fishing weekend out of your refrigerator; your sons and husband having an awesome time together on their boys' weekend, hiking and watching a lightning storm approach on the horizon (and then being safe in their cabin when the actual storm hit); helping a neighbor/friend celebrate his 70th birthday; his awesome birthday cake...
Monday: watching a duck fly through your hollow above the creek; meeting with a client and learning about her coaching business; a verbal offer on one of your listings; finally eating at County Line BBQ
Tuesday: writing an offer for a cute young couple; being part of a Mastermind Group, committed to helping each other grow; the culture of Keller Williams Realty... supportive rather than competitive ... where agents share their success tips with others, just to be helpful; making it to Beall's with a 40% off Clearance coupon before it expires; everyone making it home safe in a blinding rainstorm; finally noticing a rock-heart embedded in the road where you walk every morning...
Wednesday: A clear, cool fall-like morning in May; Belle flushing a cottontail out of the woods and across the road in front of you, with Belle oblivious to its escape; towering yuccas blooming everywhere...
Shopping for books for a "summer reading" basket for the Lago Vista ISD Education Foundation fundraiser and managing to resist buying every one you like; starting Italian lessons via a CD series you listen to while driving, in preparation for your trip to Italy; referrals from friends; spotting a walking stick on your back stoop...
Thursday: commission checks; being able to pay your bills; dinner with a long-time friend that lasts 3 hours; margaritas made with Deep Eddy's Ruby Red Vodka; an owl swooping low out of the night on your country road
Friday: meeting your son and your daughter's boyfriend for coffee; scratching a lot off of your to-do list; looking forward to celebrating your mother-in-law's birthday with her; Mountain Pinks making their appearance...
I hope all of you had a sweet!-filled week, with more waiting for you around the corner. Have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend, remembering, and giving thanks for, those who believed in our freedom enough to give their lives for it.