"Thank you for fall leaves. Thank you for fall air. Thank you for "Fairy Tale". Thank you for the holiday season. Thank you for time to be off when you don't feel so hot." SAB 10-28-1997
"Thank you for the Tibetan Photo Book. Thank you for my weekend with D. Thank you for Winnie-the'r'-Pooh. Thank you for life." SAB 10-27-1997
"Thank you for grilled cheese and soup. Thank you for the movies. Thank you for benadryl. Thank you for beautiful suns. Thank you for going home again." SAB 10-26-1997
"Thank you for friends. Thank you for nice dresses. Thank you for Biore Strips. Thank you for time to not deal with parents. Thank you for early Christmas shopping." SAB 10-25-1997
"Thank you for a weekend away from home. Thank you for the little boy dog being okay. Thank you for safe arrival to D's. Thank you for rain. Thank you for time to decide." SAB 10-24-1997
"Thank you for crisp fall mornings. Thank you for laughter that makes your sides hurt. Thank you for Tom's. Thank you for health store salt and vinegar chips. Thank you for the Winnie Christmas cards." SAB 10-23-1997
"Thank you for late mornings in. Thank you for yoga. Thank you for pumpkin bread. Thank you for frogs not jumping on me. Thank you for cool catalogs." SAB 10-22-1997
"Thank you for the sub experience. Thank you for the interview. Thank you for the alumni experience. Thank you for Miss D. Thank you for the beautiful sunset." SAB 10-21-1997
"Thank you for no calls last night. Thank you for mist rising from the trees. Thank you for the ability to pass tests. Thank you for the sub job. Thank you for job opportunities." SAB 10-20-1997
"Thank you for 'help wanted' ads. Thank you for batter and dough. Thank you for the insulin pump. Thank you for things that glow in the dark. Thank you for smiles, whether from humans or other creatures." SAB 10-19-1997
I've missed the feeling of sitting here in the quiet of 'my' room, listening to the hum of the fan, the purr of the cats, the click of the remnants of my reunion gel nails on a keyboard that has now decided not to acknowledge that I have pressed j's, n's, and capitol T's. I've missed the slowing of time and the realization that when I send my thoughts into... I'm not sure where ... there is the possibility of connecting, of being part of a heart more open and expansive than mine alone, and for some reason, that acknowledgement makes me feel a little weepy. Not a sad weepy, just an incredibly grateful weepy, and I understand what Philip Yancey (in his book Prayer) was feeling when he asked "Is this how prayer works? We send signals from a visible world to an invisible one, in hope that Someone receives them."
Bee and Justin's wedding was beautiful and I have spent time editing the photos, trying to decide which ones will mean the most in fifty years. Todd is slowly recovering from getting run over by a fork lift but healing is slow and requires patience! My Mom's thyroid biopsy was negative, her pancreatic biopsy was negative, the spot on her lung disappeared and tomorrow she flies off to Oregon with her sister to visit their brothers. When she returns there will be a breast biopsy and then the implantation of a pacemaker defibrillator, and all of this started with a pain in her jaw that has miraculously disappeared. Each test is fraught with anxiety, and prayer, and waiting and ultimately gratitude. In the midst of all of this, my sister in law's first Heaven day came and went, new neighbors moved in across the street, I got my diploma from New York Institute of Photography, photographed Kari's baby shower, attended Jules 40th class reunion and met my newest ... is it 'great' or 'grand' niece and nephew for the very first time.
If ever I needed to write, it has been this month... and of course it was the one thing that I left no time for at the end of the chaotic days. So...
Isn't it amazing that when we are young, we find ourselves either in or out of the 'cliques'... either popular or not, a wallflower or not, an egghead or a geek or a future farmer or a brain or simply invisible. AND IT MATTERS SO MUCH at sixteen. The wonderful thing about time, or maybe it's just the wonderful thing about my husband's friends, if there ever were 'cliques' that divided them... forty years later they have evaporated like fog in the early morning sun. Forty years, forty pounds, forty more gray hairs... none of it matters. So many hugs. So many smiles. So many kindnesses extended to me... a stranger to most of them. What a gift to have been there, not to mention the time I got to spend with my nieces and their children. I don't realize just how much I miss them until we've been together. Ruthie's twins are precious and they let me smooch all over them. They laugh, like they really know something's funny, especially when you give them 'raspberries' on their tiny, soft, sweet smelling spots.
Gannon and Gracie are too old for that nonsense but they are bright and imaginative and I can't help but think about how much Shannon would enjoy being here with them. I know she watches over them... I know they met her before they arrived on the planet, but sometimes... more often than the enlightened me cares to admit... I imagine what life would be like if she were here with her children. I imagine the stories being handed down. Paw Paw telling about "Red Eye", Shannon and Mindy telling about the night I ran out of gas on the way home from yoga and the three of us, dressed only in our tights had to scurry down the side of a dark road... before the days of cell phones... looking for all the world like crazed elves.
I would just like to say, for the record, how incredibly proud I am of all of my nieces and nephews and thier respective spouses. They parent with such ease, and such determination and such love.
Last weekend my Virginia family was together to celebrate October birthdays. John's baby will be a year old in January. He is beautiful too... and smart and vocal and he loves trees !
There are wrinkles on my face that bother me on bad days. They are like crepe paper and remind me that I am soon going to be 56. But today, upon closer inspection, I realized that they are the crinkles that form when I smile, and these new little people make me smile a lot.
Jill and I had an afternoon together last week. We didn't watch t.v. or WII or DS. We made fairy furniture from acorns and twigs. We discovered that if you can find just the right thin flat stone, you can hollow an acorn into a planter that the Pottery Barn would be proud to display. She tried to teach me to play her flute but I couldn't find the 'sweet spot'. She invited me to the holiday band concert. I will be there adding crinkles to my cheeks.
I sat in my car on Friday waiting for Mom outside of Food Lion in Culpeper. A lady walked out with a basket full of groceries. She was wearing a black shirt with tiny scarlet flowers that seemed to glow in the sunlight. She opened her trunk and started sorting. I watched as she carefully went through every bag, rearranging the contents and placing them very carefully in the trunk. I wondered what it must be like to devote total attention to the task at hand without feeling the need to grab and toss and run.
We got pumpkins this year. Maybe they'll get carved, maybe not. Lowe's is selling a Dremel tool this year for pumpkin sculpting. You know, like Martha Stewart. Just the outside comes off in decorative patterns so that it glows. Regardless of the degree of difficulty I choose to devote to Pumpkin carving this year... there is nothing better than the smell of a cinnamon spiked Jack o Lantern on a cool October night.
So I've spent the last hour breathing. It's been wonderful. I've missed those of you who invisibly receive my visible signals. I woke in the night last night with a shred of wisdom brought back from a forgotten dream.... ' we only fully appreciate the light when we find ourselves in darkness'. Lately I've let the little things loom large... allowed the worries to obscure what really matters... that we have this moment... this day, and each other, and tomorrow will take care of itself.
"Thank you for family. Thank you for friends. Thank you for Shannon's constant reminders. Thank you for sunny Sundays with people you love. Thank you for listening." JJB 10-19-2010