How often do we slow down long enough to appreciate our breath? That simple act of bringing air in and letting air out that keeps us alive... for me, the answer is rarely. It's that way with so many of the moments in life that really matter.
My neighbor fell and broke her hip. She has two four legged children that I get to spend time with until she gets home. There is a cat, Norton, who adopted another neighbor years ago... life requires movement but Norton remains. A young wife is making plans with her two children to celebrate her husband's birthday, his first in Heaven. They are in my thoughts as I walk across my street at five a.m.
At five a.m., the pavement is warm. The air is gentle. It's easier to smell the last of the lilacs and the hint of a shower in the dark. Bird's are starting to wake and stretch and sing. I know how blessed I am.
This morning I slowed just a little as I crossed the street. I pulled the hood up on my red coat... Lizza's red coat when the rain started. I touched the thumb ring that I bought when Shannon and I were visiting the Grand Canyon. I listened, as the rain splashed against the leaves of the elm/Angel Tree. And despite all that ... I felt my heart contract.
Today is Shannon's 14th Heaven Day. I don't know how to say what I feel. I don't want to invite pity or sadness, or concern. I simply want to acknowledge that life is strange and wonderful and each of us does the best we know how. In our own time, in our own way.
April 5 and May 1 are the two most important days of my life. They define me as a woman, a mother and a human being with faults and flaws and regrets and hopes and dreams and joys and sorrows. I can never live long enough to adequately deserve my Shannon. She was and will always be as vital to my life as breath. She allowed me to be SuperWoman. She saw me, flaws and all and loved me without question, despite myself. She taught me about courage and magic and vision and patience and a love bigger than I could ever have imagined.
Today is Shannon's Heaven Day. We will all have one. Hopefully we will be remembered and held safely in the hearts of those we love and those who have loved us. As shattered as hearts can be, they mend. They are never the same, we wouldn't want that... but they pull together and perhaps the cracks allow more love in... more love out... never hardened or bitter but forever broken, forever open.
We learn to live beyond death. We allow promise to wake us to each new day and we put on our best guess at normal and give life a chance. We allow for the moments of peace knowing that they will always be accompanied by longing and we are grateful.
Love someone without hesitation today. Say it. Wrap your arms around them and hold on a few seconds longer than you did yesterday.... and no obligatory pats on the back ! Shannon hated that ! Smile at someone who is making you crazy. Laugh if you want. Cry if you want. Just be in whatever moment you find yourself in. Really BE.
Thank you for remembering with me. Thank you for allowing me to be fragile. Thank you for understanding without explanation. Thank you for loving Shannon, here and hereafter. Thank you for loving each other even when it would be easier not to.
Today I'm hoping that this is true, "If the only prayer you ever say is 'thank you'... it will be enough."