Monday, June 08, 2009


Last night when I was lying in bed, trying to go to sleep, I felt achy inside. But a good achy.

I had just finished reading some old cards I had given to my dad on various occasions: valentines day cards, thank you notes. That old familiar feeling of gratitude was swelling.

Sometimes I feel a good sort of panic. The kind where I start to realize, for just even a minute, the precious moments that make up my life, the moments I will look back and remember. And the panic part comes in when I wonder if I really am enjoying it as much as I should be, if I realize just how lovely it is as I'm living it. Sometimes it seems like all I should really fight for is the advantage of perspective.

When my mind wouldn't shut down, I was thinking about the good moments this past week.

Some highlights were these:

Spending lots of time with my grandmother. I gave her a pedicure on Friday, and she absolutely loved it. And I must admit, it made me feel pretty fabulous to see how thrilled she was about it.

Being at the dinner table last night and asking my son what he should say after passing gas. (He knows full well what to say, but sometimes needs to be prompted.) In response to my question, out of nowhere, he responds, "It's a poop!" I couldn't help it. Laughing, I looked down the table to Scott, who had his head buried, looking at his plate, trying hard to conceal his laughter. The boys have arrived to the point where they generally think bodily functions dealing with air are funny, and it isn't something we've encouraged. But I have to say, it's pretty hard not to be amused when they get such a kick out of it.

Talking over a weighty matter that has been affecting my spirit for the past while with Scott. And when I started to cry, he reached over and grabbed my hand. And then he talked with me about it. It was a simple gesture, but I appreciate having such a steady friend in him.
Going to a Sunday concert in the park. There is a brass band that plays classical (and sometimes jazzy) musical selections on Sunday evenings in June for an hour. We went and spread our blankets down, and just spent time together.

Picture taking and movie clips are, for me, an effort to catch all of these pieces and hold them in time. I love the little voices that surround me, the friendships we are making, the conversations we're having. I love the way the yard looks after a good tending, watching nature surprise me with her lovelies all the year long on familiar landscapes in our neighborhood. Are you ever surprised by how beautiful something seemingly familiar is, as though you are seeing it for the first time? Like a thick snowfall. The smell of lilacs. Your favorite meal cooking with the scent killing you with temptation. That moment where you are practically bent sideways in laughter, almost crying, fighting to breathe, and you feel so good. Someone's gentle tenderness toward you, enveloping you in warm love, and you know God is aware of you. A catching sunset. The birds out your window. The warm morning sunshine on your face. Something exhilarating.

I have a memory in my head of ice cream each night before bed as a little girl. I always loved it when the Y on the mountain, maybe 3 miles from my back door, would light up for the week, signaling graduation at the university. My little sister and I would sit on the back step, eating ice cream, talking and giggling together, our wet hair from the bath laying against our backs.

I remember listening to my sister Becca playing Brahm's Intermezzos on the piano, and feeling their beauty deep inside.

I remember cold tuna salad after afternoons at the pool in the park, and hot air balloons on an early July morning. The smell of fresh cut lawn each summer week. Otter pops and slip-n-slides and our own rendition of summer water parks gracing the back yard. The tall long slide in the park and swings. Sour patch kids and jolly ranchers, swinging on the front porch swing, relishing the first snow, laying on blankets in the backyard to watch the stars. A night excursion to a golf course to watch a comet in the sky. Camping trips to southern Utah, the beautiful red rock and green river, with white thin snowflakes greeting the dawn. Skinnydipping with two of my sisters in the broad daylight, laughing my guts out.

I remember school stomps, the teenage exhilaration of crushes and getting asked to slow dance, and then coming home afterward and having sleepovers with a girlfriend, and talking about falling in love and getting married.

And then I remember meeting the boy I did marry. It was a cold night in November, I think. I was out running and then got in a conversation with these folks, and mostly talked to his brother and sister-in-law, hardly noticing him. But that was probably about the only time I didn't notice him. I was dead gone after that.

There were night drives in his white Toyota truck and seemingly endless hours of conversation. Concerts and hymn singing and backyard goodnight kisses that seemed to take hours to complete.

(C'mon, I know you all know exactly what I'm talking about.)

Night hikes in the canyon, fantastic eats, and genuine soul sharing. I remember a drive to Gilbert, Arizona, and leaning against him with my head against his shoulder as he drove. It was dark outside as we drove through the last canyon stretch before you start to come into Phoenix, and we were listening to music. And I felt peace. And I remember feeling that this peace I shared with him was something I never wanted to lose.

I remember our boys being born, the ecstasy of exquisite joy I felt at being their mother. The joy at each new turn that has come in the road, watching them grow, and now sharing things I loved with them. Belonging to people and sharing in the journey makes me happy. Having family, in whatever form you have it, is something special.

I am hoping that when I get to heaven, all of these lovely moments have been t-voed so I can watch all my favorite parts. The hysterical times, when you can't even fully appreciate it unless you were there. The important seconds where someone shared a piece of wisdom with me and I actually got it. Those pieces of time where connections were forged and I knew my heart would never be the same and I had experienced something significant. And the beautiful, stunning mornings and evenings and late afternoons when nature surprised and awakened within me something so beautiful I can't give it words. You hate to have to go to sleep because of the stillness or you want to freeze the moment and enjoy the morning crispness forever.

But I'm hoping for more than just watching it all over again. I hope I can still taste the cream in the bottom of my ice cream bowl. I want to still feel the grass on my bare feet and hear the music and feel the exhilaration. I want my stomach to hurt from the laughing, my cheeks to ache from the smiling. I want to hear my boys' little voices and their 2-year-old giggling. I hope I can feel the warmth again of little Mia's rosy morning cheeks, feel the brimming joy that she brings to my heart each day, be blessed by her sweet tenderness. I hope I can taste the mashed potatoes and gravy again, feel the exhilaration of blossoming love and admiration, the faint blushing of falling in love.

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