Friday, January 29, 2010

reasons why

The key is to keep it in perspective, remember what's important, what you're doing and why. To focus on the end result and know that the journey is going to teach you something. As it does. If you let it.

Today was not a bad day. It was not a frustrating day. It was not a terrible day. By any stretch of the imagination.

Today was a day of challenges. A day with a 4am wake up call. A day of shifting gears to make things work. A day of keeping the right attitude in sight and finding the smallest things to bring laughter, to help us know that a sense of humor isn't a luxury. It is a necessity.

Here's the story: while I was in New Mexico, Chip's vibrant 23-year-old cousin was involved in a very terrible motorcycle accident. There was a night of will-he-make-it followed by a morning of we-can't-believe-he-is-still-here which quickly became an evening of things-aren't-looking-good which then turned into the grief we feel when one who was so young leaves us here to contemplate our own mortality. He was an exclamation point, that boy. He was the kind of star that can't help glowing too bright. He will be missed.

So the result for our very small corner of this story is that Bean and I returned from New Mexico Tuesday night, did laundry for most of the day on Wednesday, packed and planned on Thursday, and then made our way onto a 6:30am plane on Friday with Chip. We flew into Boise, Idaho and then rented a car to drive to my parents' house in Utah (a four-hour trip).

We will pay homage to Austin's memory on Saturday.

And this is what I want to tell you - the distance didn't matter. The bone-deep exhaustion and near hysterical state of my own psyche. It's okay. I brushed my teeth the other night with something that was NOT toothpaste (not Desitin, either... but something else and it was awful). I also left a very naughty tube of toothpaste inside my overnight bag that sort of EXPLODED during the plane ride (what is it with you and toothpaste, you want to know). I very likely lost an I-pod Nano somewhere between our house and Logan, Utah. And in place of her normal post-bathtime Aquaphor rubdown, this person here (mother) accidentally and oh-so-carefully applied a generous amount of Aveda hair pomade to Bean's sweet and creamy thighs. In the last 48 hours I have hit my head hard. Twice. Quite frankly, I'm not totally sure what day it is or what time zone we're in. I am about to sleep in the fifth strange bed and bedroom-not-my-own in these many days.

But none of it matters.

We are here together. We are laughing. We are finding joy in these moments that we have right now, whatever they are, however brief.

I got to watch my dad walk hand-in-hand with Alice today.
I got to hold Chip's hand during the plane's take-off.
I got to listen to Bean say her evening prayer with her daddy's help.
I got to eat mom's apple pie and sit with her as she loaded the dishwasher.

M asked me recently how I do what I do. Why I do what I do, what makes it possible. I told her that I ask myself if I'd regret it if I didn't go, and I ask myself if it would make a good memory for Alice.

This thing we call life is so very freakishly brief, even if you're here for 100 years, I dare you to say it was too long. I think I can stand to be a little inconvenienced. For Austin. For Alice. For Chip. For my family. For me.


wandering nana said...

Darn. I was hoping this would be a calm trip. Hey, if it makes you feel any better, I have also brushed my teeth with something I think I not name (we'll have to compare notes). I hope things go better and My prayers are with you and Chip.

M said...

Thank you.

I needed this reminder. I find I'm always looking for calm seas...but calm seas for all their calm are rarely fun...they're called the doldrums for a reason.

Good luck this week. I'm here if you need me.

Amy said...

So sorry to hear about Chip's cousin. You are very eloquent and always know the best way to share. Thank you.

Midnight Rambler said...

I am so sorry to hear about Chip's cousin. As Amy said, you have such a way with words and with conveying emotions that we all feel it but just can't always express. Hang in there! And I have this urge to tell you that if you need a place to just decompress as you pass through Boise on the way home, just leave a note on my blog, and we'll be there. But then I realize I only feel like I'm your friend because I read your blog, and then it sounds all weird and stalkerish. But the offer is there ... Take care ...

Sibley Saga .... said...

Austin, you are obviously loved and missed.

I personally am amazed what a human being can survive, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, physically, and all while incredibly sleep deprived.Whimsy, you are a wealth of wisdom and fortitude. Don't forget that in the wee small hours of the morning.

My heart is with you friend.

alicia said...

So true, all these words. Death is so surreal. Thinking of you and Chip and fam.

Spadoman said...

Thanks for sharing.


Shelly Overlook said...

Hugs to you all!

stacie d said...

I'm so sad to hear about Chip's cousin. I had to go to funerals for two young men in the last year and it's so hard. I am hoping to honor their memories by living my life to its fullest every day! It's all we can do, right? Love you!

Eleanor Q. said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad that in a time of sorrow, your family is there to circle around.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Oh girl, I'm so sorry for your loss. And I'm grateful and inspired that you are able to craft this post out of that experience.