Throughout this post, I will be as accurate as I can about the people involved, the description of the event, and the words that were spoken. I'm posting these here not because I like to brag but because when I remember these humbling moments I am in awe with the beauty that has been in my life. I knew I needed to record something as ethereal as this, because I was afraid that I would forget their fleeting perfection... and that would feel like losing my diamond ring.
Life can sometimes knock the wind out of you but it can just the same, bring you back.
--One night when Alec was about three or four, just as his lashes were fluttering with near sleep, he grabbed my hand and said, "Mommy, take my hand, I want you to come to my dreams with me."
--After college, one of my first jobs was at a weight loss clinic. A woman came in, struggling with her slow progress and in tears. I knelt in front of her and told her what counted was being aware and looking at how much she had not given into rather than how much weight she had lost -- that was what was important. She looked up at me startled and said, "I wish I could ask for you every time..."
--I was a waitress and short order cook at a burger/beer place while in college. On certain weekends, a young dad would come in with his two little girls and one little boy. I never knew their names and they never knew mine. They would sit quietly and always order the same thing off the menu: hot dogs with no bun, and a side of sliced potatoes. One day, the quiet little boy spoke to me through a mouth spilling with food, "This is the only place we tell our dad we'll go when he has us because you're here. You make good hot dogs, ma'am."
--During my senior year in college, I was having a hard time in a statistics class. I met with a tutor weekly and I checked in with my professor almost every other day. I spent hours every night just to keep up. At the end of the school year, I barely squeaked out with a B- after 10,000 hours of work. As I left the class for the last time, the professor said to me, "If I could give A's for most effort, it would be to you."
--Last summer, I had gone for a walk with my middle boy, who is a pensive young man who weighs his words. We were walking for an hour when I asked him if he wanted to go back home now. He answered no, that he wanted to just keep talking.
--When I was single, I lived in a modest apartment complex that also was home to a few elderly tenants. There was an older man in the apartments and I would see him take an early morning walk at the same time that I would leave for work. He would see me in my cranberry colored Toyota and wave, I would wave back. For the years that I lived there, I would find a basket of candy for every holiday on my car. I never knew who the baskets were from. One morning I came out of my building to see the old man who walked waiting for me by my car. He told me that he was moving and that the baskets had been from him. "I just want to say good bye to you," he said, and then he began to cry and touched my cheek before he walked away.
--One night I had been crying over what I saw as me not being the kind of mother that one of my children needed me to be. My sister was visiting and heard me say that my boy would fare better with a different type of mother. In a firm voice she said to me, "There is NO one better for him than you. You are exactly what he needs from a mother." She said it with such conviction that I stopped mid-sob and to this day, I believe her.
--Every day, my youngest child tells me I have to exercise 30 minutes, never start smoking and to not text while I drive because, "I need you to be here with me for more things."
--I had just finished reading a story to my middle child that I had written about my grandmother. When I was through, I looked up at him to see what he thought. He said nothing but his eyes were wide and shiny with tears.
--When my mother passed away, I was the one who took care of her papers and putting her writing and notes in order and sending them on to my brothers and sisters. I was flipping through her notebooks when I was stopped by the sight of my name in the pages. In an entry written in Spanish from 30 years ago, she had written, "... you are stubborn like your father and will not listen to anyone. You remain cold and I promise to do the same. But I went to see you today and when I looked into your eyes, those dark eyes of yours that are so beautiful and endless... and it was the same as with your father, I forgive you everything."
Breathe your days in deep, there are so many moments that give us oxygen.
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