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Sweet Savory Days

March 17, 2012

My dear friend Donna posted a comment to my last entry that has settled all over me like an old soft quilt. Her writing and thoughts joined the place Carolyn had made ready by her comment. It is a place of commonality. It is that realization that shatters both uniqueness and separation.  When I get sentimental, deep, reflective and even sad, I almost always believe I am the only one. Even statistics (which I love by the way) showing me how un- unique I am, do nothing to break that shell of solitude I create in my mind. It is not a lonely place, but it still feels sometimes as if I alone am there in it, at least in that moment.

Anyway, what all this rambling is leading to is that Carolyn’s and then Donna’s post shattered that shell, at least for today. I write and write, saying the same things I’ve said for years but meaning something entirely different than I did before. Sometimes I feel I need another language, new words because to say these same things I’ve always said falls far short in my mind when trying to describe what those same words mean to me now. Those comments reminded me that many know exactly what I now mean. Anyone who doesn’t, couldn’t know just by my telling it anyway.It’s certainly fine if they think I mean what I meant before (and who’s on first anyway?).

So, here is Donna’s comment and my response.

Hello My Friend! I am so glad you are feeling better today. I also had to learn to live “in the moment” some years ago. After my By-pass I was nervous, very nervous…..but not enough to quit smoking yet. (For all of you who follow this blog: “I know, I know…) My condition is different than yours, mine is complicated by COPD & Emphzeimia (you would think I could at least spell it by now). My issue comes with sudden attacks of not being able to breath. I am fine, and then suddenly I cannot get a breath…..it happens without warning. I can be sitting quietly and reading, driving the car, or walking from the car to my door. I can work all day at my job…walking all over hotels…8 or 9 hours…nothing happens. It is not logical. Sometimes I have pain in my back and I think “this is it!” “There will be no more breathing”….and then it is gone again. I live on for another day. This is my second go round with a fatal illness….37.75 years ago I almost died from my primary illness, alcoholism. I am reminded of this when those attacks come. The gift of one more day has come for 13,779 days so far, so when that last breath comes, how ungrateful would it be for me to complain. I have to push aside the fear and remember that during those thousands of days so many remarkable things have come….my daughter, my grandaughter, my friends and my spritual growth. The flowers, the oceans, the sunrises, the places I have traveled. The moments with my family and friends. The sunsets…..the laughter and yes, even the tears. I have learned, as you seem to be learning, each sunrise is a gift. As an old man once told me….everytime I wake up on the top side of the earth is a very good day. When my final sunset comes, I will haven received much more than I deserved. Today, you and I are both here, and you are one of the gifts I am grateful for. We are both on the top side of the earth together, and that makes me smile.

Dear Donna,
Thank you for your wonderful addition to this post! You are so right, each sunrise is a gift…as is each moment. I wish sometimes I could freeze the moments, the big ones, the small ones, the ones I hardly notice as a sideways glance in the periphery of my mind and sight. I want to freeze each breath too, to take it in completely and hold it in my chest and heart tightly and gently and fully before letting it go.

I had to get out the calculator, 1123 days. 26,952 hours…it’s really no different that anyone’s life, fragile. As ridiculous as it seems when I say this, I still need reminding. If I forget, I lose at least a moment I could have relished more.

1123 days and so much has taken place. Just like you said, so many smiles and hugs and laughs and tears. So many events and times of doing nothing but being with those I love and who love me, so many deep looks in the eyes and touches of the hand. 1123 days of being grateful. 1123 days of knowing contentment. 1123 of the sweetest days. So much music! and quiet and chaos. 1123 days of silliness and less seriousness, less striving and more thriving, less seeking and more being. More love, so much more love and knowing, in an entirely different way,  that love is all that really matters anyway. So many talks and songs and meals and so much to be grateful for. I am grateful for you, too and to be on this side of the dirt with you!

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