A Day in the Year of Healing
I have been coughing all night. Before I slept, I texted Ashley to see what drugs I could mix with NyQuil. It turns out, not many. My ribs hurt and my body cracked and creaked. I'd slept all weekend, like my body was shoring up energy for the storm that is coming, the storm that sends out signals in between waves of coughs. Cough, tremble, inhale.
I slept for a good ten hours Sunday night, despite waking up at 4pm. I woke up and the dog was wild, licking my face, begging to go out and for food. I tried to ignore her and my bladder; here, I was unsuccessful. I fed her the banana I've been meaning to eat. Still, we were up early. Dogs are exhausting, and I don't even do all the stuff.
My mom came back with Sadie in tow. I hadn't seen her in 12 days and she was happy to see me, though she grew happier with me as the day wore on. For lunch, I fed her broccoli and pasta and artichokes and spinach. She ate so much broccoli that I started humming a tune. Broccoli monster, Broccoli MONSTER!! I sang it at her and she started laughing. So hard I was worried she choke. Broccoli monster! I tried to take a video but she shakes her head at my camera now. She's 16 months old and she's starting to really interact. She listens to directions and brings me what I ask. She loves to play basketball, feed her baby doll Max, and climb up the stairs. Every age, I think it's the best. I'd like to capture her here for a little while, but she's already toddling off, leaving me behind in Gymboree class, in search of big kids and whatever toys they've got.
In between all the moments, I could not help but think of my friend Lauren. Her dad died yesterday. Her family has suffered two deaths in 14 months. A family of four, whittled down to two. You never want to believe that life is that precious, that fragile. We say it all the time: YOLO, hold on to this moment, live here now, but I know I often refuse to accept the fact that my family won't be whole forever. And it devastates me to see it happen to a family I love and care for. The whole thing reeks of unfairness, except isn't it just what life is? We live and then we die. But to lose a daughter and spouse in 14 months is still, still unfathomable.
Sadie was wiped after Gymboree and Target and went down easy. Boom, lights out. I came up to the apartment to sleep but found I could not. There is so much I am failing at. I'm not taking it one day at a time. I'm not eating the fucking bone soup! I'm walking but not as long as I should. I'm getting up but only some days, the rest are spent asleep.
I'm trying to look at the big picture. It looks beautiful. Full of adventure and extra pages in a passport. It looks so full. I'm not tired, I'm not sick. Everything is a little bit easier. But I'm not entirely on my way there, no matter what I say. I keep thinking: I'll do better later, later. But later is stupid. Later is not now. Later will come and I will be here, the same.
And I don't want that. I know life is this precious, this fleeting, this fragile. It's fast. It's toddling away from me.
What I guess I am saying is this:
It's time to dig in.