Sunday, August 19, 2007

Back to My Goofy Self

First, I have to send out a sincere thanks to those of you who left comments on my last post. Last week was difficult, to say the least, but I'm feeling much better. It took some time to process what I was feeling, which is never easy. I attended the funeral of the client who died, and while all funerals are hard, this one left me feeling shredded inside.

It was a military funeral.

I'm pretty stoic. Or, at least I like to pretend that I am. But anyway, I don't think it's possible for someone not to cry at the sound of twenty-one guns and the wail of "Taps" while watching a flag being gingerly and respectfully removed from a casket, then being folded into a perfect triangle. I held it together pretty well until all of that. And then, something inside of me just came undone. It was like every feeling and emotion I've ever had, both good and bad, came rushing up to the surface.

As I stood there, watching this man's grieving family struggle to say good-bye to someone they loved so much, I was struck with a thought that made me cry even harder.

Someday, I'm going to stand in that same Veteran's Cemetery and have to say good-bye to my father.

My dad is a veteran. He served his country proudly and I know the day will come when he will be called Home. I had this conversation with a co-worker, whose father is also a veteran, and she said she thought the same thing. We had a long discussion about it. In the end, it reinforced my belief that death is a natural and expected outcome of life. Sometimes it comes long before we believe it should, but it is what it is. I know my time here is limited. It's a shame that it takes these kind of reminders for people to appreciate their lives and remember that all moments, even the bad ones, are gifts. I certainly fall into that category sometimes, and I have to tell you that for the past few days, I've absolutely smothered my daughter with hugs and kisses. Not that I don't do that already--it's just been more intense lately. Poor kid's face is constantly wet from me kissing it.

On a lighter note, which does have to do somewhat with all of this, I got to thinking about something. I know, I know. I shouldn't let my mind wander. Anyway, it's related to the the passing of time. I had a funny thought this morning. In the past eleven months, my daughter has learned how to walk, run, skip, jump, hop, speak in full sentences, use the toilet and other things too numerous to count. It's amazing watching her grow and change.

Now, I have to think...what have I done in the past eleven months? Ummmmmm...uh...that is...HEY! What have I done? I mean, I do all my daily stuff. You know, the expected stuff that grown ups are supposed to be doing. But I haven't done anything extraordinary. And I want to live an extraordinary life! I better get busy. Starting now.

I'm going to go make an extraordinary dinner. According to my menu plan, it's Mexican night!

One last goofy thought...normally, doesn't the prefix "extra" at the beginning of something mean, well, "extra"? Like if someone wears an x-small or x-large. It means smaller than small and larger than large. Right? It makes me think that extraordinary should mean More Ordinary Than Ordinary. But my life is far from ordinary. Ha! Crazy English language. No wonder my foreign clients prefer their native tongues. I remember having to explain the phrase, "I'm beside myself" to a young man whose native language was German. Funny, funny, let me tell you.

Yeah. I'm definitely back to my old self...


Margaret said...

Your experience with this reminds me of when I found out that my neighbor had cancer. In that moment, I decided there was so much I wanted to do. I wanted to have long hair. I wanted to travel. So, it took a little while, but my hair did get long, and later in the year I made it to Aruba. The following year was Europe. Last year was D.C. I haven't travelled much this year, but I spent the weekend at your house eating awesome meals, and the year isn't over yet.

Your heart is going to tell you what you want to do...and knowing you, you'll go for it!

Love and hugs to you, my dear! Love and hugs,
Sister #1

And one more thing: isn't dad's plan to live forever?

Cheryl said...

I know what you mean about doing more with the life we were given. I like my routine. I like things ordinary. Problem is...there's no striving. My attempt right now is to keep walking. That's out of my comfort zone. It's a small step. I like that you've given me something to think about.

Catherine said...

Daddy is definitely going to live forever.