Today started out as an average day, in almost every way. Woke up after sleeping in sporadic chunks of time..sort of like the way my husband snores. Hmmm, wonder if those two things are related?? Well, it doesn’t matter, today is almost over. Almost. It has been a long time since I took the time to blog, because I seldom do anything consistently. But the whole day just resonated with me in such a powerful way.
Like everything else I have sacrificed since I had kids, my teenagers had my car, so I had to hitch a ride with my husband to work early OR ride my bike, and since the temp on my computer said 44 degrees, I knew I had to go work early if I didn’t wanna ride my bike. So I did. What greeted me was a trip to the school to deliver a zip thumb drive (used to be a notebook, not anymore…), a 20 pound roast to slice, potatoes to peel for soup, a sink that was completely clogged…(ew), no running water in my kitchen because of a manufacturing plant project, and my awesome Bose Speakers and my old school iPod, which has the greatest music ever (thanks to my most excellent friends who kindly recommend new music to me regularly:)
I started the day with Talking Heads. Continued with Supertramp, listened to some Bright Eyes, and then I landed on this song.
From this song on, I started really paying attention to what was happening around me.
Sure, I had to make Egg Salad, Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad, Italian Beef, Potato Soup, Strawberry Vinaigrette, Monroe Grilles, an ice cream cake…..I was constantly busy, but throughout the day, people kept filtering in. Some were new faces, but most were not. Some were my best friends from childhood, some were friends I met from last year. Some of them were my kids’ parents who have become my friends, some of them were my husband’s friends, the water softener guy, the UPS guy, (whom I love), the clean rag dudes, our cute refrigeration guy, my cellphone guy, an old high school friend, an old high school friend’s mom and brother, kids I used to babysit, kids that used to work for me, kids that came back to work for me, kids I used to sub. and many of my relatives thrown in throughout the day.
In addition to that, I got random texts, one from one of my best friends from junior high, a new awesome friend I met recently, one from an Aunt, one from a cousin, a call from my Gramma, and a brand new album waiting for me in my email. And when I got home, I walked into my basement and my kids were having band rehearsal, and covering The Beatles, Zeppelin, theme song to Titanic?, Fur Elise, The Who, Piano Man, some Kings of Leon…..
All in one day. 8 small hours.
And this is what I felt and saw today:
I saw grief first. From multiple people who had lost people close to them. I could see it in their eyes even as they laughed and enjoyed their lunch and ice cream. I could feel it in their hugs. (Did I mention I received…and gave….many awesome, tight, sincere hugs today?)
I also felt, and saw… happiness, frustration, exhaustion, sadness, compassion, love, joy, fear, disappointment, elation, and an immense amount of gratitude. In 8 small hours.
And someone actually gave me a great gift today. Simply for being kind. How often does that happen?
The Cubs lost on opening day, I burned the chicken breasts, dropped the pickles, broke a dish, and forgot to make someone a shake, but near the end of my day, a 9-year-old girl came up to me and said in the most sincere voice “So, I heard about your colored, psychedelic bread, and I am here to try it”. All I could think to say was “So, did you hear that on the playground? She just looked at me and tried to understand exactly what I meant by that.
I compensated by adding an extra piece of cheese to her grilled cheese and extra sprinkles to her birthday cake ice cream.
Today was a great day. I didn’t win the lottery, but I did make two dollars in tips.
Today was a gift. One that I will always cherish. One that won’t often be repeated exactly, but one that will be repeated. Gratitude is such a huge part of my being. I feel and see it everyday. As I get older, my heart actually aches for people who are truly hurting. I wish I could take their hurt away, but I know I can’t.
What I can do is try my hardest to provide a happy place for them to come, to laugh and share homemade treats, and to take their mind off of real life. If only for 20 minutes.
And, that is what I can….what WE can do, and we will do our best.