Where to begin?
I have not had time to blog for the past three weeks. Life has thrown a few hairpin turns my way. On one hand, there are some amazing positive things like moving to Tucson and having a real job with a real paycheck. That is right over the horizon.
On the other hand, I am currently in Albuquerque spending some very precious time with my family. Hospice is here and keeping my dad comfortable. It is a joy to be present with people you love, but the circumstances are so bittersweet. In theory, I have had plenty of time to prepare for this outcome, but emotionally, I will never be ready.
I don’t wish to dwell on the hard emotional realities in this post; instead, I want to acknowledge all the big and little miracles that continue to sustain me.
1) The perfect job offer at the perfect time. I will be working with Serena. We are getting the band back together but in a very different setting. I will return to my roots of helping customers make long-term design decisions they will be happy to live with. I did that for twelve years in the antique Oriental rug business, and I never had an unhappy customer. I intend to continue the tradition with tile and stone. Serena understands my current situation and has such compassion for what is happening to my family right now. I had a moving date, and now I am just standing still and bearing witness to each precious moment. Time has slowed down to increments, and it is a relief to have the time to just be here.
2) More potential tenants than I could have imagined for my sweet little nest in Charlotte. I found the perfect fit and again, patience and understanding for my family crisis despite their need to know if they could confirm a moving date. They are under as much pressure as I am to load a truck to make this shift happen in an orderly and sensible manner. What is currently happening for my family can’t be rushed.
3) Friends that I can count on. I am lucky to have more true friends than I can count on all my fingers and toes, especially the one who answers the phone and says unconditional yes to taking care of the rickety diva-cat for an unknown number of days with mere hours of notice. That same priceless friend willing to show the house in my absence and handle a million details via text message and abrupt phone calls. The same friend that lets me vent because I am sometimes a big baby and I just need to whine. That friend who for more than a decade has lived a few blocks away and has been there in a flash, no questions asked, no matter what. As long as I live, I will never be able to repay the cool clean towel incident, which likely saved my life during a terrible stomach virus.
4) That big Irish family who has supported me from my days at Cupps through the days of the Café and beyond. The ones who wrap me up in big giant hugs and make me laugh and share their generosity in more ways than can be counted. The same family who cheerfully traded cars with me a week ago because they have a long-term relationship with a reliable mechanic. I needed someone I could trust to make sure my ten-year old car would make it in one piece all the way from Charlotte to Tucson with me and the 15-year-old cranky diva cat. The same family who, with fewer than two hours notice that I was getting on a plane, said to just drive their car to the airport, park it, and they would take care of the rest. I barely had time to text the parking lot number and location, and to be honest, without the actual text saved in my phone, I would not be able to recall a single thing about getting to the airport much less where I left their car. Did I mention that we don’t even live in the same town? This whole car switch took some serious logistics, and they did it without batting an eye.
5) The wonderful former Café customer standing in the gate area when I screeched to a breathless halt with mere minutes to spare for my flight. He was traveling on the same plane, same destination. He was an oasis of calm in the midst of my stressful marathon to catch a plane. I was gifted with pictures and short videos of the new baby, which allowed me to stand still and find my center. What is more joyful than a new baby and the wonder and awe of a new parent?
Are you ready for more?
This same lovely person offered to deliver me to my family in his rental car when we arrived in Albuquerque at 9 pm. His kind offer saved my exhausted sister from having to drive all the way to the airport to fetch me.
Wow. Just wow. Tell me how I ever repay that!
6) Despite the difficult circumstances surrounding my family right now, I got to meet my new great-nephew. Having this time with my nephew and his wife and watching them interact with this lovely child they have produced seems to make everything easier to bear. Watching my dad with his great-grandson is priceless.
Having a picture of my dad with his grandson and great grandson is something I will treasure for the rest of my days.
It has been a stressful and intense few days. In the middle of packing my house for a major move, I dropped everything I was doing to get on a plane. I had reservations for flights on Thursday. Instead, the weather forced me to catch a Wednesday afternoon flight with mere hours of notice. I ripped tape off boxes in order to grab cold weather clothes but screwed up and grabbed socks from the throwaway pile. I’m here in Albuquerque in one piece, I’m immensely grateful for all the positive synchronicity, the text messages of love and support, but I am wearing very holey socks.
Did you catch that part at the beginning that said I am moving to Tucson? I don’t know at this point if I will be able to execute said move as planned, but I promise when I finally get there I will trot off to that awesome farmers market and start cooking some spring ingredient recipes. In the meantime, I am acutely aware of my blessings in life, the gift of priceless friendships, and in the midst of grief, I am constantly humbled by the kindness of people everywhere I go.