Years of living…October 11th as remembered on social media. A drawing of Greg and me by our little neighbor, both of us wearing a-line dresses and smiling…Food pics from a Sunday cooking apple pie and chili, creating cozy…A meme of RBG, reminding us that she didn’t leave us, she just passed us the baton…A Playbill from a live reading of Plan 9 from Outer Space seen with my man and a bestie…The delivery of building materials for our major construction project, so naive about the chaos ahead…A reminder that Jacob and I would head out for our drive across the country the next day, forgetting coats and that there are many weather possibilities between New York and California…The start of the Me Too Movement, debated and discussed…Visiting Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, and the wall of blue that would inspire our house color choice years later…Pictures of my kids at Comic Con, their first alone date to the city.
This picture popped up a few days ago, we were babies, 19-24 or so, just before our college graduation. I am top middle, younger then both of my kids are now. At graduation parties we talked about where we would be in ten years, we had it all planned. We had no idea where life would take us, or that our plans…no matter how lovely, would not always match up with reality. All we knew was we were ready to start living.
We did become designers…and private chefs, politicians, homemakers, and more. We discovered who we were and became who we were meant to be. We found partners who were the perfect fit and said goodbye to those that weren’t. We had children who both flourished and struggled. We experienced grief so strong we though we might not make it. We tried new things, we questioned. We have learned that life is not easy, that health is not guaranteed. Nothing is to be taken for granted and happy moments should be cherished. We live each day knowing our plans are only guesses.
This morning I saw two women in their be alive t-shirts. be alive is the slogan of a mental health organization here in our little town…started by a family who lost one of their kids to mental health struggles. As a community we have embraced the family…and the mission. By appreciating bits of goodness in each day, we are keeping him alive, and we are nourishing our own mental health. Someone recently noticed that I am swooning more than usual, I guess that is true. I find the crispness and light in autumn energizing…I am living…and when I choose to live, I swoon.