Thursday, November 22, 2012

Remembering what I forgot

In the harried mess of "WHAT?! I have to cook how much how quickly?? Who is coming over?!!" I cleaved clean away from the spirit of this holiday. Luckily, I have wonderful friends who remind me almost daily to practice gratitude. So, to state the obvious: great gobstopper thanks to this book for somehow wriggling all around and finally out of my body. And everyone who helped lure it into this world.
To my teachers, my family, my friends, the zillions of adventures this life has afforded me (and a lot of those categories overlap). To you (again, categories may overlap)! To my work, which alternately sustains me and drains me but as long as the balance stays heavy on the former, I'll stay in the game.
To my health, as frail and tough as it always has been, and the accompanying (often whinging but trying not to) body that comes with the package. I keep hoping that I will learn better to care for both, and think I can. Even during my book tour, I heard whispers and heeded their warnings, like, "Don't try to carry both a heavy box of books and a heavy suitcase of props down the stairs by yourself. It's okay to put one down and come back for it later. Falling down the stairs really sucks."
To transitions. I know entirely too many people who recently have lost the most precious partners in life, whether human or canine or otherwise. They are mostly inconsolable now, and it is hard to know they are in so much pain and there is nothing to be done but to live it and begin to start a life where some lives are in one world and our lives are in this one.
Nine years ago, I sat on the floor of an ER while a dear friend died in a hospital bed after a two-year battle with leukemia. Next to me was a mutual friend, and flanking her were her father and boyfriend. I had turned 26 the prior month and she was supposed to do the same in the following month. From third grade to our final year of college we went to school together, and then she went all the way west and I ended up back east and then midwest. She taught me about exuberance, joy, risk, seeing the best in people, and living with a wide open heart. She was so energetic that I seemed like a corpse next to her. I hated that she was taken away from us, and remember running outside afterwards to scream into the darkness, the keening reserved for death, especially the kind that is unfair and incomprehensible (which would be about 99% of it if you ask most humans). I wish I could say that my heart opened more as a result, but instead I met more open-hearted folks, and for that I am utterly grateful. No one quite matches her antics, like ordering 100 frozen steaks and then realizing there isn't enough freezer space for them all, but she didn't make it past 25, so who knows how she would have grown. And now as I write that, I realize that my antics start to rival hers.

I am lucky to have been taught unconditional love at such a young age from a peer, and humbled to still be here to give thanks and to remember her smile. She still has a lot left to teach me, and I look forward to those lessons.


onesmallstitch said...

beautifully written, Aimee. I think you have your priorities well organized and in good order. Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving.

Velma Bolyard said...

oh, my. wow. you say this all so well, and then your friend. well, thank you for this aimee. i think if we're lucky we get a few good friends in life. you are a woman who's heart is rich in friends.

aimee said...

thank you for the hugs and for being there for me, always!