And if you were in second grade, you were in grade 2 on 2-22-2022.
One of my nephews got to celebrate being in grade 2 yesterday. His school did some special activities unique to the day and his grade. One was ‘what will your life be like at 22 years old?’
This was his response-
Hubs, Pops and I took the Phews skiing the day before and I guess the day stuck. I love everything about where Phew 2 will be at 22. I love that he loves to ski. I love that he will have short hair, big feet and long legs.
Hubs and I formed a life around this crazy Winter sport. We both spent our 20’s bumming around ski resorts, sleeping on couches and watching too many Warren Miller flicks. Even before we met, the foundation of us was embedded in this skiing lifestyle.
And Phew’s Dad? My brother is an amazing skier.
I hope this sticks. I hope the Phews fall in love with these ski days…..not just because it’s a great activity but because selfishly, my most magical days have been spent on a mountain; a great powder day, a terrific summit, the sun dancing between flecks of snow, a day on the mountain with family and friends.
This sport took me around the world. It made me independent. It gave me confidence. It made me strong- it took my breath away.
And a good powder day still makes me giddy and giggly, nom, nom, nom.
Everyone needs something in life that makes them feel this way.
So you go my long legged, big footed, short haired nephew. Teaching you to love this sport is a delight.
I’ve been thinking about these delights quite a lot lately.
What qualifies as a delight? There are quick shots of delight- they dance on your tongue like dark chocolate.
And then there are delights that brew in your head. They are not immediate- it is not instant. Perhaps a process that sooner or later becomes a delight- a little more lasting, a little more precious- laced with complexity and life.
My latest delight is around a conversation, albeit born out of intense pain, it is a quiet, coveted delight. I can delight in this honesty and our ability as a family to touch something that at times seemed untouchable.
Last week I sat with my dad and my Hubs. We stopped in for lunch after skiing. Conversations evolved from small talk to tough talk.
My dad has a dear friend that just lost a grandson in a horrible accident. Our collective heart aches for them.
“How is Mr. B?” I asked
“Well, you know. Not good? Okay? Sad? Hanging in there? It’s heartbreaking knowing the hard days ahead for him and his family. I want to tell him just to hang on. It can be really awful for a while and I just don’t know how to say it.”
“I always think of the Sara McLaughlin song…..hold on, hold on to yourself, cause thisis gonna hurt like hell…”
I grabbed a napkin and held it to my eyes, “it still makes me cry.”
I blew my nose and we all took a long drink of our Mary Jane ale.
And watched the Olympics.
Because you know, when you don’t know what to say……sports…and beer.
And then I broke the silence.
“But you should tell him something Dad. Seriously. You should tell him that he is going to be okay. That his family is going to be okay. That sometimes it feels like you never, ever will. But you need to tell him that you trust, you know that Mr. B is going to be okay! You telling him that you know he can survive this…….that trust…… when it seems like the whole world is doubting…..that trust is everything.”
“I know….I know.”
“Trust is good,” Hubs interjected, “A stiff upper lip can be good too.”
I grabbed Hubs’ hand and squeezed it, “And sometimes you have to tell yourself that we all grieve in different times, in different spaces and in different ways. And the only thing you can do is honor everyone’s process,” I bit Hubs’ finger in thought and angst. “Please tell him you know. You know, he will be okay.”
We watched the Super G. People missed gates, missed times, racers fell and for some, the race and the dream they had been planning for a lifetime was shattered.
It was nothing compared to the shatter we just discussed.
But somehow, we all get up. Maybe we get up because someone on the side yells and cheers through the noise and tells us they know we can.
Maybe it’s just our shear will and moxie.
But we do it. We get up. And it hurts like hell.
And years later we sit around a pitcher of Mary Jane Ale and chicken nachos. We dab teary eyes with rough napkins, knowing that we survived.
Is it delightful?
No, it’s not.
But it is peppered with delight, gratitude, moxie and survival.
I’ll take that spicy blend any day.
And to Mr. B and family. We see you you. We grieve your enormous loss. Trust in this shitty process. We have nachos and beer when you are ready.
I talk often about how much I love you all. The GIFT I absolutely feel in having amazing people in my life. It is a gift. YOU are a delight.
We are older. The fragility of life and our time on this earth has become more relevant. A month after this photo was taken, one of our loves lost their Mama. The importance of these relationships- knowing that we love and are loved, it is a sacred gift.
Today’s Delight is brought to you by my amazing friend JoBeth: aka Jingo, Chippy, Jo-El, and all around amazing person. She is a talented writer, lover of life and someone I have loved and laughed with for 30 years.
I just celebrated her 50th. Today I got this note in the mail about our time together. I think it speaks to so many of us about our cherished relationships- and it is a delight.
Thank you note from Jingo:
My Dear, Dear Friends:
It’s hard to believe it has now been months since you all descended into the Valley of the Sun like rock stars at the start of a tour. There is a part of me that is ashamed and embarrassed at taking so long to write a thank you note, but there is another part of me that has been in denial that we are all back to the realities of our pandemic, adulting lives. Denial looks like this: It took me a week to break down the fancy dinner table that you guys made look like a 5 star restaurant. It took me two weeks to admit that the flowers in the mason jars were finally droopy and brown enough to let go. It took three weeks to take the Coronas out of the Yeti cooler on the patio (because we forgot about them). It took until Thanksgiving to find the last olive from someone’s bloody mary still intact in the deep end of the pool. And much to Eric’s chagrin, the cards you placed strategically for me to find and open are exactly where you left them- in my cupboard, in my cookbook, the the freezer with the beer glasses, and probably some other places I still haven’t discovered.
A friend’s dad used to say that life is like a roll of toilet paper- and while I’m sure there are a shit ton of reasons one could insert here as to why this is, his particular thought was that because the closer you get to the end, the faster is goes. I certainly don’t feel like 50 is the end, but I do feel, with the exception of house projects, that everything seems to be moving quicker than I feel prepared for. While four days with you probably felt like an eternity to my liver, the rest of me felt those days were more life the first seasons of Ted Lasso, over way too soon. I kinda wanna go back and replay them until our next episode begins. Alas, the spin cycle of adulting waits for no fermented air-fiddle player.
As I have finally conceded to reality and decided to scrape the freezer burn off that last card, to see all your names (and your collective nicknames for me), and to feel all the joy you brought to Arizona, I have been focused on how much that time filled me and how lucky I am, not just for the kick-ass celebration but the friendships that made it so. For a person who has hugged her way through life and who finds the greatest highs in belly laughing and just being in close proximity to my people, the prolonged social austerity of a pandemic may have made me physically plump, but spiritually, I was living on fumes. While the long weekend may have picked my innards, it also nourished and oxygenated them and the world around me.
My goddess/god/ genderless sky monkey, what a GIFT it has been to experience you love, support, HUMOR and HUMOR, and your countless gifts for literally and figuratively the better part of my life. And what a gift is was that you all trained, planed and automobiled to the desert to be in-person reminders of how fanfuckingtastic my 50 years on this earth have been. I can’t and don’t want to imagine where or who I would be without all of you. That our incredibly unique and wholly special connection continues and grows even now give me such a feeling of pride and strength. I truly love each and all of you more than I can say. I love your spirits, your talents, your insights and intelligence, again- your HUMOR, your hearts, your voices, your stories, your families, our stories and our family.
Time of Covid, working from home shuffling 20 steps from my bedroom to my study, to sit for hours….
Is not healthy. And I know I’m better, I’m clearer, I’m happier when I move. I KNOW that.
Recently the American Heart Association came out with a study around how MUCH time we are sitting in time of COVID….and how bad it is for our heart. Our heart, like any muscle loves some movement. The old saying, ‘let’s get our blood moving?’ Our heart loves that saying.
And you know what? I love my heart.
In the new era of Heather Needs to Move More, I signed up for the Orange Theory Transformation Challenge! 8 weeks! 6 weeks of at least three Orange Theory workouts or more. I’m on TEAM. I have a COACH. It’s everything Moving More Heather needs to get motivated.
This challenge started on Monday and then it snowed like 8 feet in Colorado and became arctic cold. Its the first week of the OTF challenge and I am falling behind already.
Today was my day to get out and redeem myself. But it snowed on the 20. Maybe not really 8 feet but a good 12-15 inches and no one comes to plow the road to our house. This evening I put on my workout gear and started the car only to realize that I’m not going anywhere. Maybe into a ditch….but not anywhere else.
And so I stomped inside only to complain that we live in the boonies and I need to go to Orange Theory because if I don’t, not only will I loose the OTF challenge but my heart will be very sad.
Hubs suggested a walk. I may have flipped him the bird as I put my puffy coat and snowboots on and headed out the door.
I was gone for an hour. I listened to classical music and a couple short podcasts. I returned rosy cheeked and somewhat numb.
Mitochondrial disease is a horrible diagnosis- it is progressive, heartbreaking and all around just awful.
But in the midst of the awfulness, some amazing people come into your life.
One of these amazing Humans is my friend Calvin. I have known Cal for 15 years. Tomorrow this amazing human turns 17.
If you know Calvin, you know his piercing blue eyes. You know how he holds your hand tight and gazes right at you. You know his brilliant smile and the way he engages with you. You never want to leave his side.
Please help me celebrate Cal’s birthday tomorrow- send him a note or post a note here, I’ll make sure he receives it.
Cal is a delight.
Cal, so many wishes for the very best day and the very best year. To your health and that amazing smile. Keep fighting the good fight my friend.