October 02, 2015

Annie




I sit here soggy between the toes and watch the path of destruction of Hurricane Joaquin -- that sounds dramatic, doesn't it?  The path is not destructive really, it is just a big wet soggy path from the over-hyped, never ending rain.  I should be doing laundry but sometimes it is just fun to pull the hood of your anorak over your head, tug on your wellies and get out and do some errands.

The perfect such errand for a rainy Friday is lunch with Anne.

Everyone needs an Anne in their life.

Anne is one of those friends that "had me at hello".

We met about 4 years ago and only knew each other by name and voice for the first many months.  I was presenting a pitch for the accessible playground I was building and she had been in the audience.  After the presentation, she looked up my phone number and immediately called me to tell me how moved and inspired she was.  She told me some incredibly flattering thoughts and through her tears, she told me that she didn't even know how to enlist in "the cause", but whatever it took, she was calling to let me know that she wanted to be part of it.

We have been close friends ever since.

It shows how much more powerful a compliment is over a criticism.  Compliments hold an underestimated amount of power for good beyond the moment.

When we finally met I knew I loved her. . . . because of her hair.  It was red, and curly, and funky.  She made a statement from her untrendy coiffe that said, "I don't the current trend says you should be blond and highlighted, I beat to my own drum and I make my own trend."  Anne is an original.

With our hectic schedules, our friendship currently thrives on occasional lunches together.  And with Anne you will start laughing within the first 3 seconds that the waitress arrives at the table. . . carrying an iced tea with four lemons lined up on the right rim of the glass, because she already knows that is what Anne wants.  Anne then proceeds to place her order over the next 5-7 minutes altering, adjusting, specifying and customizing every element of her menu selection in a very "When Harry Met Sally"-esque kind of way.  I always start laughing before she finishes her monologue.

Everything has a funny ending with Anne.  Our conversations range from intensely serious to extremely uneventful, but the end to every conversation thread ends with laughter.

So today, when it has been raining for 2 days and the forecast is calling for 2 more days of the same, after having a cheery lunch with Anne, I can't help but leave with the feeling that the sun will come out tomorrow. 


October 01, 2015

Seeing Spots


When our family finds a place we enjoy we tend to make it our signature space.  With the restrictions and parameters of what works for us with our "special-ness", when we find a place that meets most of our special criteria we loyally return.  We have our spot we stay at every time we go to the beach, we have our spot we stay in when we go to Disney, we have the spot we dine at, we have the spot we play at, we have the spot we fish at.  We have spots. 

A spot that has been forever plastered as a vision in my mind was a spot within a spot.  It was the spot that Bridger had one of his massive tonic clonic seizures at while we were at our favorite beach spot two years ago that I wrote about HERE.

As I was standing at that spot two years ago in the heat of the blazing sun holding Bridger's iv bag over my head with a half dozen rescuers working to resuscitate him, I was surprisingly calm as I felt the thought in my head, "this is where we lose him -- this is the moment that we lose Bridger."  It is a feeling that Alan and I have both said to each other more than any parent should.  We also do not think such things during every critical health moment.  We have seen his health rebound and know, with great medical care, patience and prayer, that he will pull through certain health crises.  But there are a handful of times we have looked at each other and said, "this may be it."  Said to perhaps prepare the other, or to ready and reassure ourself.

My moment at the beach standing over Bridger's relentlessly seizing body, I was calmly ok with that thought that came to my mind, "this may be it."  But immediately a plea came to my heart.

"Not here."

"Don't let our favorite beach spot that we go to every year be the place we lose him.  Don't let this happen at Our Spot."

You know how the story ends.

But, the story continued this summer as we went back to that beach for the first time since that event, staying at the same place we always do and I saw The Spot.

It was the spot where Bridger's body had laid in the sandy grass that hot sunny day.  I couldn't even walk passed it at first.  When I first saw it every memory of that moment came rushing back to me of fire trucks, ambulances, paramedics, police officers, equipment bags and commotion.  The beautiful memories also hit me, the same that I described of lessons learned in my blog post of the event.

I am grateful that we still have our signature space at that beach as our favorite spot.  I am likewise grateful that I have a new little spot there on the sandy grass by the curb.  I am not sure who will ever give this little spot second glance as they walk passed, but in our Special journey, I am seeing spots.