Tuesday, February 12, 2013

...The Unthinkable

I spent last night and today in my hometown - a place that barely resembles the town in which I grew up.  Each time I return as an adult, I realize I don't quite resemble the girl who left almost 14 years ago.  As I grow up - smarter (I hope), stronger (I think), and cuter (duh), it just keeps crumbling.  This quick trip was pretty disenchanting.  I found out that a meth lab was discovered across the street from my parents' place - and then a slum lord (who owns the 2 buildings surrounding my dad's shop/parents' home, and most of the buildings in the town) is renting a different space to the scumball meth cooks. Another house exploded a few weeks ago due to meth gone bad.  Break-ins have been happening throughout the downtown, including next door to my dad's shop.  It just makes me sad.  Is this what's happening to small towns all across America, or is my hometown just lucky?  I digress.

We went home for the funeral of a friend.  His wife is one of my lifelong girls - you know the kind that you grew up alongside, learning and laughing together, making mistakes and making memories.  She's one of the strongest, most positive people I've ever encountered, and this is the second time in just over a decade that we've rallied behind her beside the casket of those she loves the most.  And it's not fair.

3 months ago his cancer was discovered.  Melanoma.  A tumor in his spine that left him a paraplegic.   Wednesday they found that it had travelled to his brain.  Friday morning, he died.

I can't imagine this.  I don't want to imagine this.  I held B's hand throughout the service but couldn't get the image of his hand not being there out of my head.  When the unthinkable happens, I try my best to take a step back.  What is it that I need to learn from this - other than the obvious "life's not fair" lesson?

As the kids slept in the car on the way back tonight, B and I talked and talked and talked.  We talked about today and about tomorrow.  Our plans for this weekend and next and all the things we need to get done around the house.  And I couldn't help thinking while we talked that it was part of the lesson.  These tasks, schedules, vacation plans we were organizing and making are a big deal.  They're the little moments that add up to big ones.  And each moment in between is just as crucial to the memories we cherish when the unthinkable happens.

While I don't want to go to the grocery tomorrow, I will.  If I don't, I can't make heart-shaped bacon for H on Thursday.  And that might just be a moment he remembers forever.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's husband. It's crazy that all happened in the course of 3 months, I can't even imagine how anyone would be able to deal with that. Things like that are always so jarring and unnatural, and definitely make you think about what's important.

    I certainly felt that way while Bob was sick and undergoing his surgeries, and last year Carrie's diagnosis really got me thinking too. I realized a lot of the things that I had been worried about are just so stupid and trivial. Life is short, spend it with the ones that you love and don't take anything for granted. That's part of why I'm pushing for us to take a honeymoon sooner rather than later - though it might not be super important in the big scheme of things, I wanted to go now while Bob is still healthy and in remission, because we have no idea what could happen down the road.

    And also, never pass up a chance to cook bacon for the ones you love. I think that's the real lesson here (sorry, I can only be serious so long).

  2. Bacon makes everything better.

    Can't wait to hear the honeymoon plans! I really wish we would have taken a real one, but it just wasn't something we could do then. I'm trying to convince him that we should take an early 10 year trip this summer. Because you're right - life is short. We'll see how that goes...

    1. You should! You've been together more than 10 years, right? So that's close enough :) Where would you go? Can we discuss this over some wine on the kitchen floor soon?