November 14, 2011


it was quite the weekend.

i think we racked up more activity in 3 days then we have in 3 months.

we went to a movie
went to church
went ice skating...

eyes alight, bodies moving, smiles glowing
tentative first steps, arms flailing, knees shaking, balance found, then off with great gusto
the crispness of the frosty air,
feel its invisible flow across my cheeks and through my hair
jittery nerves, must breathe deeply
inhale that stale icy arena scent 
warmth from movement gently easing away sedentary chill 

parker zipping by,
avery delicately gliding past
both beaming with the exhilaration of the moment
"look at me, mom! look at me!"

graham, mr photographer extraordinaire, racing ahead to capture the moments
romantically sidling up beside me
hand in hand, round the rink we go
we're doing it. together. 

i nearly lost it as i glided slipped and slid my way across the ice
being there
in the moment
fully embracing it 
proved to be a much bigger challenge for me than staying upright on the ice 

there is part of me that is always waiting for the other shoe to drop
it's a learned behavior now
after all, the better days, the able days, the days where the light at the end of the tunnel seems close at hand, those days have never lasted.
the inevitable crash would come,
often in the blink of an eye.
sweet victory hacked off at the knees 
hopes raised, hopes dashed
hope falls prey to ruthless loss
unmercifully ushered in on a torrent of gut wrenching grief
bid farewell to doing, to being, to living again and again and again.

these repetitive losses have tainted my ability to be fully engaged 
they gnaw on my shoulder, grasp my belly and tiptoe through my heart 
i so fear the agony that comes when that tentative sense of well being is ripped from my grasp that i am scared to fully embrace the joy of the able bodied moments
to hug it tight, to whoop it up, to shout it from the mountain top
to sink into the joy and lose myself in the exhilaration of it

the protector in me, the survivor whispers cautiously;
spare yourself some grief
celebrate from a distant place
hold utter exuberance at bay
guard your heart
for tomorrow
this could all fall apart

this weekend, in that rink, it dawned on me

the grief is fully felt; even if the joy was not

this weekend, parker's wheelchair sat empty
tomorrow it may not.
i will not allow the fear of tomorrow to over shadow my joy in today.

i will fully embrace the joy of this moment without fearing the pain that the loss of it will create.

i will celebrate this moment with every fiber of my being
i will allow myself to embrace it with whole hearted gusto
i will cry, i will laugh, i will move, i will breath
i will not worry about what tomorrow will bring
come what may. come what might.

after all, i've survived every loss and fought my way back to victory every time. if i have to, i'll do it again. and again. and again.
"you gain strength, courage and confidence 
by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. 
you are able to say to yourself, 
"i have lived through this horror. i can take the next thing that comes along." 
you must do the thing you think you cannot do.
                                             -eleanor roosevelt


Jude said...

I'm crying. Love you guys!

s. said...

THANKS for touching base, Jude!