Sunday, June 3, 2012

happy to be living

You know, sometimes life throws you a curve. Okay, truth be told, life is just one long, big curve. But every once in a while maybe one or a couple of those curves puts things into perspective.

Curve One:
I worked a full shift on Friday, and when I came home Danielle wasn’t home. No biggie. Happens often. In fact, more often than not. It seems our employers have it out to get us. My employers work me when she’s not working, and her employers work her when I’m not. So I wasn’t upset when she wasn’t here. No big deal. Her car was here, but she wasn’t. Again, no big deal. I assumed she was with her friend, but I had no idea where she was. Well, the evening came to a close. It got later and later and I began to worry. See, it’s my job, this worry thing. And I take my jobs seriously. Late into the evening I texted her and she responded that they were on their way home. From where? I had no idea, but I rested easy. She was okay. An hour later, she still wasn’t home. The easy rest turned into restlessness. From where could they be coming and not be home an hour later? I called her. No answer. I called her friend. No answer. St. George is a little place. At this point, my imagination went completely into a flying frenzy. I finally called her friend’s mother. She told me they had gone to a play in Springdale. Oh. That’s why it was taking so long to get home. Again, I rested easy. A half hour later, no Danielle and imagination on fire. I was physically sick wondering where my baby was. A few minutes later, she called. She was two doors down and had left her phone in her car. Relief. A flood of tears. And then I could breathe easy.

Curve Two:
Then today, I was eating dinner with Danielle, Marissa, and Carl. I made chicken fried steak. The Pioneer Woman on TV made it look so dang easy. As it turned out, the chicken fried steak wasn’t great, but the gravy was groovy. Oh man, score! I’ve never made good homemade gravy before. High five, me! As I was eating, I took a big bite of the steak. As I swallowed, it was actually a bit much for my throat. I thought: no biggie, I’ll just swallow hard rather than be unladylike and wretch it up. Wrong choice. It wouldn’t go down. Next plan: take a drink of water and MAKE it go down. Second wrong choice. Instinctively, when I couldn’t breathe, I began choking. My kids tell me that I made a noise they’d never heard come out of a throat. All that came up was water. Nothing dislodged. I ran to the sink continuing to choke. Everyone at the table stood up. “Do you need the Heimlich?” I’ve often wondered whether or not I would have the presence of mind to indicate to another human being the “universal sign” for: I’m choking. Save me. Yes, indeed it came to my mind rather strongly. But I discovered that I must have dislodged it enough for a speck of space for air because as I gasped, I found a wisp of air. I shook my head and continued to choke and gasp alternatively. After a few seconds of that charming activity, the offender came up. And then I could breathe easy.

So I wish a lot of things in my life. I wish Life had obediently followed my carefully constructed plan; but today perspective has spoken. Today I’m really happy to be breathing easy. I'm just happy I’m alive. And I’m happy my babies are alive, and I’m happy my baby’s babies are alive. Life is good. Live it, love it, breathe it.