I have had a strange weekend capped off by a strange Monday morning. I found myself Saturday morning thumbing through the most recent college report we had received earlier that week. I usually see if anything grabs me as I make my way to the class reports. The class reports highlight various graduates and what they are doing today. As I passed the wedding section and birth section, my eye caught the year of my graduation in the Deaths section. I said a silent prayer as I went back to look at who it was – praying it was no one I knew or no one with whom I was close. I didn’t pray fast enough, I guess, or a different answer was meant for me. I saw the name of someone who I actually went to middle school and part of high school. His family moved away, and I was surprised to see him turn up at the small liberal arts college I chose. His family was close to mine. His father was in the National Guard with mine, so we got to know each other pretty well. This boy was a friend. He was a gentle soul who had a good heart. I remember feeling a closeness to him as he waited with me after youth group on a school night. Simply put, he was a nice guy, so reading this mad me feel that the world lost a good man.
Being the geek I am, I googled him. I wanted to see if the illness was long – or what kind of accident caused this premature death. Imagine my surprise when I found his obituary and found the line “that he lost his battle to a private battle of depression”. This gentle soul was hiding a very private struggle. I had often thought of him, wondering how life was treating him, and now wishing I had reached out. Not to imply that I could have saved him, but this was a person who waited with me until my ride came to pick me up – keeping me company – I only wish I could have done the same.
It was a very odd start to my birthday weekend. Here I am getting ready to celebrate another year of life and found instead death. Sunday, my birthday was odd. I spent the morning doing what I wanted to do. I made some great breakfast rolls, relaxed, and watched my husband panic while packing for his week long trip with his middle school kids. The day was beautiful – I only wish he could have been here to enjoy it with me/us. The girls and I went to a great pizza place called HotLips Pizza. It is an amazing pizza place where they use as much local grown ingredients as possible. On their website, they will tell you where they got their asparagus and other veggies. I had a wonderful slice of ham and pear pizza. HotLips Pizza makes me think of summer when we take the girls down to play in the fountain and relax. Many an evening is spent doing that. And, with the weather finally making a turn away from the cold, you can feel the possibilities in the air.
I always have problems sleeping when my husband is away. I miss his warm body and the reassurance that my partner is with me for whatever comes up. We are a team. I was happy this morning that I could sleep in a bit. All was going well – I was taking my elder daughter to school before making my way to work – when I got a call. Turns out my dear husband had decided to “help me” by arranging for someone to take Dot to school. He had said he would ask if someone could do it if I needed help – but no, he had arranged it to happen. The person who he arranged it with was a bit put out when we didn’t show up. I apologized and told her I didn’t know what he set up – that I was ill-informed. I received a response that made it sound as though she felt I was just as responsible. That I was not honoring an agreement (that I never made). I almost felt as if I was ruining her ability to help.
I work in th opposite direction of the school. I am lucky that my child and husband go to the same place everyday. But, I never get to take her to school. I never get to pick her up. I rarely interact with her teachers. I never get to see the after school activities. I’m simply too far away to make a casual trip. These are the weeks that are hard, but kind of nice as I get to be a part of my daughter’s life in a new way. I felt this was being taken away from me under the guise of “helping”. Too many emotions before 9am.
But, now I sit here enjoying the quiet. It was a good day overall. I got to see my daughter at Taekwondo practice. I got to see her get her yellow belt and watch her learn new punches and kicks. I got to take my kids to get a snack afterwards and drive home in the sun taking the back roads home. Simple moments I enjoy.