Saturday, April 30, 2016

Appreciating That Special Moment

Some days just have moments, snippets of your life that you know are extra special right as they are happening. Today I had one of those moments. It was a melancholy day anyway, the eight year anniversary of Gram's sudden death, and Kim, Senia Mae, and I decided to take the back roads instead of the major highway. We ended up with a whole hour to waste, normally unheard of, and Kim said, "Let's get some ice cream."

We stumbled upon a Mom and Pop ice cream shop on Main Street in Alpharetta, an old fashioned brick colonial storefront with white painted trim and windows. It was exactly the building I would have imagined housing a little piece of historic downtown Americana and looked strikingly similar to the Pewter Pot Restaurant Gram and I would walk to when I was a child. I remembered warm corn muffins and hot tea in pewter pots as we pulled open the glass door.

Four Fat Cows was lovely as well as locally owned. I was sold as soon as the eager ice cream clerk informed me that their ice cream was made with a higher fat content which resulted in a creamier flavor and with less sugar. We ordered three cones of homemade heaven and decided to sit outside on the brick patio, shaded and comfortable as the trickling sound of the garden fountain muffled any unwanted street noise. An arched trellis, laden with the star flowered blossoms of Confederate Jasmine separated the patio from the parking lot. Closing my eyes and inhaling deeply, the sweet aroma carried me back to the day Gram and I planted the same vine outside the front door of my future Chiropractic office fourteen years earlier.

I thought about how drastically my life has changed in the eight years since Gram has passed... in some ways it feels like an entire lifetime ago. Since that time and solely because of Gram's death, Kim and I decided to have Senia Mae, named after Gram. I completed a full length manuscript about the life and loss of Gram and am currently pursuing publication. Kim and I have become parents, learning how to live and love in a way I never would have imagined possible, a way that is passed down from generation to generation.

Eight years ago today was the worst day of my life. I miss Gram every time I see my daughter mimic something she would have done, like taking a cardboard box out of the trash and saying, "We can re-use that!" But her death somehow kicked me into a new beginning, a better version of myself more available for giving and loving and becoming more of who I am supposed to be. That I wouldn't change for all of the apple turnovers in the world.

I miss you Gram and can't wait to see you on the other side.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Look Who's Burnin' Doing the Neutron Dance

It is a rare occurrence when I cross paths with my wife during a lunch break. The other day, like all of the moons lining up around Jupiter, she showed up at home as I was finishing up a yesterday's leftovers sandwich. When we have the opportunity to actually talk to each other without someone else repeatedly shouting, "Mama, mama, mama, mama," sometimes we catch up with each other in the hot tub. Believe it or not, you can say, "Would you like to... (and insert just about any word)... in the hot tub?" My answer is almost 100% of the time going to be yes whether it is: do you want to go over our tax statements or drink a glass of wine in the hot tub? So when Kim asked me at lunch time, of course I said yes.

This time the question was a little bit different, "Aren't you going to ask me why I carried up that old box of cassette tapes?" Kim asked. I had been floating on my back, daydreaming as I gazed at the cotton ball clouds. Sitting myself up I stared at her, clueless about the conversation we were having.

"What?" I responded.

"The tapes," She smiled, "Didn't you wonder why I carried them up from the basement?"

"Umm," was all I could say. In truth, I hadn't even noticed... maybe I'm not as astute as I pride myself to be.

"I've been reading this book and the main character has this old Trans Am," Kim's eyes became illuminated as she told the story. "His old car has a tape deck so he gets out his high school tapes when he takes the car out for a ride. It's totally awesome. After I read the story I thought about our truck having a tape deck and decided to dig my old cassette tapes out from under the spare bed downstairs." You could tell by the excited look on her face that she was just thrilled with the idea.

"Yeah, that's cool," I said, trying to sound more enthused than I really was. "Which ones did you bring up?"

Because we were raised in different parts of the country, Kim and I had very different tastes in music during our high school years. I was a complete alterna-chick, listening to Kate Bush, The Dead Milkmen, and Cure. Kim was raised in a suburb of Chicago and was totally into the pop side of rhythm and blues, something I showed very little interest in.

"Well I brought up Klymaxx, Guy, Ralph Tresvant from New Edition," she looked up and I was laughing hysterically. "I also have Price, The Time, and The Pointer Sisters!" You could tell that she couldn't wait to jump in the truck and start singing at the top of her lungs. "What?"

"It's just so funny, I never had any of those tapes even though we were in high school at the same time," I laughed.

"Maybe I just had better taste in music," Kim said as she went on to discuss another subject.

My lunch break was finally over and I had to make my way back to the office. I couldn't help but laugh as I thought of what the two of us were doing at that same exact moment: I was heading back to work to help heal the world from the inside out, Kim, on the other hand was riding around doing the Neutron Dance!