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celebrating life

April 17, 2009

I sit at a coffee shop in Kirkland. The sun shines through the west facing windows, and people soak it up – the patrons are strongly biased to the sunny side of the room. Mmmmmm… sunny side.

The entry door is on the shady side of the building, and outside that door is a pair of ducks.

Ducks. Just standing there.

When people approach, the ducks do not budge, do not flinch, do not move away. The drake nods his head a little – his acknowledgement of the people passing by. If he had a sign that said, “ducks for the win” I could hardly be more surprised by his nonplussed posture.

* * *

I am raw. After being so sick last week, I still feel a little fragile (not how I would usually describe myself).

I learned earlier this week of the death of a woman who was dear to me. I also learned of the birth of a child to a woman I have never met. Both occasions reduced me to tears.

See what I mean? Raw.  My heart is very close to the surface.

The birth: a little girl named Eden, already nicknamed Schmoopy, she of the freakishly-large-feet. She is the third daughter for another Elizabeth (not my sister), DaMomma of Motherhood is Not for Wimps. Elizabeth is a witty, smart, deliciously funny writer.  Now she has a new little girl to love.

The death: a woman named Autumn, a kind, gracious lady who brought compassion to our friendship and a child-like joy to her play with my daughter, back when Kristina was five-to-seven-or-so. Which brought joy to me also.

Autumn saw and heard my pain at a difficult time, and was an inspiration when I dug deep to find the courage to change my life. A gift from her is framed on my wall – I’ve seen it every day of my new life.  We lost touch, and I haven’t talked to her in several years.  I miss her already.

Then Elizabeth (yes, my sister) called earlier today, and found me weeping.

I was listening to one of my current favourite songs, a ballad by country singer-songwriter Jason Aldean, called Laughed Until We Cried. The song is a testament to powerful experiences that mark our life – high school graduation, the death of a beloved grandparent, the birth of a longed-for child.

Raw. Raw. Raw.  I just have to ride it out.

* * *

The sun is shining, ducklings are here, my love for my husband and daughter cracks my heart open on a daily basis, and I feel so darn lucky to be living this life, right here, right now, that I might burst into song right where I sit.

The folks at Starbucks might not appreciate that.

But I bet the ducks would laugh.

 

listening to: Bebel Gilberto, Close Your Eyes

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