Many of you have suggested that I start recording our Ruff family stories. I've been meaning to start this blog since Valentine's Day. I have pictures of our celebration, which included pink smoothies and pink heart shaped pancakes. You guessed it. They are still on the camera.
Then, yesterday, I had an impromptu cranial exfoliation treatment, courtesy of C. I was trying to rest my stuffy head and take a "nap." As I was nodding off, I felt C playing with my hair and running a comb through it. At times he was rubbing my head a little roughly, but I did not have the energy necessary to open my eyes and tell him to stop. Besides, he's 21 months. If I expended all that energy to stop him, his efforts would resume again as soon I got all comfy again on the couch. I discovered when Steve got home that C had been dumping dirt from a nearby plant onto my head and rubbing it in. My head, my sweater, and the couch were all covered in dirt and all had to be vacuumed. I decided that somewhere in some snazzy spa, someone is charging an arm and a leg to rub dirt into someone's hair because of the restorative and replenishing properties of potted plant dirt....right?
But, even that story did not motivate me to take a moment from the evening's duties to get this going. But today, today was an important day. It started with news that my cousin, who has Cystic Fibrosis, had gotten the call for her new lungs. I was happy dancing in the street and crying tears of joy. Seriously, I danced a little jig on the way to the car. I hope the neighbors enjoyed it. Then we found out that one lung was compromised, so this was not to be transplant day. I felt so deflated, let down, and angry. It is time for new lungs. Why not today? Why not yesterday? Why not now? Aargh! I think my cousin handled this with more grace than I did.
Then we received a call with news that Steve's cousin, Pati, lost her battle with cancer today. Though I only met her a few times, I got to know her a little through Steve's stories. She was full of life and left this world entirely too early. This reminder of our mortality made each moment that followed all the sweeter. We really did stop to smell the proverbial roses (as the real ones haven't bloomed yet).
We took the kids to a park and watched them throw rocks into the thawing lake. Later in the day, they tore up the barely budding grass in the backyard. Normally every spring I get paranoid about those new shoots being stomped on by crazy children and torn up by our wild dog. Today that muddy yard was a reminder of all that is precious in our lives. As we watched our gang through the window, Steve remembered an overnight long ago in the backyard with his cousins. Cousin Pati and Sister Mary snuck into the boys' tent and covered their faces with lipstick designs. He teared up as he told a story that used to make him smile. The world is a different place tonight. It is a world that grieves the loss of Pati and all that she was.
Do me a favor, please. Hug your loved ones tonight. Hug them tightly. Tell them you love them and burn that moment into your being.