Sunday, September 12, 2010

So Glad I'm Here.



Friday was just one of those days. I chased my tail to get the house clean, catch up, scratch stuff off my to-do list, but the day had other plans for me. I thought I was seriously. gonna. lose. it. But then, my 16 month old started pushing buttons on his older sister's cd player. And soon blaring (and I mean BLARING -ha!) from her room were the sounds of this song from Elizabeth Mitchell - I couldn't help but stop and get a little teary eyed.

Nine years ago, I lost a friend in the World Trade Center attacks. Jason and I went to college together , and I would occasionally hear updates on what he and the rest of our crew were up to. In the summer of 2001, he moved to NYC and got a job with Cantor Fitzgerald. And more importantly, had relocated as a romantic gesture to his girlfriend - a kind of, pre-marriage-I'm-serious, gesture. That morning they met for coffee and when Nancy heard the news, she was certain he hadn't had time to get to work before the plane hit. However, to all of our great sorrows, she was wrong.

At the time, I was in the height of my career, and was planning my own move (romantic gesture) to Chicago to be with my (now) sweet husband. When I heard about Jason, it hit me hard. His story was so similar to mine... I had just found the love of my life, dropped everything to be closer to him...and yet, I was the lucky one to get to enjoy it. Why me?

I think if you're human, you've asked that question. What a horrible, horrible day that was.

So, time has passed and life continues. It has to. That's just what life does. But as cornball as it may sound, I think of Jason. Not every day, not every week, but every "big" day. I thought of him on my wedding day, and on every day I gave birth to a child - I can't help myself. His memory, his lost life, is so tightly wound into my understanding of gratitude. I am so thankful to be alive. I am so thankful to wake up and experience my beautiful husband and children. I am thankful for half-full sippy cups hidden around every corner in my home, my daughter who puts her dirty clothes in her dresser every single day, a playroom strewn full of too much child-safe plastic crap, my dog who gets in the trash from time to time and a little boy who bangs on his sister's cd player.

I am so glad I'm here.

Jason, we miss you... we always will.

Thank you for teaching me gratitude and giving me that extra nudge today - to smile and be grateful for this beautiful chaos called life.

14 comments:

Lea Parrott said...

Oh Sally, this made me cry :-) It's amazing that sometimes we caught up in all of our crap and forget to remember what is important! So glad you are my friend and so glad my house looks like yours, at least we know are kids are loved! :-)

Seeker said...

loved this. I've also been thinking a lot lately about how lucky we are just to be here. Great post!

Sally said...

Thanks for commenting guys.

This really is hard for me... to be thankful for the mess, the clutter, the things that don't get done the way they "should", etc. I am just enough of a control freak, in all sincerity, that this little stuff can overwhelm me and really depress me at times.

But good gracious... look at what I have. I have so, so much. Health, a home, food, love and so much more. The list is so long...it's kind of embarrassing. For what ever reason, I have been blessed. Now, I need to learn to quit being such a stupid American whiner.

Seeker, this reminds me a lot of what you've been posting... about moms with mettle. I have so much to learn.

Kristen said...

love this. i realized during rj's second week of school after "scouring" in my loose sense of the word the house to make it "clean" straighted, that the sight just depressed me and i like the "lived in" look much better. this is our life stage and i'm happy to say i'm embracing it. thank you for this lovely reminder to be grateful and love it all.

Seeker said...

ok, I just watched again. The first time I had the mute button on- The song is perfect and adds so much!! I love it.

America said...

Oh Sally girl...what can I say you make me feel normal...thank you...

Lydia said...

Was just browsing around on friend's blogs, as I sometimes find myself doing after coming back to a cold empty place after a long day at the hospital, and saw this beautiful post. Thanks for sharing and for honoring our friend; it surprises me how Jason comes to mind at various times . . . your response to those times is just so heartfelt and true. Love you Sal!

kate said...

it's 1:21 AM and I should be asleep. how grateful i am for the rare stretch of insomnia that led me to check in on your blog. what a post, sally. thank you.

Alissa said...

Lovely post. I miss him all the time. Not sure if or when it will get easier.
The craziness of this phase in life will be gone before we know it. Hard to embrace at times when we are overwhelmed and "under-rested" but thanks for the reminder to be grateful.
I love your posts and you are an inspiring mom!

Rachel said...

Just saw this, Sal. Beautifully said.

Anonymous said...

My cousin was over yesterday and said "there's something I want you to watch." She pulled up your blog and scrolled down to the video you posted, titled So Glad I'm Here. As I watched, I felt that it could have been my own video, capturing the moments of my life. I teared up a little as I listened to the words of Elizabeth Mitchell.
I've been going through a hard time for almost one full year now. I gave birth to my second child, a beautiful little girl, on May 11, 2010. She is fine and well and makes me smile every day. My birth story, however, was not so beautiful. As much as I tried to prepare for the birth, I was not prepared for my doctor's rough treatment, insincerity, excessive control, and lack of communication just to mention a few of her "qualities". She was extremely unprofessional, resulting in me, as well as my family, being stripped of experiencing the joys and pleasures of the once in a lifetime experience of bringing a new life into this world. I am thankful that my daughter is here and is healthy, but I haven't been able to keep the negative memories away; even allowing them to affect my current relationships with my children and my husband.
Today I sat down at the computer and your blog was still up on the screen. I took the mouse in my hand and scrolled over the play arrow on your video to watch it again. Before I pressed the button, I decided to read your blog, which I didn't do yesterday. It didn't take long before I started to cry and this time I really cried; my chest was wet with tears.
Now I sit here and type this letter, with my 14 year old golden retriever at my side, her head on my lap, loving, concerned eyes looking up at me as I'm still crying, and still with a chest wet with tears. Every day I try to be thankful for my life, and even my experiences. I know that I am fortunate and that so many others have truly devastating experiences. I want to thank you for taking the time to post your video and to write down what was on your heart. Your video was beautifully done and the song of choice was so simple, but so incredibly poignant and meaningful. We all need reminders to be thankful for what we have and to be thankful for the little things in life including the mundane. One day we will look back on those mundane things with joy and fondness.
I'm glad my cousin, who knows my struggle, guided me to your blog. I will continue to watch your video, as she does, when I need a "pick me up" and a reminder of how much beauty there is in our messy, chaotic, and busy lives as mommas.

Outside Lisa said...

You are so awesome and I'm so lucky to know you!

JamieReed said...

How precious Sally. I'm Jamie Reed, Mateo's bro, whom you know from college. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Sal, Great post. I, too, struggle with the chaos that having a family can bring. I am constantly telling my kids that it's not stuff that matters, it's people. I'm really telling myself this at the same time. May we never stop battling being "stupid American whiners". We have so much. Let's give it away and in doing so find the deepest kind of peace and joy in the simplicity of carrying the most important things in our hearts. Hugs from Nashvegas! Mar