Remember

All week I’ve been thinking about writing, thinking about telling you about my crazy last week(end), and my launch into my 45th year.

It was one of the craziest, break-neck speed weeks I’ve had in awhile, and I actually did try to come down with a little cold because of being so worn out. It was Homecoming at my university, and as an alumni board member, I had work to do. There is a certain expectation of activities that a board member must participate in, but last weekend, many of us in this particular group really showed up. Our executive director made mention that he’s never seen a board so active in a homecoming weekend before. That made me really happy.

We were there, we were laughing and smiling and soaking it all up. We sat with young scholarship recipients at a dinner on Friday night and talked to them about their campus experience. We sat through the Hall of Fame and Young Alumni recipient luncheon on Saturday, and I got to do the introductions for these amazing alumni. More laughing and soaking up the sunshine.

Honestly, this was the first homecoming I’ve ever attended. I never wanted to go, because my USAO friends weren’t going to be there. The majority of attendees for homecoming are the OCW ladies, and while I enjoy spending time and learning their stories, I missed my community of USAO people.

I missed Talaura and Cindy and Kirk and Carsten and Lorianna and Roger and Ma.

I missed John. and Chris.

I missed that group of friends I knew when I was with my first husband.

Greg, Hucks, Joe.

My wish for next year is to see John’s memorial scholarship funded and awarded. I give what I can everytime we have a board meeting. All gifts are valid and appreciated, right? We only have a little over $1000 left on it so I believe it can happen in time to award.

My wish for next year is to work to reconnect that community back to the place that connected us first.

These were the things swirling around my heart as the festivities ended and I came home to collapse. I slept most of Sunday, and went to see Milk Drive on Sunday night at the Depot. I went to the Sarkey’s Leadership Conference on Monday and Tuesday, fighting off a cold that came upon me Saturday on the drive home.

I turned 45 on Tuesday.

That number gave me a start.

How in the hell am I forty five years old?

I know that I generally experience a crisis of some sort on the 5’s.

If John were around he could tell you all about the one I went through at 25. He was mostly laughing at me, but also was a source of strength.

At 35…well that one was particularly ugly as I was in a relationship with a cheating alcoholic and felt as if I were stuck, trapped, and couldn’t find my way out. I was watching my breeding years fly past as I stood frozen in a life that at first appeared wonderful, but quickly turned toxic.

And here at 45, my life is really really beautiful. I am seen. I am heard. I am loved. In return, I too see, hear and love.

But fucking hell…FORTY FIVE????? woof.

So this week, I’ve been contemplating the things. I think of those that I love and miss on this plane of existence, John’s scholarship funding, my happiness in getting a weekend that includes very few things but a Patty Griffin concert and green chile stew…

Paris happened.

It reinforces the need for community, and to tell you how I love you. To profess publicly that you are not forgotten. To spend my days on work that is important, that moves the dial further to the good side of things. To be less judgmental on myself for my dirty floors and piles of laundry, and to embrace the colors on the trees and my crazy ass dog who wants everyone to just wake the hell up because we are wasting daylight.

I pray for this world, for some ease to the pain we are all in on some level.

Let us not ever forget what a gift this day truly is.

 

 

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