Treasure the Mundane (or 12/23/2014)

Preface: My last “official” blog on this site was wayyyy back in October. In December I went to post and realized I had forgotten my password and Word Press was not taking any personal calls; can you imagine? Anyhoo, I posted the essay below on Facebook and never got around to placing it here . . . until tonight. I wanted to add these words to this site so they could be at home with their word-pals.

Side note . . . this essay talks about fleeting time and treasuring the mundane. Almost a month has passed since I penned these words; Sam and Heather have been married for over 3 weeks and a new normal has taken hold. Just acknowledging that makes these words ring even louder.

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Tonight’s family dinner was a teary affair.

Sam pulled in about 3:00, driving from Orlando after helping almost-in-laws with final wedding preparations. He was ours. For the next 24 hours, a magical time between his arrival and out-of-town relatives arriving tomorrow at 3:00, we would be a family of five. Just us.

Xbox cranks up, Jack and Sam battling through virtual NBA finals. Nathan randomly shouts out history questions as he completes on online “How Much History Do you Know?” quiz. Devan juices oranges in the kitchen. Mr. Norris, fat cat extraordinaire, stretches lazily. Macy begs. I head to the kitchen. It’s all so normal.

Hamburgers or burritos? Thawed ground beef means either is an option. Tonight is Sam’s choice and hamburgers it is. Provolone. Dill pickles. Sweet potato fries. A casual, unpretentious meal.

“Food’s ready. Y’all come.”

But nothing was “the same” about this meal. Tomorrow? Haircuts to be had. Clothes to be readied. Final details to be completed. Georgia and Tennessee family to be greeted as they arrive from over the hills. A candlelight service. Then Christmas, then a big, fat Veatch rehearsal dinner, then a wedding.

The trivial and the monumental about to collide.

Tonight’s dinner represented the last time the 5 of us would sit at a common table and share a meal; a father and mother and three sons. Just us, a unit. The fare and setting were plain, but before the last amen had been said, the crying gushed. I simply melted in a heap of salty tears, those kind of tears that cause snot to drip from one’s nose. The “no-holds-barred-let-it-all-out”kind of crying. Jack’s eyes got big. Nathan patted my knee. Devan smiled. Samgot up, crossed the room, and wrapped his arms around me. Soon he was crying, too.

In 4 nights my son will marry a good woman, a really good woman, a woman who is loving and generous and kind, a woman who has captured his heart. Since he committed, he has never looked back. No, tonight’s tears were not sad or regretful. They were not tears of worry or distress. Sam and Heather make each other better people so I have no concern over their impending life together.

In 4 nights the hubbub of the wedding will be over. For a couple who married in the Micronesian jungle with no family or lifetime friends present, Devan and I have been at times overwhelmed by the to-do of it all, the good the bad, and the ugly. The the potential for misunderstandings when planning an event such as this has taken us by surprise. The generosity and kindness of so many has also stopped us in our tracks.

No, tonight’s tears were not sad or anxious or exhaustive (well, maybe a bit exhaustive). Tonight’s tears were acknowledgement that life has rushed—hyper-rushed—by. Life is faster than we realize and tonight’s tears testified that if we are not careful— if we do not treasure the mundane as precious—we will miss the very things that are the only things that matter.

I will always be Sam’s mother, but from here on it will different. Sam and Heather will be a unit. Sam will look to Heather for advice and comfort and support, as he should, and I cannot think of a woman I’d rather have as Sam’s partner.

But tonight? Tonight all my sons are here and I am a mom cooking hamburgers for her crew. I am soaking in their voices and their laughter as they clean the kitchen. I am here and there is noplace on earth I would rather be.

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“How did it get so late so soon?

It’s night before it’s noon.

December is here before June.

My goodness how the time has flewn.

How did it get so late so soon?”

8 Comments

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8 Responses to Treasure the Mundane (or 12/23/2014)

  1. Susan

    Sweet, sweet post, Sheila. I’ve missed you! I can’t believe your Dr. Seuss quote! I actually discovered it for the first time over the winter break, had it framed, and it’s hanging over our calendar in the kitchen! My oldest daughter asked what I’d like for my upcoming 60th (yikes!) b’day, and I sent her on a quest to find that quote on a t-shirt or keychain. Weddings are bittersweet no matter how much you adore their spouses. Heather is so blessed to become #6!

  2. Mary Beth

    Keeping it real, Sheila, as you always do, with a beautiful and meaningful reflection on the joys and heartaches life brings. A fine reminder for us all. Thanks for posting this, since I obviously missed it on Facebook. Very happy for your family’s latest milestone. Bless you all.

  3. emily

    how i can relate. i want my 12 year olds not to grow but how i enjoy each change while i often remember those adorable toddler years. in anticipation of them leaving home, i often feel that knot in my stomach knowing it will come soon even as i hurry them to bed so i can enjoy lying in bed reading alone, off duty. what a mixture of feelings all in one day a mom has. what a mixture of feelings one has as the years rush on. i feel for you….. and i loved yr p0st.

  4. Vicki Summers

    Love is ………..ALL

  5. Jennifer

    It’s 9:22 a.m. I’m skiing in Colorado (from California) and the snow is coming down…hard. I just read this post and can’t quit crying. I am so touched. We’re a transracial family (two daughters from China, ages 16 and 18) and I am just starting to find ways to share our stories more publicly, or at least with each other. As the girls get older, it gets harder and harder to find the time to just “hang” together and tell and re-tell our family story. In addition, there’s trying to help them put together “missing” pieces of their own stories, that came before we four were together. Any–hoo….thank you for your wonderful site! I love it. And, as someone mentioned in a comment, I suppose you ARE the lead singer in your beautiful band of brothers. Thank you so much!
    Jennifer

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