I woke up this morning thinking of this poem. It's my favorite poem because it speaks so beautifully of loss. And yet, it makes me always covet, rather than mourn, the things that are gone. And it always makes me remember the things that others are still experiencing that have become a part of my past. I find a deep and profound beauty in seeing someone experience magic while knowing that eventually it will become mundane.
So today, I decided that I just wanted normal back. Whatever that means. I was going to reclaim my past.
This is my normal.
We get up very early in the morning. Actually, I should rephrase that--I get up very early in the morning. And then I spend a half an hour waking my sweetie up. And he bitches about it. And that's just fine because it's our normal morning.
We stop at the corner store and he runs in and gets a bagel or a sandwich or a roll. It doesn't really matter. Suddenly the car smells like coffee and the man in the seat next to me gives me bites while I drive.
Driving at dawn here in the Y.O. will take your breath away. You come over the tops of really high hills only to be greeted by the most amazing dawn light that you've ever seen. This time of year it is golden (it will turn bluer and bluer until we reach the deepest of winter) and it takes my breathe away.
We shoot down the east side of Manhattan. I have the alarms on my phone set to make sure that we are on time. From 106th Street to the job site is (at the most) 12 minutes. I do that math. I count the minutes to make sure we are on time.
Around 6:20 the phone starts to ring and I start calling people into work. Brian helps. He answers the phone and he calls people back and he is just terrific.
Just past 15th Street there is a hill in the right lane and if you hit it just right and you go fast enough it's like a roller coaster. I hit it just right and give a very quiet "woo hoo". Brian always laughs a little bit at me when I do it but I think he likes it.
I drop him off at the job and I always check to be sure that the two grey haired guys (turns out they are ceiling guys) are still standing outside drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. If they are there, then we are on time. This morning, the younger one had gotten a hair cut.
And then I turn around and go home.
The sun is always blinding by now and the traffic gets thicker and thicker but it's all on the other side of the FDR so I breeze up the river. I try to ride in the right line so it feels a little bit like I'm in a boat.
Over the Willis Avenue Bridge and there is this stunningly beautiful billboard. In all shades of orange it says "GRATITUDE".
And I started crying.
I didn't cry a lot. I got home and did my little bits of housework and took a shower and left for work. I had the car radio on and was listening to the news and the children's choir start singing the national anthem and I lost it.
I'm a sucker for the national anthem (actually--any national anthem--it doesn't have to be ours) on a good day. But, man, if you give me children singing like angels on September 11th you might as well just kick me in the shins. I was weeping.
I tidied up, got to work, and did my morning check. And the Yarn Harlot had this. Scroll down to the entry about the wedding flash mob. Remember John? The guy who died? He loved a flash mob. So I lost it again.
My day that was supposed to be about normal had beaten me down and become all about loss and grief. Turns out that I don't actually have as much control as I think I have.
I always really hate a column or blog post that ends with some sort of pithy phrase so please accept my apologies now.
I'm still trying that figure out what the gratitude sign wanted me to do. I think I know but I do wish that it given me more specific instructions.