Friday, August 8, 2008

Dry Lightning

Today is our anniversary. Yesterday I may or may not have been out desperately seeking a gift suited to both the significance of 16 years of marriage and the current budget.

While I was on this particular mission impossible (how can you find a thing to represent this love?), I had a chance meeting with an old friend, someone who knows more of our history than I sometimes can call up betwixt diaper changing and caffeine seeking.

The EGE was, at that moment, in his office, working as hard as he always does on engineering and personnel issues with the most positive attitude of anyone I have ever met. Anyone. He could teach seminars on this stuff.

I was struggling with a 450-pound box of printer paper while holding Laura with my third arm. My attitude was maybe less than stellar (I could teach seminars on that).

And then, like an apparition from our starving student days, there was Scott in between Aisles 9 and 10. Oh, it was so wonderful to show off my cute baby and catch up on all the old gossip! We updated on a half-dozen mutual long-time friends and made happy plans for a dinner party chez nous. I knew the EGE would be happy to reconnect with his old friend, who is intellectual and spiritual and hilarious, just scramble the order based on the day.

As I was preparing to say goodbye, Scott lowered his voice and asked,

"Had you heard about David?"

"David and Sue? How are they?" David and Sue are only some of my very favorite friends. They are some of a lot of folks' favorite friends. The last time I saw Sue, she had a baby on each hip and a lot of laughter about how overcommitted they were. She publishes a newsletter e-zine on the "family table." He is a bookstore manager. They have six children and a raucous, happy home.

"David died three weeks ago."

Dry lightning. I never saw any storm clouds, did you?

It seems incredibly selfish to be happy for my anniversary, but this is exactly what we're going to do. I hope your day is blessed, and I hope you cherish the people closest to you. And I hope you reach out to someone today whom you hold dear but can't find the time to contact in between the busy-ness.


Misty said...

Oh my goodness...
i hate moments like that, so much. And I fear them so, that sometimes I don't get in touch with people after much time has passed, for fear of that.
Very sad. I'm so sorry...
But happy anniversary... Really.

Becca said...

Proof you NEED to be happy today. Life is short.

Chickie Momma said...

Happy HAPPY anniversary.
News like you received feels like a punch in the gut - but it sure helps you appreciate what you've got even more. Blessings to you and to yours!

Barb said...

I always feel like we have to take some kind of lesson from this kind of sucker punch. Like maybe, all the anniversary presents (I know you weren't giving the EGE printer paper but I kind of giggled at the thought) and the expressions of commercial sentimentality wouldn't mean as much as those simple sentences about how much you appreciate how hard he works and his great attitude...

I don't know. I never know how to reconcile things like a father of six dying unexpectedly at a young age with the merciful God I know. My heart goes out to his family.

Agent K said...

I hope you had a lovely evening bowling with the fam.

Sending prayers to Sue and her babies.

Toni said...

These mortal bodies are so extremely fragile. It is so important to live your best life every day and love those around you so that they feel it.

Congratulations on 16 years. It seems so few make it very far in marriage, like they are just boyfriend and girlfriend breaking up. This speaks so much of your commitment and selflessness. I'm wishing you at least 50 more wonderful years.

I'm very much feeling a theme to my weekend, and wondering what God is trying to tell me!