Checking in.

On Monday night, my sister and I cuddled up in her room to catch up on our lives. Having been driven from the family room for disturbing Steve's TV-watching, we were deep in a discussion of love and life when my Mom poked her head in to say goodnight. As she pulled the door shut, I imagined what we must have looked like, two similar-looking twenty-somethings sharing secrets.

This is what my Mom always wanted for us. "You're so lucky you have a sister!" she would say to us during our frequent adolescent fights. "I always wanted a sister... and look how you talk to each other!"

For lack of a better excuse, the simple fact that we see each other so rarely prevents us from using harsh words. The entire family made the trek up to my parents' for the funeral of a dear family friend on Monday and we had only a few precious hours of time. Better make the best of it.

The funeral (which I will probably write about at some point) was difficult, the way it always is when someone dies in their 50s. You mourn for the kids, you mourn for the husband, you mourn for a life that should have been allowed to continue for decades. But the underlying refrain remains: our time is short. Our hours are precious. You never know.

Chris and I found an apartment this week, a place that strikes at the heart of where we want to live and the kind of life we imagine together. We got approved yesterday and will sign the lease next week when he's back from Wisconsin. As we rode the elevator up to work the other day, I said "don't die, ok? Be really careful." Things are so good right now that I can't help letting down the brakes. The build-up has the ring of tragedy, the potential for devastation.

I know that's not the way to think. I know that most of this is a reaction to death and the incredible amount of joy in my life and the confusing way those two exist side-by-side. But, you know. You wonder.

To distract myself, I've decided to embark on a project so great that I don't sound sane talking about it. Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? This year I've decided to join the ranks and throw myself into writing a November novel. I have no idea how this will go and it's possible that posting here will be light for the month. But oh! The CRAP that will come out while writing 50,000 words in 30 days!

I'm pretty excited to see how that goes.

P.S. I haven't said anything about my trip to Madison last weekend; I'll write about that soon too. For now, amuse yourselves with photos of this awesome city.

1 comment:

Britt said...

I totally understand where you're coming from on the mortality thing. I haven't even experienced death near me lately, but knowing that there are big happy things in this life that I haven't yet experienced and that they're just close enough now that I can almost clearly see them but they'll never happen if the unthinkable happens.... Let's just say my mind has been regularly producing a series of entirely plausible and frightening worst-case scenarios over the past six months. Because you never know...and I think sometimes it's hard to believe that we can actually have the things we want so badly.