The wall calendar hanging on the inside of my pantry door is open to May 2011. Today is March 4, 2012 but I’m not taking the calendar down – not yet.
The weekend of May 21-22, 2011 was a busy weekend – slightly stressful. I was throwing a Parisian pool party (yes, you read that correctly) for Emily on Saturday and taking David and his two best buddies to a movie and pizza for his birthday on Sunday.
I was worried about things like decorations, cakes, balloons, party favors, and the timing of the movie. I remember actually thinking:
“If I can just survive this weekend …”
Most of you reading this know that in the middle of David’s birthday party the tornado hit Joplin.
I keep that calendar to remind me that I never know when my world is about to change.
I go about my day-to-day and so often feel stuck on the treadmill of work, kids’ activities, bath time, bedtime, cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, and on and on and on. I forget. I forget that in a split second something can happen and the very things that cause me stress and distraction and frustration can become the things that I grieve over.
I keep that calendar to remind me of the beauty to be found in the ordinary.
“If I can just survive this weekend,” pops into my head each time I look at that calendar. I can remember wanting to be done with the parties and the birthdays. I wasn’t just going through the motions, I was steamrolling through them. I didn’t completely miss the moments of fun, joy, and delight from that weekend. But, more than anything, I wanted those two days to be behind me.
Then a storm rolled in.
“If I can just survive this weekend,” took on a completely different meaning.
All of a sudden, everything else fell away and I just wanted to hold my babies. I just wanted to get to them and see them alive and breathing. I wanted to kiss their tears and not let go of them. I just wanted to get them to a safe place. And, as the days went on, I just wanted us back together again. I wanted to recapture our feeling of home. I wanted my neighbors and friends to be okay. I just wanted our ordinary back.
There is something so beautiful about the ordinary when it’s viewed after the storm.
So, for now, I’m going to keep that calendar hanging up. It’s a reminder that I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know when my world is going to change. It’s my reason to live boldly and fully. It’s my reason to embrace the beautiful ordinary of my life.
My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the tornadoes that rolled through the Midwest recently.