Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is the special occasion. ~Author Unknown
First, again let me say thank you to everyone who read my blog and sent it to others, I am so touched and inspired by all of your comments and support and am hopeful that some of the words and thoughts may help others going through something that they may want some help in “refocusing” their lens. I also want to thank those of you that reached out to me personally and shared your experiences and thoughts, this experience, in and of itself has been such a special 2 days for me and to hear about what has touched your hearts in pain and joy is really inspiring and if you are so inclined at some point please feel free to share here as a guest blogger, it seems to me blogging is good for the soul!
Ok, so now back to wine and shoes. Not really, although these two things do make me especially happy, but as you may have guessed they are a metaphor for all the things we don’t do today because we are waiting for a special occasion. How many times have we all bought or received a nice bottle of wine to put it away and say, “we will open in it on a special occasion” and it has literally sat there for years. Why is that? Is no occasion special enough? What qualifies an occasion as special enough? An anniversary, a new house, a baby, a birthday? And at one of those times, how often do you again go to that cabinet or wine fridge or whatever you use to store your vino and say, “no, maybe we will wait” and you open something a little cheaper that you bought at Ralph’s the week before because you STILL are saving that wine for a special occasion.
Now, on to the shoes. I use Louboutins because I love them like works of art. The shiny red sole, the height of the heel (although anything above 4 inches is likely to cause me to break my ankle – but I still think it might be worth it), and the craftmanship of the leather. I have 2 pairs that I love and when I slip them on I feel like a princess. It’s like being a little girl and you get your special occasion dress (mine were Christmas and Easter) and aside from being lovely and frilly, it would twirl. My sister and I would put them on and twirl all around the living room until we were so dizzy we would fall to the ground laughing hysterically. Putting those shoes on makes me feel like that little girl. We would really only wear these dresses once a year on the holiday they were meant for and after that they would hang in the closet, waiting for the next “special occasion”.
When KSP first surprised me with my first pair of Louboutins, I deliberated long and hard each time I thought about putting them on my feet. My thought bubbles looked something like: “What’s the weather going to be like?” “What type of pavement will I be walking on?” “How much walking will I be doing?” “Will they be appropriate for what I am doing” “Will people think I am trying to hard or trying to prove something?” “I don’t want to ruin them”and so on. For me they were like my Christmas dress or a nice bottle of wine, there never seemed to be an occasion special enough, until one day I finally looked at them hanging in their bright red bag and said, today I will wear them just because. Granted it was a work day and I had meetings, but having those shoes on my feet gave me superpowers (ok, not really, but my confidence increased and I think I did actually make some solid decisions that day, or at least I will remember it that way for purposes of my point:)).
It is likely that we have all had these moments, but this metaphor actually goes much deeper than wine and shoes. I chose this topic today for a few reasons. Recently some very sad events have happened to friends of mine such as the death of a grandparent, the hospitalization of a parent, medical conditions preventing pregnancy for the short term, and a divorce complicated by other external factors. These sad events always make you reflect on your own relationships and check our perspective on doing things in the moment. But I also had a lovely experience yesterday when I received an unexpected card from my mom. It was a “just because” card basically saying she loved me and that although she doesn’t always know how to help us, she thinks of us, prays for us, and loves us. Thus, a decision based on the fear of loss isn’t my goal here, it’s to show that moments good and bad can remind us to live in the moment. You just have to decide it and do it.
The event that will happen for our family tomorrow is not a major event by most standards but for our family it is big decision yet a milestone that was achievable all along but I was waiting for a very special occasion: Emma to get off oxygen. Tomorrow, all 4 of us and maybe even Max our toddler cat, will dress in complementary outfits (here’s is what I can promise you, we will not all be wearing matching sweaters partly because it’s 80 degrees and also because it’s not an option – although we may all wear a nasal canula in support of baby E, which will be very attractive :)) and take our first formal family pictures. Tomorrow will be our special occasion because we deem it to be so. You see, as I said, I kept waiting to take these pictures. Like every other family we talked about holiday cards last year. The first year was obviously not an option as only Q was out of the hospital, but this last December we made a choice or rather made a decision under the cover of making excuses to ourselves of being too busy, not having the time, etc. But the reality is, we were hoping E would be off oxygen and then we would send out holiday cards. But November’s pulmonary appointment brought no good news and we were told to come back in February. In February, we geared up hope again, and we were told to come back in April for a sleep study where we would then assess her progress and prognosis. So now you must be confused, because, April is now and our appointment is Tuesday. E will be sedated and be evaluated for her ability to maintain her oxygen saturation levels and hopefully we will be greeted with news that we can start to wean her in the coming weeks, but in the spirit of mynewfavoriteday, Tuesday may bring more of the same and so why wait? Don’t get me wrong, that news would be sad for us and like everytime before, we will get in the car and cry for the ever-moving light at the end of the tunnel but if we don’t hear the news we want we will now be able take solace and joy in our new family photos and the fact that we didn’t wait. We captured their sweet smiles and loving souls on the perfect day, tomorrow. Our precious babies are getting older and let’s not even talk about my alarmingly progressive and aggressive gray hair and wrinkles that seem to be attacking me daily…thank god my life is not in HD and I can keep the lighting dim in the house- so the time is now, tomorrow.
So life is about celebrating about the big occasions and small and what that means to you. Be grateful for both but remember each day is special because you have it. Last night KSP and I cracked a bottle of wine. Just the two of us. It’s been a while since we have done that together and it was a special occasion, we closed on a new house yesterday. And this time, instead of going to the bar and selecting the $9.00 Gnarly Head Zin, we selected the Pinotage we bought in South Africa on a Habitat for Humanity build in 2007, and although the cork crumbled into the wine, we still drank it and celebrated our very special occasion with our special occasion wine.