I know the future is uncertain for us all but when my dad turned 46, he was certain his life would end far before he was ready, At age 46, rheumatic fever which had been chasing him almost his whole life after damaging his heart at a young age. finally caught him. The story goes that the night before he died he said to my mom “Hold me close. Don’t ever let me go.” A few hours after midnight on the night of Junebug’s loud and sudden loss, he had a heart attack.
Last night at 11:50, Zoe asked me to come upstairs. At age 14, the only reason she usually invites me to her room is because she confuses our home with a hotel/restaurant and is requesting some kind of turn-down service or late night ice cold water. But when I got to her room, she wanted me to lie with her like we used to although instead of me holding her, she reached out her arms to hold me.
"Hold me close. Don’t ever let me go," I wanted to say but I knew that was not super cool so I enjoyed the moment and since it’s my party and I cry if I want to, I quietly dampened her pillow and she said “it’s OK mom.” My tears were sad but they were also happy because there we were together.
As she is growing up, sometimes I lose her for an hour, a day, a week, a few weeks, a few months but last night, she was with me. I always say to her at these times “we found each other again. We always do, Zoe.” In the fog of the past year, she has sometimes felt too hard to find so the clock striking midnight on my 46th birthday with her felt like a gift.
Jay and the kids and I used to joke that we wanted to be “BED-itarians” especially on a lazy cold and rainy day. It’s not really a religion even though we would usually feel most like being beditarians on a Sunday morning. I would describe it as more of a lifestyle. Beditarians live their life fully from the comfort of their beds and we would even imagine that our beds could turn into cars in case we needed to run an errand.
Today would be the ideal day to be a beditarians. We would snuggle up close and bury our heads under the covers and forget about the busyness and opinions and obligations of the world. Jay would be wearing his very worn out yellow submarine PJ bottoms I got him for Father’s Day at Target and an old Phish t-shirt and I would remind everyone that it was MY birthday and attempt to boss from my foam-topped mattress throne. Although we aspired to be strict beditarians, after a few hours, the pull of the world would call us; and I would head to the grocery and Jay would put on his slippers and head to the couch to watch sports and the busyness and opinions and obligations of the world would matter again.
Zoe just dialed the front desk, aka my cell phone. We were going to go to brunch but I think we are going to try to be beditarians. I know before long the peace and quiet of this rainy morning will end and my kids will argue and forget it's my birthday and life will continue to move forward because there is a reason we get bed sores if we stayed too long. Until it does I am holding on close to this lazy morning with my kids and dogs.
The four of us on my birthday last year. Since Jay and I saw The Wood Brothers for my birthday, the song is Atlas. One of our favorite Wood Bros songs.