seek out the brightness.

bloomingdale "camp"
most times i write here, i don't really know what will come out. i don't normally sit down with a plan or an outline. i just let what's on the edge of my mind jump off.
that is probably some of the reason i don't post as frequently as some bloggers do. my writing is dependent on the rare convergence of being in front of the laptop, having the time and the clarity to let the simmering thoughts flow into written words.
the last two weeks have flown by in a blur of activity, tasks and planning. while the great majority of it has been fun and positive, it's easy to get stressed by the pace at which things need to be completed. it shouldn't be difficult to keep focused on the positive but sometimes the rush of time is like the tide and before you know it, you're caught up in it and have to fight your way out.
and then sometimes you don't realize the grey shade you are casting on all of your brightness until a single event stops you in your tracks.
two days ago i was stopped in my tracks.
a client of almost eight years passed away. folks who know what i do might think this would be easy or routine, but it's really not. this loss was especially poignant because of the long term relationship she and i developed and her abrupt decline.
over the years i have gotten to know this woman well but when i stepped into that ICU room, she wasn't present. only a small ghost of herself was there. just enough of her to recall to but not enough to connect. her eyes were open and searching. i tried to talk to her. i looked up at her now grown son, on emergency leave from active military duty, and without words we knew each others thoughts. she was leaving us and this is not how she would want to go. in her life and even in her early illness, she was bold and strong. she rode harley-davidsons. she wasn't afraid of single motherhood and took full responsibility without ever complaining. until she was too ill to continue, she worked as an HIV nurse caring for people with the same illness she would eventually contract. when i first met her she would wake up with a beer and drink straight until bedtime. then one day she stopped. just like that. when i suggested support groups she would say to me, "i don't need that. i made up my mind to stop and so i did."
we are all full of so much strength and possibility. we can make what we need. we can set our own pace and create our own environments.
we should try to see this everyday and not just when we are faced with such a tragic juxtaposition that we can no longer ignore our own blessings.
so right now, i will look around and be grateful. i will see the brightness. i will seek it out even through the grey moments.
and i will remember this woman. not as she was in that ICU bed, but as the one who lived the life she wanted and made the best of it.


you got somethin' to say?