Living at risk – building your wings on the way down after jumping off a cliff (or something like that)

When we were first married I had just graduated from BYU with a degree in English and Shane was still pretty new into the Elementary Education program at BYU. We lived in an old ugly but adequately warm puce stucco house. We both worked. And then it was time to start our family.

I had a decent full time job as an associate editor at the local free newspaper and Shane worked full time as a shipping clerk at Best – a local retailer that has since gone out of business.

My entire life I had looked forward to being a mom. So it was without question that I gave notice just before giving birth to our firstborn, Luke so I could be home with him. Even though rent was cheap back then, things didn’t really look so great on paper. But we weren’t so concerned about the balance sheet on paper.

And so we jumped. At the time, I compared it to jumping off the high dive with a blindfold – not knowing for sure if there was water in the pool. The metaphor of jumping first and building wings as you go is pretty much the same thing, but it sounds a little gentler. Maybe just a little.

Looking back, those were some of the best times. We lived simply, but we did not want. We were even able to buy a home. Which helped us eventually get into this home.

A couple of years later we were expecting our second child as Shane was finishing up school and looking for work. He got a job, but pregnancy was considered a pre-existing condition and the delivery wouldn’t be covered until a couple of days past my due date. We worried. But what could we do?

My due date arrived and we waited some more. The day our insurance kicked in arrived. And my water broke at 1am. Zack was 10 lb. 5 oz. and healthy and happy. And our bills were covered.

At the time new school teachers earned a salary below poverty level. We used to joke that we lived on the way to D.I. Because so many people gave us first shot at their unwanted furniture and clothes and literally dropped it off at our house on the way to D.I. But I never felt poor. I read books. I had a pretty good idea of what it meant for people who truly were poor.

And so we flew.

Two more kids in the nest–both in school before I went rejoined the paid work force.

Those were powerful wings. Wings built on faith.

No regrets.

[Day 100 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

three places my shoes have walked this past year

mud

A week ago tonight my walking shoes were in a would-be suburb of Enoch Utah. They would have been walking in the snow, but for the heat of the fire, which, with the prior rain, turned the saturated earth to mud. Thick mud. I had an expensive Canon camera in one hand and my iPhone rolling in video mode in the other, so when my left foot stepped forward, the thick, viscous mud held one of my shoes captive and my socked foot, already in motion, landed full on in the wet, cold mud.

beach

A year ago I had just finished my last big trip with the FAA, helping my team film two international airports–Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood and Miami International–and a number of smaller regional airports in the area. I swapped my walking shoes for sandals. Said shoes–more precisely the inside soles of my favorite pair of Birkenstocks–actually came home a little worse for the wear as they walked through thick sand until I got to the water’s edge each night as I unwound along the beach that was right outside my hotel room.

rooster

My shoes and the rest of me needed a break, so they traipsed around the “southernmost point of the continental United States” next to my friend Melody’s shoes. We walked the colorful, lushly tree-lined streets, kicked around Hemmingway’s home, dodged the delightfully free-range chickens (and inevitable droppings) through the middle of town, and patiently kept a light touch on the gas pedal as I drove the hurricane escape route at about 5mph through most of the upper keys on our way back to Ft. Lauderdale.

apricot jam

Somewhere in between last April and last fall both pairs of shoes alternately braved manure, mosquitos, and rotten apricots as I explored my brother’s new ranch–he ended up naming it Serenity–on my first visit. I find myself homesick for it (the too-sweet sticky mush of rotten fallen apricots–not so much, but rumor has it they’ve been rigorously pruned). I need to go back.

[Day 99 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

Mail

book
Know what’s even better than a check in the mail? A physical manifestation of the fact that someone’s been thinking of you.

I’m actually feeling a good deal of guilt about mail at the moment. A friend of mine sent me a lovely can of sweet rose herbal tea last week (via Amazon, but yes, it arrived by mail) and I have yet to thank her. At first it was because it arrived at a crazy time. Then I was on the road for work, unexpectedly, every day last week. Now it’s because I feel like so much time has passed I should think of a more personal way to express my gratitude than a simple text. Yet such a way hasn’t presented itself. In the meantime, my tardiness increases by the hour.

Also, I have not one, not two, but three overdue items I meant to put in the mail. One is a baby gift for an infant who is now 18 months old and will have already outgrown the outfit I purchased BEFORE he was born. The sad thing about this is that I even already have postage on the envelope, so I was planning ahead, but I failed to connect the mailing address with the envelope.

This is my usual method of failure–connecting the address, the proper postage, and an actual envelope in order to get said package to the intended recipient.

I have a lovely book of English grammar errors purchased for a friend ages ago on that day when I cried while reading my favorite passage of Hamlet from the preserved First Folio which was on tour at the Salt Lake City Library. I don’t recall when exactly that was, except that it was months ago, because it was a beautiful warm sunny day, and those are just now returning to us. So clearly it was at the very least last fall.

Sigh.

My worst failure is a package of hand crocheted baby items that I mean to return to a family in France. They were sent to me as a gift nearly 30 years ago, and as such were intended for me to keep. However the dear woman–a woman who loved and treated me as a daughter–since (at least best I can translate) has been afflicted with health ailments that prohibited her from crocheting such delights for her grandchildren. I meant to send them back as a courtesy as soon as I regained contact with this dear family and learned of the situation. To make things worse, I learned several months ago this dear woman passed away. At that time I felt it best to wait. And then it was Christmas. I have little faith in international mail, especially at Christmas, and decided it best to wait again. At this point it is simply a failure on my part.

Failure to send.

On a happier note, I have been blessed by the generous actions of a good number of people who are much more successful than I at actually connecting the gift, my address, and proper postage and getting things in the mail.

These people deliver!

Numerous and perfect handmade reminders of Doctor Who
Delightful books and presents for my grandson, Sweet Baby James
Cadbury chocolate (a number of times) from the mother country (it’s better from Great Britain)
Belgian chocolate (a number of times)
Scottish shortbread (also a number of times)
Rose tea
A beautiful coffee table book with photos of ancient and magnificent trees
Darling and clever Star Wars dish towels and pins and such
Both sweet and sassy notebooks in which to record my thoughts during hard times

Just to name a few…

What I love most is these appear when I least expect them, but also, habitually, on those rough days when I need a bit of good cheer and when it does my heart veritable good to know I’m loved and supported and that someone out there was thinking of me and acted upon it.

I’m blessed by good people in my life.

I aspire to be more like them.

[Day 98 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

Things you save

thewayofthedodo
This isn’t even good ice cream, but oh how I miss that HALF GALLON in all caps at the bottom of the carton.

I like to save money. In fact, I even like to save other people’s money. When I was traveling for work (that’s funny, because I just got back from Cedar City where I found out I have to turn around and go back to Cedar City tomorrow before heading down to St. George. For some reason, unless I have to also board a plane, I no longer consider it travel) I went to great lengths to get a good deal on hotels and plane fare and rentals even though those expenses would ultimately be paid for by the federal government entity for which we were working (and, as we all know, the federal government is not exactly known for being thrifty).

One time I left polite feedback for a hotel that was not very clean (I have a little thing about seeing visual reminders that someone lived/slept there before me) and the hotel gave me $30 off my room. Which I promptly passed on to my employer.

I loathe finding out something went on sale the month after I bought it (looking at you, Suave Body Wash, for which Costco ran a rebate in their next month’s flyer). I love stores that let you double or triple up on savings (item on sale, plus 20% off sale, plus an additional $10 off your $50 purchase). I am still mad about that time nearly all ice cream labels (brands, they are not, in fact recording studios) cut the half gallon down to 1 3/4 quarts, which is now even smaller. They were not even subtle or apologetic about it.

I’m pretty sure the extinction of the half gallon of ice cream is right up there with my concerns about the bald eagle, wolves, tigers, giant pandas and manatees–all which have made remarkable and beautiful comebacks. Because we all know the half gallon is never coming back and as far as our grandchildren are concerned it will be right up there with unicorns and the dodo.

In any case. I just realized I forgot to set my 8-minute times, so apparently I’m not as concerned about saving time as I am about saving money. And yet it is true I have come to appreciate the value of time over money (within reason) and, in an uncharacteristic move, have, since I started working full time, become in the habit of seeing the doctors at instacare for some things rather than trying to fit in a doctor’s appointment during my office hours, even though the copay is $10 more. That is a really awkward sentence, making one thing entirely clear. Timer or no timer. This writing prompt is over.

That said, I’m all of a sudden curious. If anyone happens to read this post (admittedly not my best work), tell me the best deal (in other words, the most money you saved) when buying something you either really wanted or really needed. Like that time you really had to buy something now and couldn’t wait for it to go on sale,* but through some miracle, you got a really good deal on it and came away relieved and happy. Go!

*Like how I really need a new pair of Birkenstocks right this minute but I do not want to pay full price.

[Day 96 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

before they were adults

momanddad

When my mom was a little girl she moved a lot. I’m not exactly sure why. My grandpa was an educator, not military. But I know she never spent much time in the same school and I think she must have been kind of lonely. She worked hard in school. She was the oldest child in a family where children were seen and not heard and expectations were high. She was responsible. (As an oldest child myself, I understand the pressure of being responsible.)

She didn’t seem to have a particularly happy childhood. But I know from her younger sister that part of that may have been perception. She was extremely hard on herself. She was an achiever. She was a perfectionist.

But it was as a child, or at least a youth, she fell in love with the ocean. She lived in a number of places in California where she had access to the beach. Her love of the ocean stayed with her throughout her life. It was evident every time she would pack us kids and sack lunches in the car and drive us to Florence–Devil’s Elbow and the Heceta Head lighthouse–for a cold sandy and salty day on the rugged Oregon coast. Not at all like the warmer, milder beaches of Southern California. Her love of the crashing surf was also evident in the many wave-scenes she painted during her oil painting years.

Dad, on the other hand, was raised on a land-locked ranch. He was riding a horse as a toddler–all the Rex kids did and at least once–it may have been Uncle Bob–one of them fell asleep and slide right off said horse. He spent lonely days as a sheepherder during his childhood (and the more I learn about sheepherding, the more alarming that is to me). But by the time I fell in love with the ranch the sheep were long gone and there were just cows to feed and brand and herd.

My parents met at BYU (which is where my children’s parents met as well). According to my mom, my dad was somewhat of a legend. He was tall, dark, and handsome. And was known for wearing a Stetson and cowboy boots and walking on the grass adjacent to the sidewalk. My mom was petite. Tiny ring finger (I know because of the way her tiny ring fits so neatly inside of dad’s). Size 5 1/2 shoes. She had lovely legs. I know this because my dad told me so, but also because of their wedding picture, in which she wears an untraditional short dress. At my dad’s request, from what I understand.

They loved to dance. Or so I’m told. I recall many a night where us kids were left with dinner and instructors to “play nice” as my parents, all dressed up, left us to attend various ward and stake balls. Back in the day when such things were held.

“Before they were adults” is such a tricky phrase. The truth is, we may grow into adulthood. We have jobs and mortgages and children and cancer and high cholesterol and even–blessedly–grandchildren. But we are still kids at heart. The child and teenage versions of ourselves are still tucked inside of those flawed and imperfect adult minds and souls. We are still worried and afraid sometimes. Hard on ourselves. Excited over little things. Hurt and bewildered by unkindness, thoughtlessness or people who are hard on us or fail to appreciate how hard we work to be good people and to carry the heavy burdens of adulthood with our child-hearts.

We ought to be gentler with ourselves and with each other.

[Day 95 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

One time

overwhelmed

One time I typed the writing prompt at the top of my post and was all set to hit go on the stopwatch but I realized I am still so emotionally spent that what I really want to do is roll over and bury myself in blankets, close my eyes, and sleep.

But I will prop my eyes open and skip over the series of one-time events I can think of that may be interesting to write about and return to yesterday and the day before.

To that one time a seemingly quiet and unassuming woman was taken from us before we were ready and we were overwhelmed.

We were overwhelmed by the grief. The first-time unimaginable grief for her husband and children and sisters and brother and grandchildren who have never experienced such a loss. The still unimaginable grief for those of us–primarily in-laws who even though we do know that this unimaginable grief you don’t think you can possibly survive is in fact something you will live through, also know that losing a mother is a loss like no other.

We are overwhelmed–and even humbled–by the show of support by family and friends. By the food pouring in at everyone’s homes. By the phone calls and visits and texts and Facebook messages. By the friend who bursts through your door and runs up your stairs to give you a real hug even as you are both still on the phone with each other as you are in the midst of breaking to her the bad news. She jumped in her car and drove straight over so she could give you a real hug.

Overwhelmed by the lines of people spilling down the hall, out the double-doored church entrance, down the stairs and into the church parking lot when you arrived at the viewing Tuesday night. A crowd that was undiminished even half an hour past the scheduled end of the viewing, but finally dissipated an hour past.

The crowd that resumed the next day before the funeral. The crowd–as your brother-in-law puts it–inclusive of almost all walks of life. Family, friends, teachers, classmates–some we’d seen recently, some we hadn’t seen for ages. The Native Americans who stayed in with the family during the family prayer and also came to the cemetery and the family dinner because they were indeed welcomed and loved as family by this woman and who told my father-in-law, “you asked us to be here and we are here.”

Overwhelmed by the same bursting-through-the-door-while-you’re-still-on-the-phone friend who drives nearly two hours while still suffering from a concussion to be to the funeral and to stay to the cemetery and take lots of photos because she knows you will be busy talking to family and not be able to take all the photos you want–or even know the ones you will wish you had taken later, because she has lost both her parents too in recent years and she knows.

Overwhelmed by the cousins from California who always show up and are there for you. You thank them for coming and let them know how much it means to you that they would be there and when they say “We wouldn’t miss it,” you know they mean it, because they always have and always will be there with you and for you.

Overwhelmed when you see your stake president who works closely with your husband and who has also lost his mother and who took time off of work and also drove that nearly two hours to be there for your husband. (Nearly two more hours back home again afterwards, of course.)

Overwhelmed again when you see your brother and his wife who still mourn the loss of your mother and who also took time off work and drove the same distance to be there for you and your husband and your kids even though they knew with so many people you would hardly get a chance to visit with them. They just needed you to know they were there.

Overwhelmed again when you learn your Relief Society president and your neighbor down the street–both who have lost their mothers–who had no idea where they were going and who had to stop and ask for directions, twice–also took time from their busy days to show up for your family.

Overwhelmed again to learn that not one but two of your husband’s coworkers (one is now retired) made the long drive to and back to show up for him and to let him know they’ve arranged for his class for extended days so he can have more time with his family.

Overwhelmed and again humbled by the reach of this wonderful matriarch whose mortal resume may not have been long by the standards of the world, but whose faith and service surpassed what any of us likely imagined and whose mark on the world was overwhelmingly good and beautiful and worthy of such an immense tribute.

Overwhelmed by the knowledge you can work harder and love more and serve better and by the desire to do so as you are once again reminded in a powerful and beautiful way that “…by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.”

[Day 94 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

joy and sorrow

In just a short time ago some people I love, who only a couple of months ago buried an angel granddaughter, have experienced what must feel like a lifetime of joy and sorrow, much of it in just one weekend. And it’s not, by any means, over.

My nephew drove home from North Dakota with his wife. Such visits are rare and welcomed. So much so some of my own kids drove out to be with them. JOY!

Within hours of knowing they were coming, the same family got a call learning that another son was coming home from his mission early. Apparently this is not something you learn until your child is put on the plane to come home and you receive directions what time to pick up him or her. -sorrow–the kind of gut-punched, “I-don’t-know-what-hit-me” kind of sorrow, and yet also possibly relief at being reunited and to be able to wrap your arms around someone you love in order to travel this road together-

That same day half the family (the extended, anyway, because there is more a less a corner of their small basin town that is either a clan or a dynasty of our family) went to a funeral for (if I overheard correctly) the last member of their grandfather’s generation.-sorrow-

And the other half of the family attended the baptism of another nephews. JOY!

I wasn’t physically present on this particular weekend, but this family I love was in my thoughts constantly. I prayed for them. I held space for them in my heart.

Oh, and why did the first son and his wife come home that particular weekend? As I guessed in the moment it occurred to me they must have had a reason, it was because they had an announcement.

They’re expecting their first baby. JOY!

The next weekend (because we do not always or even often have a moment to catch our breaths), and, as the story goes, after not just one but possibly two fridges went out, I happened to see on Facebook a happy engagement announcement from the cute boy dating one of my cute nieces. JOY!

I was amused to learn later that the social media post went up before my niece had a chance to call her parents, so I think there was a little bit of surprise amidst that joy as well.

Cut to this past week where the unthinkable, unimaginable happened. We were not prepared. We are still in shock. And we are mourning the loss of the heart and soul of our extended family. My father-in-law missing his wife of 58 years. My husband and brothers- and sisters-in-law missing their mother. Their aunts and uncle missing their sister. And so many nieces and nephews missing a grandmother who loved them so dearly. -sorrow, seemingly unending, un-mendable sorrow-

Yes, I know this is not the end. And yes we–at least some of us–have felt the sweet peace the gospel brings. We can only imagine her sweet reunion with her parents and other loved ones. But that does not remove the sorrow or the hole in our hearts. sorrow upon sorrow upon sorrow

[Day 93 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

Post Edit: After writing this post I’ve been reflecting upon how both our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows are generally connected to family.

bathrooms

[note: everything feels superficial and inane, but I made a goal and I want to keep it so I’m going to skim the surface for awhile until the rawness of the past week wears off and I find the right words to do it justice.]

When I was at BYU I had lots of great roommates (and a few interesting ones too) but one was so much fun I lived with her two years in a row. In fact I lived with her until she got married, I think.

In any case we have lots of happy and fun and crazy stories together, but also a sad one. And one in which I learned a valuable lesson.

There was a time in our friendship when things shifted. There was a wedge between us. A feeling of resentment and eventually anger. And I had no idea how or why.

One day it all finally came out and it had to do with our shared bathroom.

Apparently I was a slob. I thought all young people were slobs. But I was insufferable.

Excuse the graphic detail, but apparently the detritus of Q-tips and cotton balls involved in my early morning beauty routine that weren’t tossed directly in the trash–and possibly even those that may have piled up in the overflowing trash bin, as seems to occur even in my grown-up life bathrooms (although, generally, not on account of me), as annoying. Even irritating. Even wedge building.

And I get it. That’s obnoxious. But I was oblivious. And the sad part–at least to me–is that it was an easy enough fix. I should have been taking my basketball skills more seriously and worked harder on my bank shot, or even any kind of shot. At the very least I could have rebounded and neatly handled the my missed shots.

Only I didn’t fix it until it was almost too late.

Because I didn’t know about it.

My lesson learned was what can happen to a relationship when a teeny tiny frustration or resentment is left inside to grow and build and fester until it has become something greater than itself. And the painful takeaway is that the sore, ugly, swollen wound will take even more effort to heal because it went so long untreated. Growing bigger and worse and even more bitter.

And that’s why I try to be in the moment and aware of how and I feel and why. Be frank about that with those who allow me to. And sometimes even with those who don’t. And why I have great respect for those times when people choose to honor our relationship by telling me how they really feel about something that could easily grow into a wedge and allow me to address it best I can. Or at the very least reassure them no harm is ever intended and work on doing better.

[Day 92 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

buying stuff you don’t need

I.
A friend of mine just started selling Tupperware. And now her Instagram is full of shiny photos of colorful plastics.

“I’m so relieved I went through all my ‘consultant’ phases before social media was invented,” I said to myself.

I can’t recall if Stampin’ Up* or Tupperware came first.

*See previous post on crafting.

My cousin sold Tupperware, so I had a party for her. And the words “free stuff” lodged themselves deep in my heart and I couldn’t stop.

When you sign up to sell Tupperware, you get this big giant duffle bag large enough to hide not one, but two bodies (should the need arise) stuffed clear full of free Tupperware.

And who among the young moms crowd doesn’t need another gadget in which to store Cheerios?

In any case. I can attest you can, in fact, have too much Tupperware.

It may not, however, be possible to have too many stamps. You wouldn’t even need a mini-sized duffle bag to hide all my wood stamps. And of course I was buying ahead for the zombie apocalypse, so I have not one but two full-sized ink cartridges of my favorite colors.

Note to self in hindsight. Ink doesn’t last forever. Even when shrink-wrapped. Don’t hold your break for a Life Hack tutorial with 50 ways to upcycle a dried-up ink cartridge.

II.
Just tonight I was telling my friend Melody’s husband Jeff about how Melody literally saved my life once. I’d been quite sick with the flu (note to everyone: If you are only sick for a day or two, and if your bones don’t hurt, and if you don’t feel like you got hit by a train, it’s not the flu). I saw my doctor and she was a bit concerned, but she sent me home. She told me, however, if I got any worse, to call her back.

I got worse.

I called her back.

And the bouncer at her front office brushed me off.

So I asked Melody to drop by and check on me after work. And you know, since she is a nurse, work for her is a 12 hour shift.

Whatever she saw in me gave her pause, enough so that she went back to her office for more serious diagnostic tools.

“You need to go to the ER,” she said.

“Tomorrow?” I asked.

“Right now.”

So I did. And my oxygen was at 80.

I remember lying on my back on the gurney with oxygen tubes in my nose trying so incredibly hard to bring it up to 90. Because they told me if I could keep it at 90 I could go home.

Instead I was admitted and stayed for a week.

As they admitted me I told Shane, “Whatever you do, DO NOT LET ANYONE IN OUR HOUSE!”

Because I had three young kids. My husband had just finished his master’s degree. I had been sick for at least a couple of weeks. And the house was a mess. A disastrous mess.

Of course by the end of a week in the hospital with double pneumonia when I finally got to come home on oxygen for what would be another month, I was still embarrassed, but also quite grateful to see my piles of laundry had been tackled, my kids had been fed, and my house had been deep cleaned.

The I can still hear the echo of my good friend Lynda:

“You have too many candles.”

“Do not buy any more candles.”

The culprits there were not just one retail candle and bath and body product maker that held semi-annual warehouse sales, but also the candle equivalent of Tupperware–PartyLite–that had lured me in with so many promises of “free stuff.”

While I’m happy to report I, eventually, stopped buying candles, I will never divulge how many I still have left.

Although I’m certain they, like my craft supplied, will come in quite handy during the zombie apocalypse.

[Day 91 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

waiting

winter waitingThis has been a favorite photo of mine for some time now. I just now noticed the timestamp. I took it the day before my mother died. The last day I saw my mother. The day I didn’t realize I was saying goodbye.

Winter 2014/15

So much waiting.

Waiting for Zack to come home from the Middle East. Waiting for family to come for Thanksgiving. Waiting to decorate my Christmas tree until Christmas afternoon, when I would finally be home for a couple of days. Waiting. Wondering how much time was left.

Just yesterday I was thinking about my mom and how I stressed over the last few weeks over her life waiting and worrying, not knowing how long she would be with us and not knowing if I should leave to go on my first work trip (she said “Go!”) or make alternate plans (even though there really wasn’t anyone else who could have taken my place) because I did not want to leave when her time was short or not be with her to say goodbye.

Saying goodbye was a big deal to me. Especially since I missed saying goodbye to my father by one day. And so we waited. I waited to make plans–or not make plans–or cancel my plans. I waited to say goodbye. Even though I couldn’t possibly know when. And I thought we would have some warning. The hospice nurse said she would know. And we intended to keep a bedside vigil.

Juxtapose that seemingly endless waiting with a couple of tender sweet hours spent with my aunts and uncles and cousins gathered in a similar vigil–or at least similar to what I imagined–at the hospital, as one of my aunts–my dad’s sister–was also dying at the same time as my mother.

A rather loud, busy, but anything-but-lonely vigil by my aunt’s side–full of hugs and stories and laughter along with the tearful eyes.

As opposed to the quiet, lonely, vigil by my mom’s side at her home, as I tag-teamed–primarily with my brother and his wife–to grant my mother her wish to stay in her home.

Yesterday I was reminded about despite all our efforts “to plan,” how my mom went quietly, but not unexpectedly (because who really knows what to expect) but still on her own terms–when no one was looking–just a couple of days after my aunt died.

This meant both my brother and I could attend our aunt’s funeral. In fact I ended up flying out to D.C. next to one of my cousins and her husband afterwards.

And then I flew back at the end of the week just in time for my mother’s “viewing” (as she forbade us from having a funeral).

Anyway, the waiting–impatient waiting–and the not knowing–impatient not knowing–what was going to happen or when or what I should do was all for naught. And I regret not having relaxed a bit more (although not for a lack of trying) and trusted that everything would work out.

What occurred to me yesterday was how my mom meant it when she said she wanted me to go to D.C. and do this thing for work–this scary thing I had never done before and had worked hard to prepare for–and she very possibly went when she did in order that I could go. It wasn’t about the travel, although she wanted that for me too. It was about the opportunity to stretch myself (in many ways) and do something I’d never done before. Something I didn’t know if I could do. I know my mom wanted that for me. And she gave it to me. And I am the better for it.

[Day 90 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

Note: There is another post to be written about waiting. It is a raw post. A hard post. And apparently it still waits to be written.