On my toes

Life goes on, whether or not you’re ready to go with it.

The past few weeks have been a blur of wonderful newness, of comfort and bliss. They’ve also been full of stress, cancer, death, uncertainty, and pain. But that’s how life goes. Sometimes it throws everything at you at once, just to make sure you’re on your toes. So that’s where I’ve been. On my toes.

The first funeral was on Friday. I put on the black dress only to find that I had shrunk (or it had somehow stretched two sizes) and it wouldn’t be suitable. So instead, I found another black dress. This one still fits. (I really do need to start with this eating business. I’m a little bit bony.) I wasn’t going to go, and I didn’t tell Dad that I was going until I was on 6th Avenue, headed west, but I feel like I was in some ways obligated to go. It was good. Merrilee was such a funny person, and the last time I saw her was at Jeanie’s graduation party earlier this summer. It was good to meet the people who meant so much to her. They had pairs of nose glasses that she used to wear on a board, along with pictures of people wearing the nose glasses. It was good that I went because that meant that I got to chat with Jeanie while Dad talked to everyone else. On a nearly irrelevant note, they had mini quiches. I am such a fan of any party that has mini quiches.

But mini quiches aren’t the point. (Unless they are? Wouldn’t it be so nice if the entire meaning of life could be reduced to mini quiches? I could get down with that.)

Life doesn’t last forever.

Marshall died late Thursday night. He is now listening to the harp music at the great golf course in the sky. (What? It could totally happen. Maybe my personal heaven is bubble baths and wine.)
I sat next to him at Thanksgiving and watched as Juanita fussed with him about whether or not he was happy and comfortable. I was really touched by the fact that after so many years together, they were still taking care of each other. He was constantly aware of her presence and she always made sure that he had what he needed – although there was that one time when someone was missing a cup of coffee and she just grabbed his and said, “Here, have this one.” That’s the kind of love that everyone should be looking for. It might not always be the most effective, but at least it’s real.  They are seriously the best non-grandparents I could have had. (Although, now it’s our turn to make Juanita cookies just because.)

Cancer cancer cancer cancer. I’ve not got a lot to say about this one. Seriously, every time I turn around, someone else has it. We’ve got two at work, two on one side of the family. I was talking to Mom about this and she reminded me that this is just a bad spell. I warned her that she wasn’t allowed to get any more cancer just because everyone else was doing it. So we go on. I come from a family of tough people, particularly the women. We’ve got this. We’ll tackle it like we tackle anything else. Everyone will help where they’re needed. We’ll cover the gaps and everyone will emerge alright. I promise. And if anyone wants a healing animal, they’re welcome to borrow Carlos for a few weeks. Nothing will make you want to heal like having the very grumpy Carlos around. (He’s currently at the bottom of my bed with his his paws wrapped around my foot. I love him so much. Best worst decision ever.)

Got an email from the other side of the family today. God, I hate holidays so much. When I am ruler of the universe, there will be no family obligations unless, of course, you want to. I am already stressed at the thought of them cornering me. I’m already imagining it happen. And I’m already tense and terrified. Gross.

The grad school application is limping along, coming together bit by bit.

The giant proposal due at work remains unfinished. Tomorrow will be the ultimate race to the finish line.

But those things don’t really matter. I mean, of course they do. I’d be an idiot not to get my application in, since I still have a month left. And I’d be an idiot if I didn’t bust my ass to get that proposal done. But in the larger scope of things, there is so much more that matters, well, so much more.

On the brighter side, guess what’s awesome?

We went up to Keystone yesterday. Day 5 of snowboarding this season. I’m starting to get it. I did a Blue run with the boys then headed back up to find Emily. Spent the rest of the day on some long greens. It was good. Kevin and his brother came down from Vail to meet up with the group. The boys that we went up with are fun – one of them is in town from Boston, and he’ll be on our New Year’s trip. I’m starting to be able to do my toe side stuff, which means I’m actually able to snowboard properly. Pretty soon I’ll be doing sweet jumps! (That’s actually what I dream about.) Mom, best Christmas present ever. Without your insistence, I’d never be doing this. And I think it’s pretty rad. Also, pass is officially paid for now. Be stoked on that.

I have a boyfriend-thing going on. That was unexpected. I blame the Real World for making me question our relationship situation. So I asked him if we were dating. He said yes. Apparently, that was enough of an exclusivity conversation for him. (We later discussed all of this and figured everything out. It was very reminiscent of our first date.)
I am so ridiculously happy. He’s wonderful. He’s smart, funny, sarcastic, sweet. We are different enough that it will continue to be interesting for me. But we are similar enough that we just mesh well. He takes good care of me. The thing that I think I like the most is that he’s up for anything. When I’m like, let’s go to this concert (I’ve done that twice so far), he’s always open to it. He likes the random adventures that I like, which is good.

Broncos game today. I realize that the tickets came to us in the midst of sadness, but on the plus side, Mike and I are sort of going on a double date. I am bringing Kevin, who is awesome and driving back from family vacation in Vail in time for this. Mike’s bringing a girl! I think I’m probably more excited for this than I am anything else.

This is not one of those “live every day like it’s your last” posts, because those are dumb. But seriously, if you’re not doing something awesome, or something that you love, or something that’s wonderful, what are you doing with your life? After babysitting, I slept for nearly twelve hours last night. (that’s the something wonderful I was talking about.) That was exactly what I needed to do after being an idiot and going out with Katie before I went snowboarding. So today is marching forward and if I don’t hurry, I’m going to miss all the excitement.

I almost forgot: I started writing about being on your toes and life and then I looked down and remembered all the bandages on my toes. Yesterday morning, sometime in the pre-dawn hours, while I was frantically searching for snowboard gear in my room, I somehow managed to step into the side of a laundry basket, taking skin off of two of my toes. I didn’t think anything of it until I saw little bloody toe-prints. As it turns out, sometimes being on your toes doesn’t quite work out the way you’d planned.

Have a beautiful day, world, you deserve it.


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