I've had the most extraordinary three days. Amazing. Astounding. To start off, I held my memoir in my own hands for the very first time today. What a strange and surreal experience, to flip open a thin little book and read about playing rabid mommy with my children; to know that the strange words describing the strange game were written by me, about my life. That was the first thing I opened to, spraying whipped cream in my mouth and chasing my gleefully shrieking kids around the house. A snapshot of my life, a window of memory wide open and breezy for the world to see. I hope and pray this silly little volume will do what I want it to do. I hope it will help somebody. In my heart, I hope it will help a lot of somebodies. What a gorgeous tree topper to a scraggly tree of experience that would be, to have my past help anybody. At first glance, what a sorry sight, but with the right lighting, a bit of tinsel and some sparkle, magic.
Ran around today with my dear kindred spirit pal, ordering copies of my Freak comic and talking to the people at Borders Books about a book signing. All exciting. Then we went back to his studio and I listened en rapt as he created and recorded a song as I sat there, slack-jawed with awe, my happy artistic soul fat and sassy with all the creativity in the air. A wonderful day.
Yesterday was super hero day. Once again, Tiana saved the day at work. Last Mother's Day, when I passed out from my uber sensitive emotions regarding such an important day, she caught me before I hit the ground. Literally caught me. Sunday afternoon was the same. I was at work, filling a bread basket, when a co-worker came running in and yelled, "She's choking! She can't breathe and nothing's working! She's choking!" I dropped the basket and ran out and yelled, "WHERE?" in time to see little Tiana performing the Heimlich maneuver on a blue-tinged old lady. The chunk of cucumber flew out of her mouth, she sucked in a great vacuum wheeze of air, and Tiana and the manager hovered over her. Amazingly, the cool old lady said she was fine, sat back down, calmed her panicky husband, and forked another bite of salad into her mouth. I brought her a seltzer water for her sore throat and she gave a shaky laugh. Tiana disappeared for a moment.
That's when I noticed the pina colada slop all over the counter. A tray of drinks had been hurled like a Frisbee across the steel surface, fruit garnish swimming in a sea of pina colada mix and iced tea decorated with broken glass. Tiana had seen the woman's distress and simply threw the whole thing out the way to get to her. I swear, I saw a big red S that day, stamped on the curvy chest of that tiny hero as she shook and trembled at the magnitude of what had happened. I cleaned up the goop, grinning a mad grin of delight at the whimsical humor of Fate, placing a brave young woman in a restaurant at just the right moment to save an embarrassed but spunky old lady, who sat carefully chewing her lobster with wobbly dentures only minutes after she almost died.
God, I love life. Every day, there's something jaw-dropping and beautiful, even when it sucks so badly you'd rather check out than take another breath. It makes me think of my beloved Charlie in World War II, dodging bullets and mortar shells to suddenly notice a graceful wild orchid curling directly over his head. A snapshot of beauty in the middle of hell. They're everywhere, these picture albums of images, and each one is a gift of forgetfulness when times are bad, a small respite in wartime and a miracle of joy in times of panic.
Take care, and enjoy your own personal album of memories, as individual as you are and almost as precious.