Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Universe at 31

[press play]

The night before I turned seven years old my mom was sitting on the edge of my bed tucking me in. I remember how soft her hands were, but not the expressions on her face; her voice and how it sounded hopeful. I'm not sure if I know the moment more from her re-telling of it or because it was such an identifying instance from my childhood like who your first kiss was (although mine wasn't until college). I can still recall my room being the ideal temperature and that I was in a nightgown that felt like a hug, with even the backs of my ears feeling clean after a bath. There's all of that and then the most dominant memory of all from that moment: how I felt a lack of control in the universe. 

Trying to evoke the sense of elation and eagerness I was expected to have for the approaching festivities, that she herself probably had after planning them, my mom asked me a fairly traditional question on the eve of my birthday..."Are you excited?" I just started crying

"But Mommy, I'll never be six again!" 

Maybe I've told this story here before. In fact, I'm sure I have, but I just thought I'd bring it up because that story, just like being a sentimental six-year-almost-seven-year-old, is part of the past. If you read my sister Maddie's post the other day you know that after the doctor told her the growth in her colon was cancerous, the darkest thought she stewed upon for hours was: what if she died? Of course that's what her mind fixated on. It's what we all wondered in the weeks following her diagnosis.

With Maddie completing her twelfth and final chemo treatment five days before my birthday this year, I never thought once about being sad that I was getting older or that I'd never be 30 again. With Avalon hugging my neck and slobber-kissing my face, I just sit thinking how a real baby is all I've ever wanted. I think about this line from Marina Keegan's short life..."The middle of the universe is tonight, is here..." 

My universe is Scott and Avalon and my family and friends. It's this tiny house that might be ours for a few more years or forever. It's salty waves and sun damaged skin and fingers with tortured nail beds and too many rings that love to type truths as best they can. It's relatives that seem to revel in being happy, or sad. It's curly hair, it's passing anxieties, it's lumpy couches and big dreams that I try not to be scared of. It's a husband who I have such an all-consuming crush on. 

My universe is here, is now, is tomorrow, is not mine to control. And I just might ride the mini-ramp Scott got me every day until I'm 32 or 79. I might ride it right to the hospital. I might ride it with Avalon and whomever might come next and whomever might come into our lives after that. 

And I will be so in love with every tomorrow I have, even if sometimes I'm afraid of it.

12 comments:

  1. Devon, the most beautiful thing about you is how "all in" you are in living YOUR life. I adore you. At 37 I've learned so much from you in this space that you share. One of the most precious lessons I've taken from you is to live not by the years, but by the seasons. Thank you. From a heart you do not know, but one that thinks of you dearly and takes in your words and images with much tenderness. Happy Birthday! Enjoy the season. Love from Minnesota ~Andrea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrea, thank you for your words. I am crying, they mean so much. Thank you for being here, for supporting me and for writing to me. I am touched. <3

      Delete
  2. Happy Birthday Devon. I'm so glad you're right in the middle of the universe, it's such a good place to be. And I'm so very glad that Maddie has finished her chemo sessions now. I'm sending all of you my very best as always. I have a bit of a lump in my throat after reading your words. You always express the beauty and wonder of life so very well. I get the impression you are always so appreciative of every tiny joy. You see it all. That's how it seems to me. And I love that. Happy birthday sweetie. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you wrote a book, I would most definitely read it. Your words are always so touching, and the best part is, you are just being you, telling your life, from your perspective. I've never read something that hits so close to home the way your words do. I'm not sure if it's the way you describe certain events and feelings that remind me so much of myself, or if it's because you tell your story so well that it makes me feel all of these emotions that seem so familiar. It's like the feeling you get after leaving a really good movie, the way you leave it being in touch with your emotions, and just feeling more alive. That's how it is after I read your words, I just feel a peace and an overall sense of comfort. It's hard to explain. Anyways, I hope you have a wonderful, sweet birthday! Please tell Maddie congratulations, which seems so unfitting since she is a total rockstar and deserves more than a "congratulations", but tell her that I'm happy she finished her last treatment. Amazing news!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miranda, thank you so much. Your words have been with me for the last few days, lifting me up. The encouragement means everything and makes me want to write even more. It was so incredibly nice of you to leave this note! I will cherish it always <3. And I will pass your cheers on to Maddie! :)!

      Delete
  4. This is just beautiful! Happy birthday, Devon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you friend! Hope you guys are having a good Friday! Looking forward to catching up on your blog this weekend! Ahh..that plan sounds so nice. :)

      Delete
  5. I love this... Happy 31st Lovely Lady! And Happy nearing the end of Chemo to your sister too!

    Reading this made me think of "Sirens" by Pearl Jam. You should check it out - just a bit about living in the moment and being very aware of who and what is most important in your life! ox Enjoy your special day for all the milestones in life are super important, even the ones where you know your ears are super clean :) ox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will definitely check it out! Thanks Kelly! Pearl Jam actually makes me think of you because I'm honestly not super acquainted with most of their music and I know you love them!

      Delete
  6. That video of her on the skateboard is adorable!

    Also, this is just so beautifully written. I'm with you on loving the right here and now. Happy 31st birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rach! So glad you're feeling the moment too :)

      Delete

I love to hear from you! I try to reply within the comment form.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...