Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Take It All In

What makes one day more special than another? What embues a moment with extra light, and more vivid color, than the one previous? What broadcasts an apparently casual statement onto a billboard in my mind? I'm not entirely sure, but I thrive on those moments. Normal life, normal schedule...then suddenly I feel the nudge and I see the spotlight.

Most of my living takes place between the magic - during the perfectly-fine days at work, and comfy-cozy evenings at home or with friends. It is vital to be my best during this time, to live fully even when I don't feel like it. Or when I don't feel like it makes a difference.

But then it happens. Maybe I meet someone new, or visit someplace new. And as I am walking through the unusual day, it is as if there is a small voice in my ear saying, "Remember this one. This is special."

One such moment happened about a year ago, when my sister and her family had traveled from their home in Boston to spend time with the rest of us here in Little Rock. It had been a great visit, but finally, the time for them to depart was looming on the horizon of my mind and I was spending one last afternoon with them. It just so happened that I got to spend the majority of the afternoon with my 3-year-old niece, C, by running errands and cooking supper and reading. When it was time for me to leave in the evening, I was saying my good-byes and barely holding back the tears. My family is so special to me, and saying good-bye is never easy, no matter how many times we do it. So I picked up C, and she gave me a big hug and smiled, and said, "Can I keep you for a really long time?"

Needless to say, this was an extremely bittersweet moment. I so wanted to say, "Yes." But I didn't. I handed her to her mama and I went to the restroom to compose myself. And I knew I would never, ever forget that day.

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