There was so much to be grateful for today. So many good fortunes, unexpected gifts, restoring conversations, that I wasn’t really sure what I would reflect on.
But, Briggs was.
Just minutes ago, long after dinner, dessert (10 chocolate chips), a game of Sorry, another of Trouble, Briggs wandered over to the bookshelf and asked if there was still time to read just one book before bed.
“Always,” I answered.
“Is this a good one?”
From way in the back he pulled a hardcover book that I’ve been housing on a variety of shelves since the summer of 1999.
My very own copy of Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. Gifted to me by Aunt Jane, Uncle Mike, and my cousins Amanda and Andrew for high school graduation.
When Briggs was in the NICU, I read this book to him everyday. And hundreds of other days after that. But, it hasn’t been in rotation for a good long while and tonight it made me cry.
Earlier today I had a meeting in downtown Boston. As soon as I walked in the building it felt very familiar, even though I had never been to this particular office before. Something about the lobby…then it occurred to me.
My cousin Andrew works here.
I remembered being in this lobby years ago when he ran his first Boston Marathon and my friend Edgar and I made an audio recording of the event.
I shot my cousin a text to see if my memory served me well. It did. And he was able to meet me for a coffee following my meeting.
It was the first time I’d seen Andrew since starting this process – and it was so good to see him. One of the many benefits of getting healthy is that you’re finally able to see the health of others.
My cousin is so kind and giving. He’s married to a wonderful woman, who is clearly his best friend, and the two of them are truly stellar parents. He works hard but keeps the important thing the important thing. Which is why, even though he has a very demanding schedule, he is genuinely happy to take a break and enjoy this unexpected visit.
I’m completely present for our conversation. So is he. And, as I flipped open that book given to me 16 years ago by Andrew’s Mom, my dear Aunt Jane, I’m taken back by her inscription:
As you go places, and we know you will, never forget your roots and the people who will always love you!
It took a lot of digging, but now I am rooted. I am strong. And I am deeply connected (and eternally grateful) to all of the love that has always flowed in, and out, and around me.
Especially when I could not see, feel, or understand it.
Kid, we’ve all moved mountains. We’re off and away. But, there are even more mountains to move, so, let’s stay (peacefully) on our way.