An Ode to a Life Well Lived

I just met her last year. I haven’t known her that long. And I have no specific memories of her. No profound words she said to hold onto. But in my mind she will forever be smiling. Laughing. Sassing. She had a way of listening. With her whole body. That made me feel heard. She was so young (and alive) that it shone from her hair and her nails – always colored and combed with shades of joy.  Her spunk spread out on her face in creased dimples and burst from her mouth in gasps and sighs and giggles.

The last time I saw her was at the wedding.  We were concerned with how to tie our belts and the extreme heat that comes without a/c in the summer.
But that was a year ago. And maybe her passing shouldn’t really affect me. But it does. Because it’s so hard for me to wrap my mind around death. Around the fact that living people. With a hope and a future. Can actually not be given a chance to live it.
And at 22 we want to say it’s not fair. That she never really got a chance to live. But when I look at the masses of people grieving her loss. And I think of how the choices she made affected our family so much. How the friendship and family she offered to my sister-in-law are key factors that lead LaTasha into the church, to New York that summer, to meeting my brother, to joining our family, to the jokes she tells and the memories she has. It leaves me grateful. Thankful. Realizing that even one life- so shortly lived- does have an impact.  And it leaves me wishing I could tell her that.
I know that moving on from this isn’t something people do. We can’t forget the people who fill our lives. To forget them would be to forget a part of ourselves. And so we don’t. Instead we are called to treasure and remember.  To acknowledge her life and the role she played in the chain of events that affected mine.  To hold onto the hope of seeing her again. and. To allow the sorrow to fade into the joy of having known her. If even for a brief time.
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‘You are the piece of the puzzle of someone else’s life. You may not know where you fit, but others will fill the holes in their lives with pieces of you.’ – Bonnie Arbon

First Year

Just some sarcasm to start it off right. This is my excited face

Tomorrow is my last day of my first year of grad school!  I’m so excited I could almost write a poem about it.  I’d probably use phrases like, “I never thought this day would come,” and, “really this means almost nothing because I’m not done yet.”

But it does mean something.

Mostly it means that:

1. I have more behind me than what’s ahead.

2. I’m smarter than I was a year ago.

3. And summer (true summer) vacation starts in 2 days!

Also.  This week marks the one year anniversary of this blog!! To celebrate I could also write a poem about that too- possibly including very similar phrases as my previous poem- but probably with more sarcasm and less sentiment.

That said, Thank you for sticking this out with me (by this I mean both my first year of grad school and my first year of blogging).

Also. Since some people apparently read this blog to find out what’s going on in my life I will honor that purpose with a short list of my previous week’s activities:

1. babysitting (10 kids, 5 kids, potty training, mac-n-cheese, climbing on me like a tree- you name it- I’ve tried it.)

2. I finished a book! (reading- not writing. No. I’m not that brilliant.) So. That means I started, read, and finished an entire work of literature just for fun! (I had to though- I was borrowing the book from a friend.  But still. It is a good one- ask me about it!)

3. Went couch shopping with my roommate.  She bought a couch. And I got to sit on them all and try them out.  After a while all the cushions start to feel the same. That’s why we made a decision in 20 minutes.  (Aren’t we efficient? 🙂 )

yup. It’s been a pretty chill week.  Turns out summer vacation is a pretty good way to catch up on sleeping, reading, and chilling. I love it. 🙂

Random:

bahaha this made me laugh

The end.

(As you can see. The farther I get into summer vacation the less cohesive my thoughts become. I apologize. But I don’t mean it.  Happy summer!)

29 Things To Do (In your free time)

Well. I have finally reached the point in my school year where I don’t have much going on.  Just one class twice a week.  Including commute time and homework this accounts for a total of 12 hours a week.  Which leaves me a mere 156 hours left to fill. Since I sleep an average of 8 hours/night this leaves roughly 100 hours for me to fill. And since I don’t want to spend 100 hours eating and napping I decided to get creative.  Because my dad used to say, “boredom is a state of mind,” and although sometimes it’s nice to be bored for a change, it’s better to be  busy doing something constructive with my time. So far- this is what I’ve found to do:

1. Wait on the platform instead of squishing in a silly rush hour train.  I mean, I have the time- why not wait?Image2. Take the scenic route to school. Old buildings and history abound on the upper west side. Especially on/near my campus.  Although I’ve seen most of it before- that doesn’t mean I can’t see it again.ImageImage3. Organize my therapy stuff. Don’t worry- this isn’t nearly everything I have. 🙂Image4. Call my pastor’s wife and spend the day at their house just because I need to be with humans.  Turns out- hanging out with a family is a great way to do just that!

5. Read books.

6. Watch documentaries. (If I’m going to waste time I may as well learn from it!)

7. Call people.

8. Do my laundry.

9. Balance my checkbook.

10. Walk around the block.

11. Pick up the mail.

12. Take out the trash.

13. Sweep the floor.

14. Cook dinner (for once).

15. Offer my free time to people at church and end up with tasks like laminating book covers for the school and babysitting.

16. Get a library card!

17. Buy groceries.

18. Write cards and letters.

19. Make fridge magnets.

20. Go to campus just to turn in 1 piece of paper.  Just because I have the time. Then run into people I know and stay for an hour chatting.

21. Meet your friends for lunch at Nussbaum and Wu.

22. Go to the beach. Image

23. Take the Long Island Railroad to visit a friend and spend the morning by the pool. Image

24. Plan trips to cities and museums with your friends from near and far.

25. Eventually go on those trips.

26. Sit on your couch and stare at the wall thinking.

27. Realize that it’s harder than you’d think to do nothing all the time but for now it’s kind of nice.

28. Blog about your experiences doing nothing.

29. End said blog with random pictures of animals you once saw at the San Diego Zoo just because you can: ImageImageImageImage