Saturday, January 21, 2012

And so it goes

It’s been an interesting week around here to say the least.  The spectrum of emotions has been all over the place ranging from debilitating sadness all the way to momentous happiness and we are now lurking somewhere in the middle trying to comprehend a new normal. 

A week ago one of Paul’s lifelong friends, Marc, watched his dad tragically and unexpectedly pass away before his very eyes.  Bill had gone in for what everyone assumed would be a routine knee surgery.  The short story is, he never came home from the hospital.  It’s sad beyond words; and confusing and maddening and unfair and sobering, and more.  We are still trying to understand it all.

Two days later our friends Nick and Lauren had an early surprise and welcomed Hudson Robert to the world!  We trucked Lucy up to the hospital and watched these new parents gush over their brand new baby boy, and experience emotion so raw and so new and so wonderful, it was overwhelming.  As new parents they both had smiles plastered from ear to ear.  Lucy carried her puffs around the room inspecting every object she could get her hands on, and every now and then she would stop and point and say, “baby.”

What has been glaringly apparent is that life-changing events evoke togetherness.  I’ve seen people I haven’t seen in years; people who have come home to celebrate the ending of a life as well as the beginning of a new one.  It feels very human in the ultimate sense of the word.  As the world is changing and spiraling in directions that are uncertain, it seems that the important things in life still bring people together, to be present when it’s needed most.

In an even stranger turn of events, Hudson happened to be born on what should have been Bill's 62nd Birthday.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  A funny way of knocking us outside ourselves in order to see the bigger picture?  I’d like to think so.

I guess that’s one of the peculiar things about life.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our day to day hoopla that we don’t stop and see all that we have; we don’t acknowledge the fragileness and uncertainty that life is full of because it’s too much to think about.  At the funeral Bill was quoted by several people as always saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.  And it’s all small stuff.”  That’s really resonating around here right now.  The piles of laundry waiting to be washed, the scurrying around in the morning to make it somewhere on time, the floors that for some reason aren’t sweeping themselves…  It’s all small stuff.

But the big stuff is the stuff we have to focus on, because it is good.  Awesomely good.  Sometimes it just takes something we can’t wrap our heads around to make us realign our priorities and focus on that big stuff.

Bill will be missed by many, that is for sure; and Hudson is a welcome reminder of all that is good in the world.  Both of these families are looking at the world in a whole new light this week.  The best news is that they are surrounded by people who love and care for them and who are remembering this week, more than any other week, that the big stuff is what matters most.

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