Slice of Life: #sol19 1/31

I am in a Starbucks somewhere on Long Island. It was bustling when I walked in, maybe 20 people in this coffee shop in a strip mall  in the middle of the morning, but now it is quieter. Calming, folksy music swirls around me, the kind of music I feel like I should be able to identify but can’t quite place. A copy of the New York Times lays, untouched, on the long table next to me. A man wearing a smart charcoal pinstriped suit just sat down, hitching up his pants and revealing black socks with large pink polka dots. The woman with the four tiny paw prints tattooed behind her left ear has already left.

I woke up at 4:10 this morning with my youngest child’s body snuggled against me. He had nightmares last night and ended up in my bed; I had to get up early, so I didn’t take the time to get up and put him back in his own. I was at the airport by 5 and touched down in Laguardia by 8. A light dusting of snow seemed to have surprised everyone, or so said the shuttle bus driver as he ferried me, alone, to the car rental.

I’ve driven for an hour and am now sitting in Starbucks, sipping tea and waiting in the gray morning to go my friend’s father’s funeral. A year ago, on March 4, I was also writing about attending a funeral of a friend’s father.

As I started to write, I expected to feel morbid or to be reflecting on mortality. I expected to feel more…sad. Instead, I feel lucky. The crowd is picking up again and now I recognize the song they’re playing. The hum and buzz of conversation, the dance of patrons coming and going, sitting with one another and alone, the knowledge that soon I will see my friend – even if only briefly… all of this combines with the slight uptick in spirits that I often feel at the beginning of a new month and the excited butterflies in my stomach knowing that I have committed to writing – and publishing! – every day for a month. I am not sad. Life is so generous, and right at this minute I am committed to soaking up all of that generosity.

In a few minutes I will leave. I know that I will, indeed, feel sorrow. Tonight, after driving an hour back to the airport and flying all the hours home, I will be exhausted. Tomorrow I may be crabby.

But right now, in this slice of my life, I feel momentarily expectant. And… it’s time to go.

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Thanks to twowritingteachers.org for hosting this inspirational month of writing

16 thoughts on “Slice of Life: #sol19 1/31

  1. I love how I felt like I was sitting right there with you in that Starbucks, your feelings of gratitude at just being able to sit there and take it all in. Hugs for you for this loss and for this moment to sit with you across the table with a cup of coffee with a friend who has committed to the crazy idea of writing a blog post every day for 31 days. Here’s to us!

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  2. I’m not sure if you know this, but the reason March is SOLSC month is because it was a way to get myself out of a funk the year after my grandmother died. (She passed away in March 2007. The Challenge began in March 2008.) There are a few of us who have lost loved ones this month. March has become a nice way to be around a writing family. It makes this gloomy month much more cheerful.

    Have a good trip. Sorry to hear of this loss.

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  3. You pulled us into Starbucks with you, and it felt so safe and welcoming until you shared why you were there– and then you got us back to a safe and okay place again. I’m glad you’re back slicing, and I’m glad you’ll be back home later tonight. I hope you’re not too grouchy–you’re a great friend!

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  4. Such a contemplative moment. Lovely description. Death, like the snow, surprises, even when it doesn’t. Peace to you and your friend’s family.

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  5. This had a great mood to it, that sense of heightened awareness that seems to come when you know something big has happened or is happening, even if it’s not altogether good. It somehow makes you feel more alive to know you’re about to see a friend, about to remember a life. I’ve been to two of these in the past month, too (and I don’t mean Starbucks). Glad to be back reading your stories.

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  6. I am sorry to hear of your loss, but I am happy to hear that you were able to spend time with your friend. Oh, and I loved how you transported me to this Starbucks!

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  7. Amanda, I am sorry to hear about your loss. When I first read you were in Long Island, I thought you were here for a happy occasion. Long Island has only had a light dusting of snow this season. I look forward to reading more of your descriptive slices that appeal on an emotional level.

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  8. Love your words: “Life is so generous, and right at this minute I am committed to soaking up all of that generosity.” We truly are given so much. Thanks for sharing! Here’s to March!

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  9. Amanda, in the midst of sorrow and sadness your line, “Life is so generous, and right at this minute I am committed to soaking up all of that generosity” is inspiring. THAT is how we balance trials and tribulations in life-gratitude for what IS amidst sorrow for what is no more. Thank you and I hope you are home safe and sound.

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