Monday, March 16, 2009

Appreciating Life

It's a safe bet, to assume that most of us don't appreciate what we have until it's gone. It's true with so many things.

Even though I have always loved my son to death- not until he was in the Marine Corps, did I realize how much of me, he was.

One day, when I first moved to Charlotte, and Nick was stationed at Annapolis, I went to the laundry mat. Laundry mats are generally depressing places, so I people watch and try to figure out what everyone's story is. Book fodder. I can come up with some pretty sorry shit too.

So on this particular day- a mom came in with her teenage son and his younger sibling. He helped her carry everything in. I guessed right away, this was not her normal routine, she had a mad face on like one would have if their washing machine broke on a Sunday when they haven't done laundry for a week and the kids need school clothes on Monday.

The boy put his hand on her arm, a loving gesture, and she pushed it away, annoyed. I know there was an audible gasp from me. I would have given anything to have my son touch my arm right then.

I wanted to tell her- how precious that moment was- and she could never get it back. But I didn't. I went home and cried. It made me sad all day. How could this mother not want to be touched by her boy? His simple gesture... touched my heart so much that I remember it four years later.

I miss my parents and never thought I would. I miss the people in my life I can't get back...I have missed my family and some very good friends for 4 years now- and I am thrilled that I don't have to anymore. I sure have learned what's important.

Someone asked me the other day if I miss my house in Charlotte. Not really. It was a great house- but it was empty. Well- full of nice furniture... but empty. While it knew no heartbreak with me in it- it knew no great love either- save that which I hold for my dogs. It was just a house.

I will be forever grateful for the lesson that house taught me though.