Friday, October 1, 2010

a week of reflection

Most days start with the goal of putting your best foot forward, having a positive outlook, and the pursuit of making one good choice followed by another. (Kellogg's NutriGrain commercials ring a bell...?) As a wife, and now a mother, I find myself carrying the yolk of making wise decisions for three, not just myself ... and I'm happy to do so...on most days. :)

This week, however, I have found myself just trying to make it through the day next hour. 

Daniel, the hubby, flew to Colorado at the crack of dawn Monday morning; he will be out of town through this Sunday. (Which reminds me - am I the one getting him at the airport...? I digress.) A nursing baby with another dual ear infection. Phoebe, a spastic dog that thinks she must protect the 'castle' at all costs, a fact of which the neighbors within a five mile radius are now all too painfully aware. Three cats who have recently made the switch to soft food, for dietary reasons - see first paragraph, and serve as a living, breathing, clawing alarm clock if not fed promptly at 5:30AM. A part-time job that lately consumes my full-time thoughts. Oh - and don't forget the cherry on top: the phone call from my dad who saw a summary of the above in a status message on Facebook and felt it necessary to call and remind me that in his mother's day the wife/mom took care of all of that and more every week before gender roles became more balanced. Thanks, Dad.

This was my week and my selfish complaints ... until Wednesday.

As I sat down in the family room, with my well deserved glass of wine, ready to unwind from the day I was jolted as I read, "Missing Plane Wreckage Found In Alaska." I became sick to my stomach as I read further: "Officials said there were no signs of survivors."

For five weeks now, family and friends of Mason McLeod and three others have done all they can to keep efforts alive to find the plane that went missing on August 21st. This story has been featured on every news outlet and in every publication in the Northeast Florida area ever since.

This wasn't just a news story to me, or many close to me. Mason was a friend - and always will be.

Details on his life, his dreams, a synopsis typically given as if someone's life can be summed up in a sentence were all included in the broadcasts and news articles. But that wasn't the Mason I knew. Who was the Mason I knew? First boyfriend in the 6th grade. Amazing writer. Humanist. Homecoming date, freshman year. Witty observer. Entrepreneur. Friend. Son. Intelligent. Lover of art. Jaguars fan. Classmate. Avid reader. Jack of all trades. Political activist. Pilot. Ranger. A goof. Serious. Genuine.

Last night friends gathered from all over to celebrate the life of the one we've lost at a benefit held in Mason's name. All money raised will go into a scholarship fund, as well as pay for gas to continue the search for the still missing remains. (To donate, please visit www.bringmasonhome.myevent.com.) As I stood surrounded by faces from past and present, hearing and sharing so many stories of how Mason inspired a laugh or a life choice from everyone in attendance, I started to realize how much I took for granted this week.

I was able to hold my son every day and tell him how much I love him. My husband made it safely to CO, and with God's help, will make it safely back to me in just a few days. I have a dog, that as spastic as she may be, loves me so much that she wants to protect me from anything she fears may cause me harm. I have three cats that recognize that we made a decision for them to better their health and they are meowing to let me know they approve. I have a job, and it helps me to provide for my family. I have my life.

Sometimes it can be so much easier to look at the negative, than to search for the silver lining.

Tomorrow when I wake up, as I'm preparing my mental "to do" lists for the day, deciding what the healthiest breakfast choices are for myself and the baby, scheduling the day, feeding the pets, and "Shh-ing" the dog, I am going to take a moment and acknowledge how truly blessed I am, and to find a reason to laugh.

For that, and so so much more, I have my dear friend Mason to thank.

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