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**The waves lulled gently, softly...their easy motion becoming more powerful, louder, closer...the sound was overbearing now, as if the swell was right in front of me and ready to break over my head...

Oh, wait. It's just my Homedics alarm clock. Although it says 6:20am, I subconsciously know that it is 6:08am in real world time, and I flail my arm around its vicinity until my hand makes contact with the snooze button. The surf will be up at least three or four more times before I actually put my feet on solid ground.

I decide to make eggs for my three high-school kids, who are good-naturedly chiding each other to move over in our tiny bathroom so each one can take turns spitting out toothpaste or plucking their eyebrows over the sink. I had stopped doing this for about a year and a half; however, I began to realize that they were running out of the house with empty stomachs more often than not, and the thought of them running out of fuel in the middle of Global History was not a notion I relished. Hence, the frying pan has come out of weekday retirement once again.


I hurriedly park my car in the lot, and look over to the passenger seat to grab my bag and my lunch. As I lift up my thermal cup, I realize the top wasn't screwed on right and now there is a one-inch puddle of Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast Tea (with a generous dose of milk and one sugar) sitting in the round cup holder in my console. I sigh, run into work, seize a generous amount of paper towels, run back out to my car, and stuff them into the puddle. Procrastinator that I am, I decide to let the towels soak up the mess, which I will attend to later. The soaked cloths are still there as I write this fourteen hours later.

My workday is hectic, as usual. There is paperwork to be done, reports to be filed, and no office with peace and quiet that would help me to attain these goals. One of the senior citizens that we shop for calls me up early in the morning, crying: "Lisa, I think this is it. I haven't eaten in five days, and I've lost six pounds. I think the Lord is taking me home, and it's my time. I have to go to the hospital, but I'm too weak...can you please come here with some people and help me pack a bag? Sob...."

Well, I know very well that this is not Mrs. C's time. As a matter of fact, I tend to think that Mrs. C. is just about as healthy as a horse, physically...but emotionally and mentally, she is suffering. All alone, with no children, I have grown attached to this persnickety woman in her eighties who talks of her Christianity often, but seems to become irritated with just about everyone who doesn't comply with her wishes regarding food items, mail retrieval, and scotch tape.

I talk to my supervisor and take two of my individuals to her home to help her pack, wash up, put fruit in the refrigerator, take out the garbage, and wash and dry some dishes. Oh, and I also put in a phone call to her doctor, who—ironically—has been my doctor for half of my life. She is worried that he is too busy to call her back (and she's probably right, although that was not the case 22 years ago). I pull some clout with the receptionist, and they call her back five minutes later. She doesn't want to wait in his office for two hours—she'd rather wait in the hospital for four. I leave her all dressed and ready to call the ambulance, and she blesses me over and over. She hands my individuals all the singles she has in her wallet—$3.00—and tells us to wish her luck.


After the buses finally leave the hub site at 3:20 and all is quiet, I hear a buzzing noise coming from my bag. Realizing that I hadn't turned my ringer back on since a school meeting Wednesday night, I flip open my phone to see five missed calls. My son informs me that our older dog, Freedom, has gotten sick all over the kitchen floor and he's never seen so much crap in his entire life. He takes a picture of it with his phone and texts it to me. It's not a pretty sight.

I race home to view what looks like serpentine land mines of poo in every square inch of my kitchen. Astonished, I stand there in disbelief that one dog, even a large one like Freedom, could possibly have bowels that copious. As I clean up the fallout of what I surmise was the result of either the morning's pouring rain or an item of food or drink that wasn't on the doggie menu, the phone rings. I pick it up and hear Mrs. C. on the other end: "Oh, Lisa...this is terrible, I've been at the hospital for hours, and I can't get a cab home! I don't know who else to ask...could you please come here and pick me up?"

Of course, I say "Of course..." followed by, "...Just give me a few minutes to finish something!"

I rush out of the house and race to the hospital. Mrs. C. is waiting for me, looking and sounding like someone who is definitely

"How did you make out?" I ponder as I drive her home.

"Oh, Lisa...this is just my stomach acting up from that virus I had the other day. I'll be fine, and my blood is perfect! But oh, Lord, Lisa...there was a ninety-seven year old woman next to me, and I tell you, I do NOT want to be here when I'm ninety-seven. I just don't know why God keeps me around when I just want to go home to Him."

The conversation then goes into her neighbors who refuse to get her mail for her or who snub her. She wants to know why she's being tested. I think to myself...don't we all?

I come back home and decide that I definitely need to cook something containing onions and garlic to get rid of the smell that two washings with boiling hot water and Lysol disinfectant have not removed. When that doesn't work, I put up an apple pie candle. Eventually, I just cook some flounder. Honestly, I'd rather smell fish.


My ex swings by to pick up my son. He's taking him to Dallas to see the Giants play the Cowboys. I can't pay my water bill, but he can make plans to fly out of state to see one of the most talked about games in years, and multiply his expenses by two by bringing my son along with him. Sigh.


This evening, as I stood in the kitchen cleaning up some dishes, my husband snuck up behind me and hugged me while he kissed my ear. Some soft country music that he had found on his navigation ipod was playing in the background. He swayed me back and forth and I closed my eyes as he whispered, "I love you." Time stood still, and the stresses of the day all faded into the mixed potpourri of odors that still lingered in the air. As I melted into his arms, I thought to myself before I opened my eyes..."Whether or not you are poor or wealthy...fortunate or unfortunate...right now, with your eyes closed, all that matters is how you feel in this can open your eyes and see wealth, or you can open your eyes and see poverty. But in this instant, the only thing that truly matters is how you feel in the here and now."

Yes, my life can be stressful. It is definitely hectic, and it is sometimes really unfair. But the realization of living in the moment is becoming so tangible to me. I am really starting to understand the importance of being "present" in the present...I spend an awful lot of time dreaming of my future. But really all I have is today...this minute. And you know what? It's not all that bad.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Stephanie wrote Jan 18, 2008
    • What a hectic day!

      But after all the craziness that went on, isn’t it wonderful to know that your hubby loves you no matter what?  

      And by giving you that hug it made all the issues in the world go away? Drifting away to la la land....

      I agree that we have to really look at the moment that we live in, we musn’t dwell on the bad going on. We should only stay positive and hope for the best. If we hope for the best, the best WILL come.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kendal wrote Jan 18, 2008
    • This brings back memories of our hectic household when the kids would share rooms and tare apart eachother’s things. There would be constant arguments about who gets the bathroom first, and the youngest one’s were always stuck going last...

      Don’t worry about your ex, football is obviously more important for him than helping you. But thats what you learned years ago when you separated right?

      At least he is taking your son and allowing him to experience something like that. (its probably a very big deal to your boy, considering he is flying out of state to see a game). I remember when i was younger if I was chosen to do something like this I felt so special for a good 6 months from then, like I was no longer ordinary, but I was now important because I was given more attention.

      Now you have a man that obviously gives you the butterflys. If he is able to hug you and all your worries go away, then that is true love, true support, and a sign that he is really there for you.

      Thanks for sharing this story.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa Hyman wrote Jan 18, 2008
    • Dear Stephanie and Kendal,

      Thank you so much for commenting.  I do have a great guy and I was very fortunate the second time around!  And we‘re both fortunate that our children get along so well (we all live together).  As I said, my life is definitely hectic, but I am aware that I’m very blessed!

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