The lead story on the news tonight was the weather because it rained. Here in San Diego County, we need rain. We long for rain. We take pictures of rain. We bring up rain in conversation. “Did you see the rain?” “Did you hear that rain last night?” It hadn’t really rained for months. And so, it’s news. We’re so happy for the rain.
Last Friday, I went to see a movie during an empty pocket of time I had before it was time to pick up my son at his high school. I saw “Fury” which lasted more than two hours, so by the time I got back to my car, I’d missed a call from my husband who was in Texas. I called him back.
“Your high school has been on CNN for the past two hours,” he said. And that’s how I found out about the school shooting in which 14-year old Jaylen Fryberg shot two male cousins and three female classmates, killing two of the girls and himself.
I sat in my car after I hung up the phone and looked online for more information. Then I cried.
What is there even to say about a school shooting that hasn’t been said before?
I just can’t believe it happened in the school where I went to high school.
This past week, a college friend of mine happened to be in Southern California with her daughter. We spent less than a day together, but fit in a couple of visits to the beach, lunch at the harbor and a lot of laughs. I am so grateful that she took the time to drive down to my house to see me.
It’s weird to think that my friend and I have known each other since we were the age of her daughter . . . time is in such a hurry. We met thirty years ago. That’s just incomprehensible.
My husband was out of town for over two weeks, spending time with his mom who is in hospice care in Texas. He’s extremely grateful he fly to Houston when he did because she was aware and conscious. She is declining now and sooner rather than later, he’ll be traveling back to Texas for her funeral. It’s all so sad.
This year’s Halloween was the first one in which I did not take a child trick-or-treating in almost twenty years. My 12-year old decided to go trick-or-treating with a friend from church. My 16-year old spent the holiday at a party with his girlfriend’s family and friends. One of my oldest sons was at work while the other hibernated in his room with his computer. (For the record, my daughter was dressed as a Cat and my son was “Gangsta Santa.”)
I worked an eight hour shift from 5 PM to 1 AM while bestowing snack-sized Snickers and Kit-Kats and M&Ms on the few trick-or-treaters who rang our bell. I only opened the door five times. Our street is very quiet.
I mentioned to my daughter that it was the first year in forever that I haven’t taken any kids trick-or-treating and she said, “Isn’t that good?” and I said, “It’s just sad because it’s the end of an era.” And she sort of blinked at me.
So I burst into a rendition of “The Cat’s in the Cradle” and she said, “Mom! Stop!” She doesn’t get it, but that’s because she’s 12.
And my husband said that song won’t apply to me anyway because I’ve been here for everything. But still. Each wave of time breaks on the shore and I can’t stop it from returning to sea. I find that absolutely lovely, the constant motion of time, the beauty of a new wave each moment, but alarming that it’s so impossible to hold on to this present moment, so bittersweet that nothing will ever be the same again.