Pause, Hold On to That Moment

Enough of my daily Seattle itinerary. What's important are the fleeting moments that we instantly recognize as precious. Moments so transitory, we tend to forget them as quickly as we lose dreams after awakening. Perhaps, I need to pause and for heaven's sake, hold on to these moments. Here are a few, mostly from today.

Mary says to Jeanne, "I don't know what's going on this trip.  You are calling me Lauren and Caroline is calling me Lulu. Why is that?" There is no answer from her sisters.


Here's a photo I found today which was taken in Aruba on Christmas Eve 1959. There's Mom and Dad on the right with the three of us and Dad's parents, Shirley and Lewell Thompson. I was eighteen and a freshman home from Cornell U.  No contact lens in my life until the following summer.  John was a freshman in high school and Kate a first grader. Gramma must have been near the age I am right now.

Dad is deaf as a post and Mary holds her iPad close to his ear for sounds of Mom's 1958 Aruba Christmas choir. Again and again, we hear Dad's voice coloring and soaring above all the other tenors as the choir sings Handel's 'And the Glory of the Lord'. Dad smiles broadly and Mary and I both wipe away tears.        
Because the music means family and we remember the stories. I remember Mom telling us about the elderly black woman who approached her after a concert in Lago Sports Park to say, "Now I know what heaven's like."
Mother's choirs sang like angels. She could coax anyone to sing on key, with feeling and precision. No one slid from one note to another. Her hands cut through the air at 90 degree angles to demonstrate what she expected. We rounded the inside of our mouths for a full sound. No one ever took a breath at the end of a phrase. The melody continued. There was buoyancy to the sound Mom created.
A caregiver gives Kelan and Lauren Christmas tree hats and within minutes Kelan stands behind Dad's chair holding the hat aloft.
Dad has a mid-afternoon ritual. A caregiver brings him a hot mug of coffee at 3:30. Dad unwraps a Welch's mint patty and then tells me he is heading for the bathroom. Upon his return, the coffee is cool. He drinks it great gulps, invariably chokes and eats the mint patty. Dad will be 96 on February 8, 2013.
I love paper chains. Made them in elementary school as a child and in the 1980s, the girls and I made endless yards of paper chains, hanging them from the ceilings of both living and dining rooms. They stayed in place until after Easter. This year, Caroline and Lulu made paper chains from fancy patterned paper. None of the old fashioned construction paper. Doesn't matter. All paper chains are wonderful.
Yesterday, Kate and I filled seven boxes with seven !#%!  New Year's gifts for each of Mom and Dad's seven grandchildren. Funny that I knew exactly how to put tissue paper in a box and fold it over the item. Knowing how goes back to Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's days when we wrapped ready-to-wear in boxes while customers waited.  Why do little ways of doing things come back to you unexpectedly, exactly when you need them?

So off to bed. Tomorrow is the Day Before Christmas. Christmas Eve at Caroline, Steve, Charlie and Lulu's house.


Kate said…
Wonderful memories all.