I’ve been trying to work over a Lyme flare for the last three weeks. It hasn’t been pretty, bringing on the arthritis, brain fog, depression, and panic/anxiety attacks. The kids have been fending for themselves a lot because I haven’t been able to get up much and Pete has been working crazy late.
A few weeks ago, Pete and I sat down to watch Marley & Me, a charming movie I’d had on my short list (and kept forgetting to watch) for a couple of years. I sat down and bawled as the credits rolled. There was so much of my past there, mixed up with my present and my dreams for the future and for my children. I want my kids to have good memories of their childhood, the kind that I have that are more about life and living it than about mere survival. I want them to play, to imagine, to dream, and to have new and special experiences to hold in their hearts.
Last week, I needed to connect with my third shooter from my last wedding, so I loaded Pip and Squiggy into the car and we drove out for an afternoon of friendship and fun. Madison, my third shooter, and her family are favorite clients of mine who live on a beautiful farm in Hollywood, South Carolina, and the night before the wedding Madison helped me shoot, they helped their dog, Ruby, deliver seven puppies. They wanted to share them with my kids.
When I was about Piper’s age, my parents had a picture book about puppies. I remember turning the pages, trying to memorize the pictures of the puppies sleeping, eating, cuddling, playing. A couple of weeks ago while we were sorting through books at my parents’ house, I found the book – and all the memories that went with it. I’ve never considered myself a dog person, but baby animals are a very me thing – soft, cuddly, sweet – well, you get the picture. No seriously, you do.
My health is forcing me out of my unofficial five-year plan back into the moments. On a given day, I can be happy, sad, bed-ridden and excited. Because I’m such a deeply emotional person, every moment feels like it could be the rest of my life – bad or good. I’m learning grace for the moment again, relearning that bad moments don’t mean good ones are lost to me.
We made memories. Pip made a friend. Squiggy played his heart out. And I had an afternoon with friends who live close and love God like I do, and some new photography inspiration that I really needed just now.