Saturday, September 1, 2012

Six Feet, Three Girls, and Smiles

After working more than 90 hours last week, I decided to take a family day.  Stevie Jo agreed to drive down from NAU for a hike and some mother-daughter time.  She texted me last night.

SJ: Mom, I'm so excited! I made a new friend! She's from Hawaii. You're gonna love her.

Me:  That's great honey! You can certainly bring her with you to Sedona tomorrow!

SJ: I'm going to because she's never been outside Flagstaff! She had never even been outside Hawaii. Wait until she sees Sedona. Sunday I'm taking her to the Grand Canyon.

Me: She'll have so much fun! Can't wait to meet her.

------------------------------------

StevieJo and Deann arrived this morning around 10:30.  We chatted for a few minutes, 

Me:  So how do you like it here?

Deann: Oh, it's incredible! It's like a painting!

Me:  Yes it is! Hawaii is just as beautiful.

Deann: Yes, but in different ways.

Me: I would imagine! Someday we'll go there!

Deann: You'd love it. The beaches are amazing.

Me: Are you a freshman this year?

Deann: Yes, I just turned 18 and I've never left Hawaii.

Me: That's what StevieJo said! Are you scared about being here?

Deann: A little. I was really homesick the first few days, but I'm feeling better now...

and then they went onto the deck with Josh while I made them some drinks.

I looked out the kitchen window and saw them sitting there at the table. They were talking, giggling, and full-on laughing. I smiled.


Then, it hit me.

Wait. What did she just say? I shook my head side to side as if doing so would cause my brain to repeat her words. Must've worked because with great clarity I heard it again: "I just turned 18."

Oh man.

I stood there and watched. Tears filled my eyes. Good, good, good tears. This is what it would look like.  I just watched and watched in awe. It was about as strange a feeling as I've had in a very long time. I'm not sure I can put it to words, so I won't try. But... it was magical.

Deann has a deep love for nature. She loves anthropology and animals. She is spiritual and engaging and her smile is illuminating.  She loves going barefoot (she said one day she'd try my crazy barefoot hiking with me). She loves hippies. She loves sea turtles (for Z) and owls. She even meditates.

And she loves hiking too. So, StevieJo, Deann, and I went for a hike.

Three girls, six feet, and a smile on my face and happy tears on the edge of dispersal for nearly two hours at the tiny glimpse into my alternate-wished-for-reality (yes, of course, that's me, barefooted).


We walked up to the vortex and sat. Just the three girls in order of age.

I could tell StevieJo was feeling it too.  And seeing them together warmed my heart in ways I could never have imagined. I was bathed in immense gratitude for this priceless moment tinged with a dollop of sadness.

But so appreciative.


We came home and played our ritual card game, Spoons, and Deann was wild and fun and loud. She fit right into the place at the table that should have been Chey's. We laughed and laughed and laughed.

I'm uncertain if this is some remuneration for the excruciatingly difficult summer, but this was one of the best days I've had in a very long time.

Thank you... thank you... thank you. Bowing in deep, profound gratitude.

I hope they are friends for a very, very long time.



9 comments:

pam bradley said...

that is so beautiful... big cry here!

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

(((Pam))) Thank you... I know you get it xo

Mary said...

OK that turned on the faucet. I could feel how much it meant to have those two gals hiking with you...one just turned 18. I am so happy for you.

Of course it led me into a tearful reverie of having Bill for two more hours....

I am glad the difficult summer ended on a happier note.

peace
Mary

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

(((Mary)))

They taught us that every moment is a gift. Didn't they? <3

^Bill^

Debbie Fischer said...

ohmygoodness! I just had a similar feeling tonight. One of my best friends and I were pregnant with our first at the same time. We were only a month apart. Early into our pregnancy I told her I felt strongly that the baby was a boy and that I really wanted to give him my most favorite name ever, Nikolas. She replied, "that's always been MY favorite name!" April of 2003 came along...her Nicholas was born....May '03 came...my Nikolas was born silent. Here we are, 9 years later, life moves on. She posts a video of her Nicholas dancing with his younger sister. I show it to my boys tonight and my 7 yr old is enthralled with Nicholas. I said to him...that Nicholas is the same age as your big brother. And the images of what could have been came flooding into my mind. Anyway, I so appreciate you for always - ALWAYS saying what is in my heart. I have admired you for so very long. You have had a profound impact on my life - someday I hope to thank you in person. THANK YOU for being YOU. Sending you massive hugs - I can only imagine what this experience with your daughter and her friend must have been like.

Debbie Fischer said...

ohmygoodness! I just had a similar feeling tonight. One of my best friends and I were pregnant with our first at the same time. We were only a month apart. Early into our pregnancy I told her I felt strongly that the baby was a boy and that I really wanted to give him my most favorite name ever, Nikolas. She replied, "that's always been MY favorite name!" April of 2003 came along...her Nicholas was born....May '03 came...my Nikolas was born silent. Here we are, 9 years later, life moves on. She posts a video of her Nicholas dancing with his younger sister. I show it to my boys tonight and my 7 yr old is enthralled with Nicholas. I said to him...that Nicholas is the same age as your big brother. And the images of what could have been came flooding into my mind. Anyway, I so appreciate you for always - ALWAYS saying what is in my heart. I have admired you for so very long. You have had a profound impact on my life - someday I hope to thank you in person. THANK YOU for being YOU. Sending you massive hugs - I can only imagine what this experience with your daughter and her friend must have been like.

Katie: Evolving said...

Oh Jo.......What a gift. What a beautiful bloody f'ing gift. Tears and Hugs!

I think part of my brain purposefully does not "remember" how old blake woud be in this moment, just so I can avoid those moments.

14. He would be 14 in 8 days.

Bug Family said...

Dear Joanne,

I'm so glad such a beautiful, special, magical moment and day happened for you. Especially after such a series of back-to-back milestone should have beens this summer. I know you felt Cheyenne's love all around you.

My hugs and thoughts are always with you. Thank you for sharing...and to your family too.

MOJ <3

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

Thank you so much for sharing that Debbie. Amazing!

((Katie))

And thank you MOJ for your always open-heart, for ^James^

Becoming...

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
The soul still sings in the darkness telling of the beauty she found there; and daring us not to think that because she passed through such tortures of anguish, doubt, dread, and horror, as has been said, she ran any the more danger of being lost in the night. Nay, in the darkness did she, rather, find herself.

--St. John, Dark Night of the Soul


Follow me on Facebook