When I wrote that "nothing will ever be the same again" I don't think I fully grasped the idea. In fact, I know I didn't. Because I still don't. It's an infinite concept. It's like trying to hug the sky.
Surely, life is different.
But the greatest lesson I've learned from this incident, that is, my mom suffering cardiac arrest, is that life goes on, with or without you.
Time marches on. Customers keep coming in. Deliveries are made. Bills keep arriving. My mom's heart keeps beating.
Yes, life goes on. However, I now know it's up to me to learn how I want to live it.
While I've been quiet on the blog up until now, I've really been thinking about you all, thinking about all the wonderful things I want to share with you. Thinking about how much I miss my writing, and putting life on the page. So much has happened since June, that fateful gloomy month. So many good things. As Evan so gracefully put it, we've been doing are darnedest to "enjoy every sandwich." Forget about the flood, the crashed hard drive, my mom's cardiac arrest, and the lost job opportunity. All in the past. Good riddance, I say.
Since we last spoke, I turned 27. I used to always dread this year. I happen to be part of a generation that idolized Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison, all of whom died at the age of 27. Not to mention the fact that it felt like an odd time to celebrate, particularly because we had to leave my mom at home. But like I said, life goes on with or without you and I'll be damned if I spend another moment dreading the opportunity to turn another year older. Ever since my mom's recovery I've been dedicated to squeezing the juice from every moment; to getting the pulpy pieces stuck beneath the nails of my fingertips and letting the juice run down my hands and dry in sticky sweetness, too good not to lick away.
In essence, I'm learning how to live again. Or to put it more frankly, I'm learning how to live well again. Something I had given up on some time ago, and had not even missed enough to realize. Something that couldn't be reignited inside until the core of my being was rocked, bent, and eventually replaced. Yes, suffice to say that I've never really put enough thought into how much the cafe has changed me, my life, and my life with Evan. I've heard some compare it to having a baby. I can't officially comment since our children are those of the four-legged and furry variety, but I can see some similarities between the two. You know, having a baby and a restaurant.
Like loving something so much you get lost in the process. Like being willing to throw your entire self into something without pause or hesitation. Yes, you love it. Yes, you can't imagine your life without it. And yes, it is literally a part of you. You couldn't imagine investing in something more valuable or worthwhile.
Regardless, for the past two years our toddler of a restaurant has all but consumed me, in some good ways and in some bad. In the end, I barely felt myself and the things I used to hold dear disappearing. Sure, life wasn't ideal but how else could it be? I got used to the empty fridge, and only eating once a day, the overwhelming pile of laundry, the lack of sleep, exercise, and social gatherings. I got used to just making it through to the next day, the next weekend, the next day off. This was my existence, and I hardly questioned its validity or value, oftentimes assuming that this was not only the way owning a restaurant was supposed to be, but that this was the way our life had to be.
However, things are different now. My attention has been demanded elsewhere, to the health and well-being of myself and of my family. As I said, life will never be the same again and I'm just now beginning to realize how grateful I am for that. It's not that my interest in the cafe has dwindled, it's more like I got lost in the process, in the overwhelming sea of it all, and as a result of this incident, and my family and friends coming together so seamlessly in a time of dire need, I am now able to anchor my ship and come out of the fog...if that makes any sense at all.
But enough of that. Like I said, I have so much to share with you, things that are much more intriguing than my momentary identity crisis turned Oprah moment. First and foremost being that my sly husband purchased a new camera for me for my birthday. I couldn't think of a more thoughtful or relevant gift to give to someone who is suddenly chomping at the bit to reclaim her life while documenting everything in the process. So cheers to Evan who does exactly the right thing 99% of the time, which is precisely why I married him.
Speaking of which, that also happened. That whole one year of marriage thing. We celebrated with dinner at my mom's house, made complete by a dense, chocolaty cake lovingly crafted by my mom. It was perfect. But that's not all that's gone on. I've done much more these past few weeks than just sitting around eating chocolate cake.
I've gone on to find my soul whilst dancing amongst peacocks to traditional bluegrass:
I've said to hell with my allergies and hiked through fields, clutching fistfuls of grass (and even gnawing on some) along the way:
and I was even offered an opportunity to taste Summer:
I've had my heart broken, mended, repaired, and melted:
and I've cooked, plated, served, and eaten with the best of them:
Well, that would have to be our super stellar employees who just plain got sh*t done this past week so that we could take her,
Karen Dalton hour on the ipod, brewing CCR Guatemalan coffee, and savouring