Breathing through the day

For the past 10 years at this time, I wake up and do what I need to do to get to work (once upon a time) or get the kids ready for school and bustle around checking items off my ‘to do’ list.  Then at around mid morning after I’ve found my stride and I’m booking along, someone says something about how the kids haven’t been sleeping so well recently or how short the days have become seemingly overnight or what an unusually beautiful day it is.  Or, maybe they just mention something completely mundane, but I’ve just taken my first full breath of the day, and they catch me just as I become fully open to their voices, the day, and I start to bawl.

I’m instantly transported to London in 2001 when I was at a client lunch showing off my new WAP phone which would be as curious today as the Betamax.  It was on that phone that I learned the news about that plane hitting the World Trade Center, but it wasn’t until I got back to the office that I stepped into an alternate universe and tried to comprehend what had happened in New York and to the world. The day is a perfectly clear blur.

Then, I’m in an enormous church with what feels like the entire population of Brooklyn.  I’m sobbing uncontrollably, my shoulders jerking, unable to catch my breath.  I am sobbing for loss and grief and stolen innocence. 

And then I’m back to wherever I was when I took that breath, and I have to excuse myself wherever I am and succumb to the memories and the sadness and the unsettling comfort in the knowledge that I am not alone.  Eventually, though I can’t tell you when exactly, I take stock, and I am grateful.

I was working on a different post given that I’ve left you all for a bit while I got back to work and the kids got back to school.  I was half way there filling you in on all the details.  I poured myself a cup of tea after getting the kids to school and doing a bunch of errands and sat down to finish what I had started, and then I took that first full breath. 

That back-to-school post will have to wait.

Until then, I wish you all deep, healing breaths and the ability to eventually take stock and be grateful.  

6 thoughts on “Breathing through the day

  1. Thank you for honoring those who lost their lives that day.

    My children are asking me questions, they don’t remember much. I remember not being able to take care of them, make dinner, take them to the park: I remember asking them to just play all day, and they did.

    They were so good that day.

    1. I love that you remember how good the children were – that they stood out boldly over a watermarked day. Loved ones come into focus, and tragedies are painfully real but ever so slightly out of focus. Thank you for sharing that memory.

  2. I read this and just sat here, as if you were here and let the tears fall down my cheeks. I don’t go back to that day very often but when I do, I will remember to just breathe..and that you are somewhere doing that too.

    This was stunning and reflective. Thank you for it. xo

    1. This piece came out of me as uncontrolled as my emotions. Writing was just as therapeutic as the sobs, and connecting to you and others through my words fortifies me. So thank you, too.

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