Thursday, August 11, 2005

Shock & Awe...

Is our theme for today.

This morning was Melinda's funeral. After the memorial service was over, I had that same "disconnected" feeling that I so often have after a great personal sadness has occurred. The feeling that rushes over you when you realize that the whole rest of the world is still out there, doing the same stuff you were doing on Monday morning before that bastard Death crept into your little circle of beloveds, and snatched one away. This was that moment when the two realities crash into one another; the insular, private world of grief that we have occupied for the last three days, and Everything Else.

Shock that the world had not stopped turning during Melinda's memorial.

Awe at how quick and easy it was to merge back into the traffic of the daily world, almost as if nothing had happened. Almost.

Fast forward three hours. We were home, lunch was over, The Wrench had gone to work (second shift means I'm running a 24 hour household again) and an ordinary, everyday thing happened in an extraordinary way.

The mail came.

It arrived on our doorstep with a rather mysterious "thump", and by the time I got to the front door... whoever had delivered it had disappeared - like magic! On the step was a rather unremarkable brown cardboard box, with my name & address on it - and nothing more. I carried this package into the house, and Twinkle was instantly curious; she assumed it was something that we had purchased on eBay, or perhaps a catalog order.

I already knew what it was. I thought I knew what was going to happen next.

Twink and I were sitting on the kitchen floor to open the box. I slit open the tape, and laughing together, we began tossing crumpled white packing paper into the air. It drifted back around us like gigantic snowflakes while we both gazed at... another box.

This box was much, much smaller. This box also held yet *another* box; the third box was a little styrofoam shipping container. The little styrofoam container held the treasure that Twinkle did not expect, did not know had been sent just for her. I tell Twinkle to close her eyes, and hold out her hands. "What is it, Mommy?" she asks, over and over while I carefully place The Treasure in her hands. I tell her to open her eyes.

She recognizes it instantly. Her reaction is far more than what I thought it would be. She is so excited and happy that she can't catch her breath. She's actually going cyanotic, but is aware of nothing but The Treasure that she is holding. I'm scrambling around in the giant snowflakes, feeling for the cordless phone, because I think she is going to literally die from happiness. My hand finally makes contact with the phone, and I have already begun to punch in 9... 1... and she draws a shaky breath. She has no idea that she just scared three years right out of me; she is still completely enthralled by The Treasure that lies in her hands. All she can say is "Oh!" over and over and over again; for one rare moment in her life, my little chatterbox is speechless. Not for long; next are happy tears, and a fervent vow to cherish The Treasure FOREVER, even when she is old like me, she won't let anyone else touch it because it is so SPECIAL.

The Treasure is a gift from a friend; someone who is wise enough to know that sometimes giving away your treasure can make you happier than keeping it all to yourself. I only wish he could have seen in person the joy, and the magic he brought to our precious girl Twinkle today. I hope with all my heart that someone, someday, somehow can give his children the joy and pure happiness that he gave our daughter today.

Shock at Twinkle's reaction to The Treasure. I thought I knew how she would react, but she surprised me at the depth of emotion that she displayed.

Awe at the generosity of a friend who gave so easily and freely from his personal collection, with no thought other than making a child happy.

What a day.


Johnny C. said...

Great post!

I like how you incorporated the "shock" and "awe" through two different emotions.

Glad your family found some joy on such a hard day.

Magazine Man said...

What a sweet post! And what a lovely girl! Both made me a little weepy (or "funny-looking" as my son says). Just sharing your happiness, which you did a magical job of conveying.

Twink TOTALLY looks like she belongs at Hogwarts!