… on ports and storms and stuff

prom (3)

Gabe and Linds, bowling toward prom

Lately, it’s been stormy.

Grampa has been in the hospital for two weeks now, and the weeks before that were not pretty, nor very pleasant.

And we’ve weathered crushing waves and winds that might have laid us flat.

And then, one afternoon, the sun came out.

And a ritual that has always been a ritual – albeit a fun one, filled with excited hoping and planning and choosing – became an unexpected safe harbor.

Prom.

This year, Gabe went to the prom for the first time.

It was complete with a proposal (known as a ‘prom-posal’) that saw him standing in front of his girlfriend’s garage when she drove in from tennis practice.  He stood in front of a huge sign, with the word ‘Prom’ (surrounded with question marks) drawn in three-foot high letters.  He cradled a box of a dozen roses in his arms, with a big red ribbon tied around it.

Her Mom, a new friend and a pretty dang awesome human, was hiding behind a car to capture the moment in a series of photos.

Then came the choosing of the dress (hers), fitting of the tux (his), decisions on how to get to and from the event, and then – amazingly – the day was upon us.

I was at the hospital with Grampa in the morning, it was grey, outside and in.

But soon the fog burned off, the mist gone.

The sun had won the day, and warmed the wind and earth.

Proud parents gathered around beautiful young adults.

And smiles happened, along with hugs and laughter and excited chatter.

Bursts of color and light on swaying gowns, proud boys in black and white (and one powder-blue, and one traffic cone orange).

A custom-istical rite of passage that provided me with the perspective that, when it’s storming in one place, the sun is shining brightly somewhere else.  Sometimes all we have to do to see it is turn our heads, cast our gaze toward the light.

Then we get to marvel at the good stuff, even in the midst of the worst squalls.

It’s never one or the other – all good or all bad.

Unless we choose to see life that way.

And I don’t.

Not at all.

When the busses and limos and cars left the high school, and kids were waving out windows and John and I and Granny got in our own car to drive home, I smiled and gave a mental nod of thanks to the powers that be…

For flicking me on the head when I needed it, reminding me to pay attention, and stay present, once again.

And it turns out I got to keep that smile, all the way home.

Thanks for readin’.

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