Reel to real

I awoke Saturday morning to the steady beat of pounding rain. I wanted to go back to sleep but signed up to do a 20 mile bike ride as part of a fundraiser for our church. For a brief moment, I had an internal struggle while watching the rain fall from my window. There was a brisk north wind and the temperature plummeted overnight.

Then I thought of my friends that were doing the Iron Man this weekend and my cousin that was running a 100k overnight while I spent the night sleeping. Reluctantly, I rubbed my bleary eyes and got up.

It was the least I could do for my church, right??

Once I got to the church, I paired up with another parishioner who decided to bike 20 miles. I eyed her skeptically to see if she would keep up with me since she was over ten years older than me. The funny thing is that she taught me a thing or two how to be a better bike rider while I struggled to keep up with her.

One big mistake that I made was deciding to wear a cheap plastic rain poncho to keep dry. The poncho flapped in the wind like a loose sail. It made a lot of noise and slowed me down. I ended up borrowing the other woman’s jacket at her insistence which I was rather embarrassed about. The ride went well despite the off and on rain. I checked 20 miles off my bucket list.

After the morning festivities, Paul and I spontaneously invited Ted and Cindy over for the rest of the day. It was Ted’s birthday, we had them over to grill out and have a fire even though we had plans to sail with them the following day.

Now, about the fire… A few weeks ago my mom gave me a box filled with my birth announcement, letters, birthday cards from the first two years of life, pictures, and a reel to reel of my first birthday that I need to check out. She gave this box to me right before my daughter left home. It seemed like a very hard time to go through this box.

After Angel left I did open the box. It was filled with cards from people that were long deceased, divorced, or people that I didn’t even know. I read a few letters, some mentioned the struggle between going back to work and staying home. Others talked of new recipes.

Letters seem so strange to me now. They seem so simple with talk of everyday life…baptisms…a new pair of shoes…food.. Maybe it is really not all that different if I printed off old emails or looked at everyone’s posts for the month on Facebook.

We are flooded with so much information day to day in our modern world, that maybe I just tune out things I deem as unimportant without realizing it.

A few things struck me from this box. One letter to my mother said that her life would never be the same again. That much was true, very true.

I also found some pictures of my mom right before she delivered me. My mother being as modest as she is was completely mortified. I called her and asked her if she actually looked through everything in the box before she gave it to me. She asked me to burn the pictures. There is a part of me that wishes that I never said anything because she was so young, beautiful, and full of life… Really it was nothing inappropriate or to be ashamed of…but to her it was an embarrassing reminder of younger days..

Saturday night I had a fire at my house. I burned away every trace of my mother’s life right before it changed forever..

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