March 17, 2010. Today.
Today I can’t help but remember the last day of my old life. March 17, 2009. What a difference one year, even ONE DAY, makes.
Last year at this time my biggest concern was making sure everyone wore green! I remember sending my middle son off to school, at his insistence, in a glittery green leprechaun-looking top hat, shamrock sunglasses, green beads, a green shirt, and sparkly green boxers over his clothes; shaking my head at his appearance as he climbed the steps of the school bus. I remember making sure my three-year-old wore a green “cowboy” shirt to his riding lesson. I made sure I served green food at dinner. Oh, and I took pictures. Unknowingly, I documented much of the last day of my family’s life.
However, we didn’t eat dinner as a family that night; it was just the kids and I. Unusual, now that I think about it. My spouse had a meeting with a church leader, at the church leader’s request (he told me), during dinnertime. When he got home from his meeting, it was a low key family night the rest of the evening. Everything was normal. We even watched American Idol, family-style, that night–as usual. We all went to bed and slept.
It was the last night I slept.
I wonder, now, how one member of our family lived that day like everything was normal, posed for a photo, and watched tv with us like nothing unusual was about to happen? Like he wasn’t about to deal our family the biggest destructive blow anyone had ever not imagined? And how he dealt us a hand of cards he had stacked and shuffled without ever informing us of the game he was playing.
I’d never been much of a card player. But thank goodness my mom was. She wasn’t around March 17, 2009, but she had taught me to play any hand I was dealt. She had prepared me.
A terrible hand was looming, and I didn’t even know it. I think life has, perhaps, the best “poker face” of all. According to Voltaire, “Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.” It was up to me to play the game and win.
Get ready for March 18, Andrea.
The game of your life, for your life and the lives of your children, is about to begin.