I am sitting here. Wide awake at 2:16am in the morning and once again my body is tired but my brain is not having it. It’s funny because I just can’t stop thinking about the loops and turns that my life has taken, and how 24 years has taken me nowhere that I thought I would go. My life is just a 24 year patchwork of millions and millions of unsignificant, yet life-altering moments. Moments that you think are nothing. Until you realize they are everything.
My mamma use to rub my back, and sing me to sleep. My cousins and I would go over to her condo for sleepovers, playing all day with our hot wheels and polly pockets, and we would make believe that we were firefighters, or pirates, or whatever other crazy things our little minds could think up. But at night when all the imagination stopped, my cousins would drop off to sleep like newborn babies, and I would still be tossing, still raging the seven seas in my mind, because I just couldn’t turn it off. And that’s when Mamma would lay on the big blue couch (my cousins and I would always sleep on beds made up on the floor in the living room). And she would rub my back and sing me to sleep. Moments. Moments that happen when you don’t even see them coming. I will remember that. That insignificant moment will be what I choose to remember forever. I will choose to remember that, even when a million more moments have brought us to this point where my Mamma can barely remember my name, and the ugly truth of altzeimers has threatened to erase it, at least in her mind. I will remember.
In college I had this friend named Rachel, and honestly I don’t remember how we met, but I remember one day her taking me to her room, because she needed something for class. She opened the door, and there on the opposite bed sat this very intense girl studying. Very quiet. That’s what I remember. Moments. That girl, Kristen, soon became one of the very best friends that I have ever had. I can’t tell you when. I can’t tell you how, but in that small, insignificant moment I met someone who would become more than a friend to me, but a sister and a soulmate. Many more moments later… two friends became five. And one insignificant, yet life changing moment became many. There was dressing up as pirates to go get free Krispy Kremes on National Pirates Day (every dang year y’all – we loved our donuts), there were many many pranks.. Lauren just loved to throw toilet paper on me in the shower, and I scared the living daylights out of Ashley when I bought Todd (a naked male mannequin) from Goodwill (best freaking buy ever) and stashed him in her room during our sorority meeting. Above all, there were moments. Many tiny, yet significant moments that somehow evolved into a lifetime guarantee of friendship.
Eight years ago, I was working at Red Robin as a hostess, and I sat a man at a table who looked to be about in his seventies. He sat down and just about talked my ear off, and eventually I had to go back to work. He kept coming in. Months and months. Talks after talks. Moments. Both of my grandfathers died when I was very young, but somehow God managed to send me another one via Red Robin mail. Looking back to that day, I honestly just thought he was another table. Don, my adopted Grandfather, had a stroke last week (and he is doing amazingly well!!), and that was a moment that brought me here to Kentucky, sitting in this bed, thinking about how incredibly complex life is, and how a simple, seemingly mundane moment can literally change your life.
There is one thing that is in common with every small, but significant moment that has literally shaped my life, and that’s people. At the end of the day, nothing matters except the people you encounter. They are the thread that ties the patchwork together. They are the ones you love, the ones you learn from, the ones that break your heart, the ones that mend you. They are the tiny pieces that intertwine, all messy, broken and complicated that somehow manage to make up the beautiful work of art that we call life. At the end of the day, when 2:00am has turned to 3:00am, those people, those moments. Now that’s what matters.