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Mishaps and Opportunities

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

It is midnight and after arriving home from the MADD Candlelight Vigil Tori is finally settled in bed.

After all the years of attending this solemn event this is the first year I did not trust my voice, or my legs enough to walk to the podium to speak and to light a candle. It certainly was not for want or desire.

It had been a challenging day from durable medical equipment being well…, not so durable, to a young woman being uncomfortable and inconsolable, to trying to replace a cancelled caregiver – the hits kept on coming. Finally, things seemed somewhat steady and I was even able to meet my commitment to perform, go to work and leave the house for a total of 2 hours.

Once I returned it was time to leave for the vigil. As Tori descended in the lift I noticed the wheels of her chair were jammed and I scurried to meet her. Instead I fell down the stairs breaking my shoe and spilling water for her evening feed all over me. Righting myself and unjamming her wheels we proceeded to enter the van. As I backed up the ramp my good heel caught in the slat, I walked out of my shoe and turned my ankle. Continuing on, securing Tori in place and locking her in, I finally sat in the driver’s seat. I then discovered I had the wrong set of keys. Undeterred I ran into the house, grabbed the correct set, came back out, turned on the ignition and realized we needed to go back inside, change and start all over again.

At this point I wanted to put my head in my hands and cry. Not because of the series of mishaps befallen me but more so because I knew we would soon be in a room filled with people unable to experience such day to day mishaps.

Had I lit a candle this evening I would have lit one in honor of missed opportunities. Not only the missed opportunities of picking up dirty laundry off of the floor although it’s been discussed a hundred times, or the missed opportunity to remind someone to stop and get the dry cleaning on the way home, or to tuck in your shirt, or smile for the camera. But I would light a candle in HOPE that all of us do not miss the opportunity to tell those around us how much we love them, or miss the opportunity to say thank you to those who keep our roadways safer for all of us and to those who put their lives on the line every day for people they have never even met. I would light my candle in HOPE that we never forget that even in the face of unbearable pain and grief and loss at the heart there is love.

I look forward to the vigil every year. Yes, I am certain the anxiety of what was to come contributed to my clumsiness throughout the day. It is hard to put into words the feelings that go into this evening. And yet, I cannot imagine not being there. I cannot imagine not being with those who know, those who you only have to look into their eyes, to feel their arms around you and those for whom no words need to be spoken to understand. While the grief is palpable, so is the love. I light my candle that no one miss the opportunity to experience unconditional Love and eternal Hope.