Yesterday I found myself with the unexpected gift of a day in which no one was counting on me to be in any particular place, doing any particular thing for any particular people. Sounds like heaven, right? I thought so. I eagerly settled into my couch with my morning cup of coffee. I have always enjoyed time alone, although sometimes the quiet takes some getting used to after I’ve had the girls for a couple of weeks at a time, which had been the case. Yesterday though, as the quiet settled in around me, so did a heavy discomfort. I started to consider calling a friend to get breakfast or lunch…I thought about going into work even though they were not expecting me. (Seriously, I love my job but that’s when you know you’ve got a problem). I knew I had to impose this downtime upon myself. The March wind was howling outside. It was a perfect day to bury myself in a book, and to ease myself into enjoying the quiet again.

The practical part of me couldn’t let an entire day go by without checking something off my list, though, so I gave myself one non-negotiable task. It was a big one. After all, I had the entire day to work myself up to it. I was going to finally call about having my dad’s headstone made. I had been given (or volunteered for, I can’t recall) this job because a friend of mine is a talented local stone carver. I have been putting this call off for two months. Having dad’s stone made feels like the final admission that this is permanent. There it will be, literally carved in stone: date of death.

It was late afternoon before I laid down my book and got up the gumption to place the call to The John Stevens Shop. My friend, Nick, answered the phone. I could hear the compassion in his voice. I felt my voice crack with emotion more than once. Trying not to cry, I made an awkward joke about there being “no rush.” The whole conversation took less than two minutes. We agreed to meet in person next week. I’m pretty sure I was sweating when I hung up, but I did it. Finally.

Then, I picked the book back up and gratefully immersed myself in someone else’s (fictional) personal crisis, and I was able to escape into the quiet again.

{Day 8, I am grateful for books. The photo is of a few I bought recently from an online list of “page turners”. Two down, two to go.}books.jpgNew to this blog?  Read what it’s all about here.