Tuesday, July 15, 2014

why i rode a mattress down the stairs...

i am in the middle of transforming sweet brown eyes room from boy to teen.  one of the essentials was a new bed.  he has a twin but his legs are at least full sized in length.  good old pottery barn delivered the new bed frame sunday afternoon.  the twin mattress was still upstairs propped against the banister. i was waiting for amber to come over so she could help me carry it out to the garage.  she arrived with her swollen biceps, ready to assist in lugging the awkward mattress down & around the staircase. but in the process of it all, i somehow ended up moving it down the first section of our stairways on my own.  as i stood at the landing, i yelled for amber to watch me.  i am positive i have seen this stunt performed in an old movie involving alcohol & a frat house.  please note: there was no alcohol or frat boys involved! i belly-flopped on to the mattress & rode it down the final eight stairs…in my bikini.  none of it was planned, especially the bikini part. but this few seconds of video says so much about me & what i have learned in the midst of sick & dying.  

five years ago this month i sat in a doctor's office at pjm's side.  the kind doctor explained in technical doctor-y terms that pjm had already lost pieces of his mental abilities & his brain would continue to unravel until either his body forgets how to swallow & breathe or is too weak to fight an infection.  those words & that day forever changed our lives in a multitude of ways.  over the course of the last 1,825 days i have learned life can be more of a sprint than a marathon for some of us & even though there are statistics & genetics & preventative medicine, none of us truly knows the race we have been called to run.  

when my race is over & people gather to celebrate my life, i want to be remembered for embracing the moments.  for so long i was that soccermom-churchleader-menuplanning-makeupwearing-pictureperfectwife.  and while that all looked good, it lent itself to a life of shallowness.  i busy orchestrating an image that was esthetically pleasing. in doing this, i missed out on some of the riches of living.  i invested in much of what is temporary at the cost of losing out on that which is eternal.  eternal are the relationships-memories-love we share with each other and God.  when i am laid to rest, the part of me that is left are those rich, warm memories. everything else is boxed up, set on the curb left waiting for Goodwill to collect.

so i have spent the last few years embracing the memory making.  what will my children remember most about me?  that she always had every hair in place, cheered quietly from the sidelines, menu-planned each meal for the week ahead? or that she embraced life mid-stairway, grabbed a mattress and rode it downstairs…in a bikini.  and when she landed at the bottom she laughed from deep in her belly, drug the mattress back up the stairs and made them ride it down too.  

so i rode the mattress downstairs because i don't know how long my race is or how many more miles i will be allowed to run.  but be careful because your teeth are supposed to go with you into eternity-so don't knock them out. ever.

dear pjm.
thanks for teaching me life is to be lived robustly
because our days are numbered.
i can't believe what has transformed in five years.
i am sorry it took losing you for me to embrace the mattress & ride it down the stairs.
while you would never have thought that was kosher,
you would be proud of me.
love. always.
p.s.  so glad i didn't knock any teeth out.  you know how weird i am about people missing teeth.


  1. That video was amazing. And this post is even more amazing.

    1. Cassie. Thanks. I probably won't be breaking into the movie industry anytime soon. And I appreciate your sweet words.

  2. Thank you Chris for sharing. God bless.