How Many Of These Do We Get?

by justine

Last week, I had coffee with a new friend. This was only our second conversation, but it was long and deep. Her mentor passed away suddenly at the end of January, and so instead of our original plan of co-working, she spoke about the shock and absorption of this kind of news. Of losing someone so important without warning. And while she didn’t cry, I could see tears well up when she looked away, or her lip quiver on certain words. I sat quietly, holding space for her to speak out loud about her loss.

I listened to Merlin Mann on Back To Work, talk about waking up at 5am, not able to sleep. He spent that morning slower than usual, reading comics with his daughter while his wife made muffins. His pointed out he could talk about sleep issues or time management, but the reality is this – what is happening to us in each moment is our life. And “how many of those times do I get?” he asked. How many mornings of reading comics with his young daughter will he have the privilege of experiencing?

Friday night, H and I drove around trying to decide where to eat dinner, find a parking spot, and wait for a table to open up. The drive felt frustrating, I was super hungry, the first restaurant sat us at a very small, noisy table. We got up and left. We walked over to another place we like to find all of the patio tables full. As we waited for a spot to open up, he asked me if I wanted to stay. And I said yes – we may as well wait – because this was going to be better than wandering around for another option at the prime dinner hour. I stood on a step so I could be taller and leaned my face into his neck.

A table did open up, near a heat lamp, and the waitress let us quickly put in an order before the clock struck seven and happy hour ended. We sipped our drinks, chewed warm bread, and ordered steamed clams and a seafood pasta to split.

We talked about our jobs, our hopes for us as a family, our week, our loved ones. And it’s just magical to think how far we’ve come since we first met at 18, neither of us knowing anything, really, about what we wanted in life, or from each other.

And I thought again about my friend’s loss and a man reading to his daughter, and us sitting there at what is becoming our favorite happy hour spot – the patio’s twinkle lights and the good music mix smoothing over our moods from the workweek and allowing us to come back together as us.

How many of these do we get?

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