I double-check that my alarm is set. Quickly cringe at the ungodly number looking back at me and set it just a bit earlier – that way I have a few more taps on the old snooze button. Shut off the lights, stumble over a rogue pair of shoes and crawl into bed.
I stare at the black ceiling and say that prayer I’ve stumbled over a thousand times… “Thank you, Lord, for another day with my family…” My attempt at a prayer is simply out of obligation and half-hearted habit.
Without a second thought, I reach for my phone. Remaining on my back, I tilt my neck into an uncomfortable angle so that I don’t pull the charger out of the wall – all for just one last reminder that I’m unsatisfied before I end my day.
This cycle of unhappiness is a funny thing, really. A month ago I’d tell you that I wanted nothing more than to see my family after five months of being a family via FaceTime. I suppose that once we decide we have experienced what we needed to validate ourselves wherever we are, we choose to look forward to the next phase of life.
Stop. Tomorrow will come soon enough. By constantly living life in a series of “in-between” stages, we automatically forfeit our own happiness and lose sight of who is important to us. A few nights ago I made the conscious decision to live in the now, and I fell in love with my closest allies all over again.
I pay close attention to my mom’s face as she tells an embarrassing story to Tamra and Katelyn as if they were her own daughters. One hand on Tamra’s shoulder and the other demonstratively supporting her story. She can’t get through it without laughing, so I laugh too.
Mom’s story propels Tamra into laughter – her turn for an embarrassing memory.
Katelyn’s phone lights up, but she forgets it’s even there. Mom’s phone buzzes too, but she doesn’t notice either, eyes glued on Tamra. God knows I wish I could remember what she was talking about.
A text message from my homeward bound father pops up on my mom’s phone next to me. Something about the roads being icy … just landed in Sioux Falls … he’ll drive careful … be home late … 1 4 3 (I love you). I smile to myself. In my 20 years I’ve never once questioned if he loved her, something I often take for granted, but not tonight.
To Katelyn’s right sat Wyatt and Angela at the kitchen’s bar in their own little world, as if no one else was in the room. I am a girl that is not easily impressed, but I liked Angela the moment I met her. A woman after my own heart. She is strong, smart, funny and beautiful, but most importantly, she makes Wyatt happy – something I can tell by his face in this very moment.
Wyatt, my best friend and closest comrade. The strong man with a boy’s heart who never fails to make me feel like the best person in the universe. I always thought I’d hate the woman who captured Wyatt’s heart, but as he played with Angela’s faulty Kate Spade bracelet and told her he loved her, I’ve never been happier for him.
Today was a simple day turned simple night that ended with a card game on my living room floor and stories beginning with “remember when…” Now everyone is asleep and I sit here with a smile on my face. I decided that today would be a good one, and so it was.
After I save my words and file today away with the rest, I will come before God and say,
“Thank you, Lord, for another day with my family…”
and mean every word.