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For weeks, I sat and contemplated possible where do I begin with my first blog? Me, being meticulous and Type A personality, I write everything down. So, in my notebook went writing (ideas). However, none seemed to be fitting for my first blog. Writing about the holiday seemed so cliché. So I pressed paused and hoped something would come to me.
Just as quickly and randomly and “so not related” to what I was doing and in one of my infamous “squirrel moments,” as I was making a mental list of all the things that I would need to prepare for my excursion to my family’s for Christmas, it came to me. In the most unexpected moment, where no pen and paper found itself. Only me in the shower; eyes closed, head full of coconut conditioner, accompanied with random thoughts of preparation and a long list of what needed to be done to get on the road. It came to me, when I least expected it and when I was the least bit prepared. The way I imagined the upcoming trip, which would include my teenage son, my 2-year-old American Bull; fancied images of lush greenery on both sides of the highway as the sky was blue and the chilly wind blew rustled across the wintery, snowless landscape; that one would experience in the South. My mind created its own version of what a Hallmark Christmas movie would play out if I were the star. Only my version was not mushy or romantic, but involved my son doing what he does best to annoy me, with the occasional wet-willy as I am driving. Me, pushing his hand away while the left hand is on the wheel to avoid a collision, telling him to stop and leave me alone. Or me declaring how horrible he was for farting and then forcing me to smell it as he rolled the windows up and silently laughing as the pungent smell; which resembled rotten eggs and someone who needed a colon cleanse abrasively ran across my nose. All of these conjured images of what it would really be like; taking into consideration my son’s and I dynamics rapidly played in my head as a way to mentally prepare myself for what was to be expected on the 6 hours that mysteriously lay ahead of me and the unexpected aggravation and torment that I anticipated would be pursuant to this road trip. I mentally prepared myself because the inner control freak in me so desperately needed something to go right.
The reality of this trip proved to be quite the unexpected, just as much as the duration of the trip. What I had created in my mind to mentally prepare me, was rather quite enjoyable. Aside from my son, sleeping the majority of the way, when he did wake up, the experience was quite tolerable and very delightful. My son shared his latest interest in music with me and we discussed life and I discovered this kid is not such a butt munch, but rather full of wisdom for his age. We jammed out to music as Diesel lay in the back seat, only popping up at the occasional rustle of the bag and for a head rub. The thing I so dreaded quickly became one of the best moments since he left us. To go down in my new journey as my version of a successful new holiday. Every moment did not according to how my mind conjured it up, it wasn’t as horrible as I had thought, but amazing! Although circumstances were not how I envisioned my perfect Christmas would be, but I still had so much to be thankful for. Daniel would always be absent, and there were not little Daniel babies terrorizing everyone on Christmas while Dante and Daniel egged him or her on. In spite of all the pieces that were taken, I still was thankful. I did not need any gifts. The joy, absence of sickness, and although as cliché as it sounds, the sound of laughter was my gift. That moment; that time my son, my dog, and the jam session on the way to visit family was all I needed to be complete.
Just as unexpected as the Christmas tree not quite being fully lit, it was still amazing and filled with so much beauty. It was a first in the books of new for me. I was thankful, huh, I did laugh again; I would have not seen it coming, but I got through it—and I didn’t have to fake it till I made it. Sure, I had my moments where I had to take a breather because the thought of missing Daniel and his laugh plagued me. He will always be a part of me, but just as he unexpectedly and tragically left. The unexpected enjoyable ride and unexpected enjoyable Christmas tainted my distorted reality that I too often attempt to control and yet proved yes I can prepare for some things but I can’t always prepare for the unexpected.