Saturday, December 4, 2010

Reverb10: Moment

December 3:  
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

I mulled over this post all day yesterday. I mulled over it this morning. I can cut myself some slack because I only started reverbing yesterday, so I'm playing a little catch up, but also I'm struggling with a thought: are all my posts going to be about the same two things? Namely, losing Mr. Fix-Its mom and our wedding?

 Part of me says these will be the most boring and tedious 31 days of posting if I write about the same things over and over, and the other part of me says that those are the two most powerful experiences that have occurred in the past year and yes, they will come up again and again. Where does that leave me? Frankly, I'm not sure - so bear with me.

The best writing is honest, so I'm going to share my most honest experience of my most "alive moment". Our home phone rang at 5:48am on the morning of Tuesday, July 20. My heart dropped into my stomach and all I could think was, "oh, shit". Then I told myself, "no, no one calls our home phone. It's a wrong number at this hour. I'll just go back to bed." Then Mr. Fix-It's cell phone rang. We both looked at each other and knew something bad was happening. My heart raced. My stomach sank.

Four days prior we had learned that Mr. Fix-It's Mom's cancer was beyond treatment. They had given her a few months to live, and we were all in shock, denial, and disbelief. At that point, they were projecting her to live to approximately our wedding date. It was like a cruel joke. The days ahead that we were all so anxiously counting down, suddenly became unthinkable. All we wanted to do was hit pause. We received the news on a Friday. Our bachelor and bachelorette parties were planned for that weekend. We decided to proceed with our plans and then regroup once the weekend was over. Thoughts of an "emergency wedding" were already swirling in my head.

I went to Vegas. I returned to Chicago Midway at 11:55pm on July 19. By the time I got home I curled up with Mr. Fix-It in bed. We talked, we cried, we shared our thoughts and fears regarding the next few weeks and months. No sooner did we slip into sleep, than the phone rang with "the call".

"She just threw up a bunch of blood. We're on our way to the hospital. Come now." We leapt out of bed. Mr. Fix-It asked me if I thought he should shower. I said yes, it would probably be a long day. I can still hear the squeak of the shower handle and as he entered the bathroom he looked back and me and said, "Well, here we go..." I put on my work clothes. Black pants, ruffly purple top, black cashmere cardigan. I can still feel my feet slipping into my silver Tory Burch's. My hands were shaking. I was cold. Cold and terrified. That is the moment I felt most alive.


  1. Powerful writing. thanks.


  2. Hello! It's ironic how similar our posts about aliveness in 2010 are. Amazing how death can make you feel so alive. So sorry for your loss.

  3. This post took my breath away and I could see and feel what I imagine you were feeling. Great writing, Amanda.

  4. Wow, I agree with everyone else, this is beautiful and powerful. I wrote about the day my mom had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. It's amazing how dealing with a loved one facing death can make us feel alive, but it does. Thank you for sharing this story.

  5. Beautifully expressed. I'm sorry for your loss.

    Those are really the moments when we realize how much we really do cherish our lives.

    Thank you for your honest writing.

  6. Just when I'm wrestling down my fear at posting any of my own Reverb 10 experiences publicly, I came across this astonishing, rich and very personal blog post.

    My hat's off to you - I think you're very brave to share and an amazing writer to have captured the immediacy and potency of such a moment.

    Thank you.

  7. So beautiful. Thank you.

    I lost my mother this year, and sometimes I'm afraid that I've written too much about the loss and the grief. I, too, wondered about the tedium of this during reverb#10. I cannot reflect on the last year without this experience dominating. Except each post has something different and releases another little piece of the grief, and our most thoughtful readers will understand and indulge us.

    I guess it's another part of the letting go. Oh-oh. that's the next prompt...

  8. So sad and so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

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