JIIIILLLLIIAAAN, I heard as I maniacally tried to clean the house for a showing. I slowly made my way down the stairs dreading what I was about to find, my adorable mother standing helplessly in a deep puddle of vegetable oil that had slipped out of her hand while trying to make grilled cheese sandwiches for the children.
I, completely depleted from my night out, was not amused and got down on my knees to help her attack the oil spill. The floors will be beautiful when were finished, she sang out in her still very strong British accent, her glasses, sweater and hair dripping oil. We crawled in circles giggling, our bottoms knocking?against each other as we soaked up the oil with endless rolls of paper towels. It’s truly difficult to stay angry at the tree of which you, the apple, fell from.
The night before my oldest sister, Melanie, and I went to see the film, “The Kings Speech”. A spectacular film presented by the Aspen Film Academy Screenings. Melanie, one of my favorite partner’s in crime, was feeling quite ill but we had a full evening ahead of us and she was determined to not let a headache take her down. I insisted that I take her home so that she could be well rested for her long journey back to Boston the next day with her children, she finally relented.
On our way home I stopped at the market to get her coconut milk with electrolytes but she gagged at the thought of the milk that her granola sister had purchased for her. Its not fair, she moaned kicking back the pills for migraines. We had so been looking forward to our night out together where we could jump up and down on the dance floor at Belly Up and act like we were twenty, as we always do when we are together. I was also hoping to introduce her to some of my eligible male Aspen friends.
The second we got into the house she was herself again, the pills bandaging her pain. Her green cat eyes flashed as she announced that she was now fine enough to go out. Oh no you’re not, I said my finger pointing to her bed. She slumped off like a scolded child and Baddy and I drove back up to town.
On our way up we talked about my decision to not write about how The Aspen Times was pouring salt onto my wound, once again, with the new developments in the Madoff fiasco. I refuse to fuel the tabloids with my anger and disappointment, I told him and he agreed, happy that as much as I write about our family life, I never reveal anything too private.
We had our dinner and went to the concert and as I stood there listening to G Love rock it out with Aspen’s local celebrity, John Oates, the tears began to flow. Even in my heightened emotional tequila induced state I recognized that my pain was not localized to my inability to enjoy being with my sister full tilt before she left me or to my fears of things to come but also, more importantly and more resounding, I felt a deep pain for the other people out there who are unable to escape their fears and who are not well enough to seek help.
Just recently I went to the home of a friend of mine who was having a holiday gathering for her two sons and all of their friends. Moving together like one giant amoeba the boys traipsed in and out of the house playing on the Wii and then suddenly jumping and rolling over the furniture in a massive sword fight as we talked about the holidays and life.
Sipping heavily on our Margaritas, the fresh lime juice, tequila and sugar poured down our throats, coating our brains and alleviating our holiday angst. Is Baddy holding up this holiday season? I was asked, a football whizzing by already frazzled hair. I would tell you, if I knew, I responded. This is that time of year where some dont make it, she said matter-of-factly. I inhaled the last of my drink wishing that I could somehow help others through my writing.
My friend reminded me of the fictional story I wrote last October that touched upon the darkness lurking within all of us. The best we can do is to try and live in the moment and appreciate everybody in our lives, I said.
I believe that to be one of my most beautiful assets, the ability to live in the moment, never obsessing over the weight of the future. But often people put me in my place by shattering my nave point of view, pointing out that it is easy to live in the moment when one grows up not needing to think about the future.
With our little ones clinging to our legs and our wallets depleted from holiday shopping, we clinked our glasses, Cheers to the holidays, we sang in unison and slowly made our way out the door and I smiled thinking about my sister and mother who just called five minutes ago wondering why I wasn’t at home getting dinner ready for everybody. “Duty Calls,” I said skipping out into the wet street, the juniper trees a deep velvety green against the darkened sky.
In this new year my #1 resolution is to heed the words in Kahlil Gibran’s quote that I included on my holiday card, “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” I will try to give more of myself in this next year, through my writing and through my actions and for today, tonight and the next night, I will live it up in 2010 and I wish for you a healthy, happy New Years Eve!