It was 1973. We had just finished the Gahanna Relays. The group I was with headed to the Drive-in movies in Whitehall. Two cars parked next to each other. In mine, myself and my three best friends, in the other a guy I had a serious crush on and his friend. We all got out and mingled. A few other cars showed up and soon the group grew to around thirty fellow students. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was leaning against the front of my car when my crush came over. We started talking and when the movie began, he lifted me onto the hood of my car, sat beside me and draped an arm around my shoulder. It was amazing. It was the first time I remember thinking, ‘Nothing will ever be better than this moment.’ We ended up dating for over a year until he went away to college. When he left, I cried and thought, ‘Nothing will ever be worse than this.’
The next year I met Kirk. We dated for five years before we got married and there were too many, 'Nothing will be better than this' moments to write in this short blog. I do remember walking with my father down the aisle and looking at the man I was marrying and thinking, ‘Nothing will be better than this.’
A year later, I had my first child. It was late one night, during the 2 am feeding. I was sitting in a big over sized rocking chair, my son had just finished his bottle and his eyes were fighting sleep. I knew I should put him back to bed, but I just sat there, rocking and holding him, sharing that special moment between parent and child. I thought, ‘Nothing will ever be better than this.’
Then came the next two additions and I wondered, ‘Can a person love another child as much as they love the first?’ And I did. The love, as well as our family, grew. And I would sit with each of those wonderful babies, memorizing each tiny feature from eyelash to their sweet heart shaped lips. I sat gently holding the tiny hands, nibbling on the miniature toes and I thought, ‘Nothing will ever be better than this.’
They grew and so did the wonderful moments. School, sports, plays, graduations, college; all moments were I’d sit with tears in my eyes and wonder if any moment could be better than this.
SO… we went along. Then one day 17 years ago, I was called home. My Father had gone into hospice. As I lay my head on his chest and said, “I love you” for the last time, I wondered, ‘Will there be any moment in my life worse than this?’
Then I remembered one of my favorite parts of a movie I loved. It was called Parenthood. The grandmother was explaining that some people get on the merry-go-round of life, going round and round, no ups, no downs and their lives are the same day in and day out.
Others get on the roller coaster. Their lives go around sharp corners, through the loop-de-loop, up the high peaks and then down into the deep valleys. They laugh, they cry and in the end they come off a wonderful ride.
So I’ll take those moments of better and worse. Because they are all part of that wonderful ride we call life.