Patience

Today we built the basement for the Jim LaFortune Memorial Groover at PCEI. It involved a work crew of 12, 2 of whom actually knew what they were doing when we started. They argued like an old married couple….or 2 boys that have been on a multitude of work sites together over the years. It was a joy to listen to their banter. This project has been a long time in coming. The original thought  occurred sometime in December of 2010. Money was raised by April of 2011, plans completed by early Fall, and the rastra delivered and the foundation poured before the snow started to fly. We’ve been waiting for the snow to stop flying to build walls. Finally, we just set a date and said, “the show goes on…rain or shine.” It graupeled on us all day long. Jim was laughing at us wherever he is. Waiting for Spring on the Palouse is an exercise in patience. Patience is something I have been pondering a lot lately. It is not one of my virtues. It is an area of my life where I know I am still a significant work in progress.

Jasper has been wait listed at his first choice college of Harvey Mudd. What this means is that he will not find out if he is accepted there, and I won’t know what the financial aid package is, until after the May 1 deadline where all the other schools require you to accept admission and their financial aid packages. So, he will enroll at OSU, we will gladly accept their aid package. He will get preferential treatment for housing there….and he will wait until mid May or even June to make a final decision. Mudd and OSU are on different schedules. Mudd starts in late August, OSU in late September. Summer plans are up in the air while we wait. We went out for dinner and a movie last night to celebrate the annoying things in life. Another exercise in patience.

John did not come to Moscow this weekend. He needed to work in the bike shop, and I knew I would be busy with a swim meet and the groover build. Winters are long in a bike shop. The checkbook dwindles as the snow flies and everyone flocks to the ski areas. Spring means sunshine, warmth, and bike sales. He has been waiting for Spring…which takes just as long to arrive in Montana as it does on the Palouse. My friends joke that this is the first weekend we have missed seeing each other since January. Not exactly true…but still, I did miss being with him. I have to wait until next weekend….which is a pattern that won’t change anytime soon. Yet another exercise in patience.

So much of life is spent waiting. How often do we hear people say, “I can’t wait for ……” It might be Spring Break, an upcoming trip, or the weekend. When I was a kid it was Christmas morning, or summer camp, or that cute boy in English to turn around and talk to me. Jim was often planning for and waiting for the next adventure….even while on an adventure that he had painstakingly planned a few weeks before. We would waste a couple of hours in a sandwich shop in Couer d’ Alene waiting for his MRI results to get from the imaging center to the doctor’s office where they could be read. During his rather rapid cognitive decline, I would wait for the next symptom to appear, telling me that, after all the MRI’s were over, that the tumor was still growing, and taking up valuable space in his skull. After Jim died, I was told that the wound would just take time to heal. Waiting is hard, patience is needed….and yet living the life that is in front of you is wasted when you are waiting for something that will happen in the future.

I am torn. I know that I am not good at being patient. I know I need to work on this. But, I don’t want to waste a day, a moment even, on waiting. I want to live the life that presents itself to me everyday. Breakfast at PCEI, dinner and a movie with my son, text messages and phone conversations with a boy I adore, lunch out with my mom, a bath after a cold day outside, snuggles and giggles from the baby that shows up to see a rastra build, a glass of wine while I prepare dinner. All of these things are delicious, I don’t want to miss them, and I am grateful to have them in my life. “The best things in life are worth waiting for” conflicts directly with “Live each day as if it were your last.” Perhaps I just need to have more faith that, “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” That would require patience. I’m still a work in progress.

 

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