Living in the moment

It's Tour Season... which means Craig's time at home is limitedWe’re in the thick of tour season, which means artists and their bands and crews are hitting the blacktop hard, traveling all over the country and the world. My Facebook friends feed and my Twitter feeds are full of musicians home for a few hours then off to wherever. And its also full of us wives/husbands going, “I’d sure like to have my spouse home for more than 24 hours… I miss them.”

I am one of those saying that.

Usually, this whole touring thing doesn’t phase me much. After we got married, my husband was home for about a day and then he was off on a two week run with the group he was with at that time. However, recently, I’ve found myself missing him more and more as he leaves on another run to Canada or Ohio or Florida or wherever.

Now, keep in mind, I am SO thankful he has a full schedule. It means money stresses are a LOT less right now, and I know that he does so love the road and the music. And its so good to see him doing what he loves to do. Its what we all aspire to do for a living: what we love.

However, I do miss him, and its in that I am also thankful. Because all this time apart has made me more thankful of the time we have together. It’s made me really bring what is most important to me into focus. Those few precious hours or, if we’re lucky a few days, I don’t worry about the bills or if the house is in great shape. I just want to spend my time with him. I want to treasure that time. I want to put it in a bottle to keep forever.

See, for a long time, we’ve been letting life lead us, versus us living life. Bills must be paid. We have responsibilities to handle. And while we aren’t turning our backs on our responsibilities, we’re also prioritizing a lot more carefully and stubbornly. Living in the moment for sure.

Mass tonight was, ironically, about the need to get away for a vacation. Craig and I are hoping to get away ourselves for a couple days coming up. However, it was a poem at the end of the sermon that really rocked me back on my heels. It left me fighting tears. I want to share it…

But You Didn’t
by Anonymous

Remember the day I borrowed your brand
new car and dented it?
I thought you’d kill me, but you didn’t.

And remember the time I dragged you to the beach,
and you said it would rain, and it did?
I thought you’d say, “I told you so.” But you didn’t.

Do you remember the time I flirted with all
the guys to make you jealous, and you were?
I thought you’d leave, but you didn’t.

Do you remember the time I spilled strawberry pie
all over your car rug?
I thought you’d hit me, but you didn’t.

And remember the time I forgot to tell you the dance
was formal and you showed up in jeans?
I thought you’d drop me, but you didn’t.

Yes, there were lots of things you didn’t do.
But you put up with me, and loved me, and protected me.

There were lots of things I wanted to make up to you
when you returned from Vietnam.

But you didn’t.
Copy and pasted from here.

We don’t know how much time we have with our loved ones. I attempt to cherish the time I have with mine. It’s why I make sure to at LEAST text my parents a good night message every night. It’s why my husband and I make time for each other every single day he’s on the road. It’s why I hate that I’ve not talked to my brother in about a month, and I seriously need to change that soon.

Live in the moment and make every one of them count… especially those moments spent with the ones we love.

No, thank YOU…

July 4, 2009
July 4, 2009

My  husband had a show this July 4th only four hours away from Nashville in Rogersville, TN. My parents are visiting from Texas, and so we made the trip to see him play. East Tennessee is absolutely beautiful, so it was a treat to make the drive out, and its always fun to see a show!

After a fantastic concert, we settled in to watch the fireworks. I was about to sit down on my lounge chair backstage when a man standing at the barricade asked me to come over. My initial thought was, “Oh no…” already anticipating a request for an autograph.

Now, I don’t make promises that I could even remotely fill such a request… especially since generally such a request is frowned upon. Or at least it always has been with past artists. My husband is still the “new guy” and I don’t want to make waves. So it was definitely with trepidation that I approached him.

Within moments of walking up, I was handed a military ID, and told that he had just gotten back from Afghanistan and would be returning in 28 days. He’d traveled himself from Nashville specifically hoping to meet Joe Diffie (whom my husband works for). He asked if I could possibly make that happen.

I paused a bit, but I decided the least I could do is try. So I headed towards the bus… not entirely sure what to do. I was saved when I saw the tour manager coming at me.

So, starting with, “please don’t hate me…” I explained the situation. And much to my pleasant surprise, he said he’d ask Joe! While I waited, two women approached me asking if Joe would be doing an autograph session after the show, then asking who I was, etc. I was, quite frankly, blind sided by them… and it is also people like these two women that make me hesitant to speak with show attendees. Its questions being shot at me rapid fire that will fluster me, and in turn irritate.

I was TICKLED when the tour manager came off the bus to say that Joe definitely wanted to talk to the man, and I lead him over and introduced them.

Over the course of about the next hour, I had the opportunity to interact with the soldier several times, learning he was originally from Texas — attended my rival school of University of Texas — and that he had come home on leave with many injuries. Shrapnel in his leg, a broken finger, bite wounds on his hand, etc. The fireworks freaked him out (understandably so!) but his kids loved it.

Finally, when he met Joe, he told several stories of things he had experienced while in Afghanistan. And afterwards, he came over and thanked me profusely for taking him seriously and making it happen that he got to meet Joe.  He hugged me several times and gave me a kiss on the cheek (telling my husband that if he pointed out that he’d just kissed an Aggie they’d tussle right there!), and all I could keep saying was, “No… thank YOU for all you do.”

The experience of meeting this soldier was a highlight of my July 4th. Getting to thank a soldier… we should all have the opportunity to do that. They are the true heroes.