.... a moment.
One teeny tiny moment .... to change your world.
To destroy your world as you know it.
To make you feel as if you will drop dead.
Just one moment.
I have been trying and trying to upload a picture for the top of this entry, but I'm in a hotel and the computer won't let me upload pics. So I will do my best to leave the web site so that you can click on it and then see it.
If that doesn't work ..... here's the description of said picture:
November 22, 1963
Crisp, fall day.
Clear blue sky.
Lots and lots and lots of people in the background.
But the focus of the picture is the face of Jacqueline Kennedy.
The sun is shining, she's in a black convertible, sitting next to her husband .... and she's smiling.
It only takes a moment.
I saw a huge mural of a picture just like it in the museum here in Dallas inside the Book Depository building.
FYI .... not an uplifting tour at all. But very interesting, and very moving.
I couldn't stop staring at that picture. I even took a couple of pictures of it.
I stared into her eyes.
I looked at her smile.
She looked, at least on the outside, very happy.
I find that I am so deeply moved by pictures like that ..... pictures taken before "the moment".
Pictures of people who had no idea that their life, as they knew it, was over.
These pictures break my heart.
As did that one.
I have not been able to go back in my blog and read the "before" posts.
The thought of reading the words of the before-Janine is so painful that I can't even think about it for more than a second or two.
So yes, this post is difficult to write.
I'm afraid that if I went back and read those posts .... I would read them the way I read a novel, hoping against all hope that the end will come out happily.
That the words written on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 will not include anything about my best friend dying.
That maybe, instead .... I will find a post about what a great time we had at the lake that weekend with the boys. How Jim played football with them and we just hung out and enjoyed our time together. How, for the first time ever, he didn't make the boys do any chores while we were there. We just had fun.
And then I'd write about the fun Christmas party we went to Sunday night with our "Bunco" friends. We, as a group of couples who've known each other for a long time, used to play Bunco once a month. We stopped that long ago, but still met for dinner, or games and always for the annual Christmas party with the annoying "Chinese Gift Exchange".
We had a great time that night.
The last thing we did together .... other than drive to and then sit in a hospital.
I don't remember if anyone took any pictures that night.
I don't think so .... and for that, I think I'm glad.
I'm not sure I could stand the pain of looking into my "before" eyes .... knowing they'd look that happy for only a few more hours.
I'd love looking at Jim, of course. I can look at pictures of him all day long.
But I cannot bear the pain of looking at pictures of me .... and looking into those eyes.
The way I looked into Jackie Kennedy's eyes.
It only takes a moment.
Most people don't realize that.
Most of us don't know when our last breath will come.
Most of us don't know when our world will end when our spouse takes his/her last breath.
Most of have no idea that the moment is lurking out there, waiting to scar our hearts forever.
It seems like something to huge, so monumental, so devastatingly horrifying .... should take more than a moment.
A moment doesn't seem to give the event that forever defines our lives as "before" and "after" enough respect.
Or .... something.
It only takes .... a moment.
It only took .... a moment.
I was able to upload the picture once I got home. Here it is .... the before moment ....