Pockets of Fun


It was spring.
My sister Louisa and I were at the lake drinking beer and burning leaves when it came to me.
The air was cool.
The sun was warm.
Our freedom was short.
Because the bond between mothers and their daughters run deep.
Our mother happened to be down for the count.
She was in need of resuscitation.
Or at least our company.
So, instead of making plans every weekend to go out and howl at the moon with old friends like we always had, we went to her condo.
For ten years.

And while we tried to get our feet planted back on this earth after losing our dad, and to be with our mom and her oversized bag of grief at the same time, sometimes we couldn't breathe.
That particular day we were wallowing in self-pity.
Going on about how our lives were changed forever.
How we missed our happy go lucky days.
Back when everything had been one hundred percent perfect.
Before our world had come crashing in.
And then a famous philosopher with a rake in one hand and a beer in the other, explained the situation.
"This crap is just a part of growing old," she says. "It's like when you get a cold and you are twenty, you are over it in a couple days. You get a cold, and you are thirty, you bounce back after a week. You get a cold, and you are forty, a week later you still have a bunch of snot, but your legs aren't as heavy as they were in the beginning. And after another week the phlegm is gone, and your legs feel light again. But in reality, you have just become accustomed to the new you. That is why it takes you a little bit longer to get to the mailbox. And why you carry Kleenex with you at all times. This new you is the, "I feel good," you. You see, each and every time you get sick during your life, your recovery is a tad less. So, by the time you are fifty, your new, "I feel great," you, is like your old, "I am not getting out of bed," you.
"Really?" says my sister.
"Yes," I answer. "But the beauty of it is, you don't even know that you don't feel great."
Louisa almost fell into the fire.
She has a long history of tripping whenever she gets near a flame, so, I was ready. I caught her.
And then we both started to laugh.
Really hard.
And then harder.
Just like we always had back when our lives had been one hundred percent perfect.
Or at least the illusion of the day that we lived in, had been.
And then came the epiphany, "Louisa, we have reached the age that we are not going to have fun every day."
"I could have told you that," she says.
"So, from now on we will just have to enjoy pockets of fun."
"Pockets of fun?"
"Are we in a pocket of fun now?"
"Yes. This is a pocket of fun."
It was a memorable afternoon.
And after that day, pockets of fun started showing up all over the place.
They even came to the condo.
And our mom got into some of the pockets with us and we howled at the moon with her.
Of course, there were days without any pockets.
Like we were wearing cable knit pullover sweaters and leggings.
But we were okay.
Because we understood the big picture.
Pocket-less days are a necessary part of life and there is nothing you can do about them.
Because if you are always in a pocket of fun, one day you may not realize that you are in one. And then you might not appreciate the plate of mashed potatoes and gravy they just set on your tray.
Late one summer, in the wee hours by the fire, Louisa and I explained pockets of fun, to my son.
"Are they anything like pockets of hell?" says Marques.
"Pockets of hell?" we say.
"Yeah," he says. "Like the one I am in right now."

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