Those life moments, the ones you remember in great detail for all their spectacular-ness, like my fifteen minutes in the Blue Grotto, are not always the ones you’d expect. For me, at least, it was not my wedding day, which was incredibly special and incredibly spectacular, but it wasn’t one moment. And it was definitely not the birth of my children, which gave me the most spectacular gifts in my life, but were moments filled almost exclusively with fear and confusion (stories for another day … or maybe not!).
The few moments that stand out for me are random, like when my friend Jenny and I convinced the security guards at the Los Angeles Coliseum to let us down from our lousy seats high in the stadium to the front row for U2’s Zooropa concert. Jenny’s midriff baring top and supreme hotness had a lot to do with it (I think I was wearing a midriff baring top too, actually — it’s a good thing I don’t have digital copies of those photos!). Not a life-altering moment or anything, but being able to reach my arm out and practically touch Bono was pretty cool.
Scoring the tie-breaking goal against our arch-rival Shaker in a sectional field hockey game my junior year of high school is definitely up there in my top moments. I wasn’t a goal-scorer and in fact was playing sweep (as defensive a position as you can get short of being the goalie) when I was switched up to left wing in double overtime. My goal wasn’t even any good; not some act of superior athleticism, but a deflection off my stick that happened to land in the net. But it meant everything to me and my team and was a moment I will never forget.
Finishing the Chicago Marathon, my third of four, in under four hours ranks up there too. I had always wanted to run a sub-four and, throughout that race, I was continuously updating my mental calculations. Realizing I was on track to do it and then realizing I could be under 3:55 and then realizing I’d be under 3:50 and finally crossing the finish line at 3:46 was super super cool.
None of the cancer moments are in my top list. Even when we received the best possibly news, better than anything we had known to hope for, there was always something else. Our joy was tempered by whatever lay ahead of us, but the next big procedure, the unanswered question, the knowledge that no good news was ever quite enough. Instead of a joyous jumping up-and-down celebration, we would fall backward on the hospital bed and say, “Thank god,” an exhale of relief.
Maybe our big moment still lies ahead.