Thursday, April 21, 2011

ecclesiastes 3:10-14

"I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil--this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

wine tasting

some time back in 2008, Jarronn and i were driving in virginia for some reason i can no longer remember, and we stopped at rappahannock cellars to taste some wine. i'm always amused by wine tasting and being told that a particular wine has "hints of blackberries, strawberries, and peaches." while i can appreciate a glass of good wine, recognizing the "hints" of fruit flavors in a wine, without prompting, is not my specialty. Jarronn, on the other hand, had pretty keen senses when it came to taste and hearing. and i still remember him that day calling out the tastes of different fruits and even being able to taste hints of different woods used in the barrels.

at the end of our tasting, Jarronn chose a bottle of red wine made from norton grapes, and we headed home. the bottle was placed in the wine rack on the counter and reserved for a special dinner we assumed would happen some time in the future and would potentially be enjoyed by a few of our close friends.

sadly, we never got to share the bottle of wine.

instead, it sat on the rack, and for awhile i couldn't imagine opening it. similar to other things in the house, i didn't want the bottle to go empty.

when i came around to the idea of opening it, i wanted to make sure it was on a special occasion. that it was with close family and friends. i thought i'd share it along with some wine i'd bought in napa valley. but we never had need to open it. i took it to a friend's party, and we never got to it. and the bottle continued to sit on the rack.

finally, i came to the realization that i might actually be doing the wine a disservice. that i had assumed that the wine would get better with age, but in reality, that rule doesn't apply to all wines. some wines stop maturing. and i could possibly miss a window of opportunity with all of my guarding and waiting.

so one friday night, while cooking dinner for myself, i decided to open the bottle of wine for myself (don't worry, the plan was never to drink the whole bottle in one sitting). opening the bottle felt special, significant, and like it connected me to Jarronn.

i sniffed. i swirled. i tasted. and the wine tasted...average. i thought that as the wine breathed that it might have gotten better with time. but as i tasted more and more, i realized i really didn't like the wine. i couldn't remember how it had tasted at the winery, and i clearly couldn't get Jarronn's second opinion. but i found myself working hard to drink it. wishing that i was enjoying it. knowing that i wasn't.

all of that waiting. all of that anticipation. and the end result was pretty disappointing. it was a reminder to enjoy more things in the moment, while we can. but it also seemed to teach me that certain things are meant to be enjoyed at a specific time or in a particular season. and when the time is over, it's over.

i never finished the bottle of wine. but i did save the cork.

Monday, April 18, 2011

memory monday #7

it's been awhile since i've done one of these memory monday posts. but this memory below got my week off to a laughing start, so i figured i'd share it with you all.

this is coming from one of my closest friends sonia, who i've known since my freshman year of college. after i graduated and moved to new jersey for work, sonia was one of the few people who really kept up with me as i adjusted to life away from all of my friends.

because we talked frequently, this also meant that she was the first friend to hear about Jarronn after i'd met him. in fact, her advice helped me navigate more than one "men don't make any sense" moment with Jarronn. and ultimately, she was probably the person who helped me understand why he and i would always work, when she told me, "the secret to your heart, jessica, is to keep you laughing. the person who does that will win every time."

she was right.

and she and Jarronn became great friends, mainly because they were both incredibly funny, silly and quick on their feet. they even had nicknames for each other. (Jarronn was "brother tipsy" and sonia was "sister secular." loooooong story.) :-)

on july 30, sonia wrote:

I have so many hilarious memories of Jarronn. He was hands down one of the funniest people I've ever met. Whenever I saw him he always had a funny greeting, a joke, something. 

My favorite memory is when me, him, Jessica, and a few other friends all went to see Stomp the Yard. The movie turned out to not be that horrible but there were tons of corny moments. 

When we all returned to Jessica's apartment, we spent the next 45 minutes re-enacting the movie for Jessica's roommate Roxanne, since she wasn't able to make it. Jarronn was the head of the Gammas and I was the head of the Thetas, or whoever the people who were snakes were. We got so loud that the neighbor downstairs came to the door [Jessica's note: they were doing cartwheels and acrobatics]

At the end of the night, we were all laughing so hard we couldn't breathe. That to me was the greatest thing about Jarronn. He had no problem being absolutely ridiculous. He had an amazing spirit. That's what I miss the most.

thanks sonia! i miss it too!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

little things

after long periods of not writing here on the blog, it's sometimes hard to get back to it.

i guess i put some kind of pressure on myself to say something new or interesting. and when life doesn't really feel that new or interesting, i tend to procrastinate on my postings.

the truth is moving. forward. onward.

there are more days when i feel more adjusted to the "new normal." days when i feel empowered by knowing that i've survived for all this time. that i've found ways to smile and laugh and love and live. days when not wanting to get out of bed is simply due to my laziness and not to not wanting to face the day.

there are also days when i still miss my old self. the "old normal." the self that had little knowledge of the kind of pain and loss i've experienced. the self that had the ability to imagine a future for herself. or the ability to make travel plans without waiting until the last minute. or got excited about holidays.

it's the little things i miss and the little things that i suppose deserve gratitude.

moving. forward. onward.