Grabbing my umbrella in a rush to get to lunch on time I hear whispers coming from a huddle of people: "...pancreatic cancer...terminal...six months." Riding downs in the mirrored elevator I stare at my reflection. The whispers are about a sweet woman I don't know well, but she the first one to welcome me the morning I started my job. I pull my shawl more snugly around my shoulders.
In the turn around in front of my copper paneled building, Shannon's car is already waiting for me. Her hug and John Thomas' happy gurgles from the carseat in back take some of the chill out of me and we chat our way to the resturaunt. As we unload the little one and his diaper bag, Shan describes their trip to Spain. She pauses mid-sentance, "--and you know I'm pregnant again, right?" My eyes get huge and I shake my head with my mouth half open, half smiling. "Oh," she laughs, "I can't even remember who I have told! I'm due in six months."
Trooping through the rain toward the back entrance of the bistro I feel off balance, like when you step off of a moving walkway onto sedentary ground and trip your way forward, trying to adjust from the shift.
Lunch passed uneventfully, with John Thomas throwing napkins, bread and silverwear on the floor while Shannon and I caught up over kebobs and vegetable pie.
Back at my desk, as tears peppered the office, I start thinking; six months. The watch on my wrist feels heavy, like its rotating hands are pushing me through the day but I was the one who wound its movements that morning so who was really pushing whom?
I hit pause on my scattered thoughts to take a breath and dig my nails into my arms, trying to feel like I am really here in this minute, alive. There is no point in dissecting the future. I'll just jump into the moment I have and pray for the rest.