After this past weekend in South Carolina, I wouldn’t be surprised if I eventually become MooshInCharleston.com. It should also be mentioned that if I did move to Charleston I would also become very unhealthy because biscuits at every meal. My dryer seemed to have worked overtime while I was away because my pants are all just a wee bit tighter today than they were last week.
If cruises are where you go to nap, Charleston is where you go to eat. Good heavens, the eating — I returned a changed woman, stuffed to the gill with fresh, hot pralines and enough she-crab soup and biscuits to fuel a small country. Lowcountry cuisine? You have won me.
Everywhere we went seemed to be straight out of a movie, I forgot where I was a few times, sure I had fallen asleep and this was all one crazy, beautiful dream. It’s amazing how scenery so simple can overwhelm every sense. (Especially when there are tree frogs around, mercy, those frogs are loud.)
There were six of us total, representing different publications and websites. On the second day we were all getting out of the car to eat more biscuits and soup when one of the girls got a phone call.
Her husband had passed.
No one knew what to do, or what to say. I mean, how can you? Here she was getting what I can only imagine to be one of the worst phone calls of her life while she was far from home surrounded by strangers. Of course all of us figured she’d be on the next flight home, in fact I’m pretty sure we would have been willing to drive her home ourselves — but she stayed — all weekend she stayed with strangers in a strange and beautiful place. Her husband has been ill for awhile, and while he wasn’t “he could go at any moment ill” he did tell her to go live her life.
And so she did.
Even she said there was no sense in going home to just be sad. She took the weekend as a welcome distraction for things settle down and her new reality to sink in.
Never before had the phrase “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” been so true.
You simply never know what someone is going through.
I learned a lot from her and her courage this weekend, I’m very thankful for her example of grace in the face of unfathomable tragedy.
There seems to be an awful lot of terrible things happening lately, none of which will ever be reported on the news, but terrible all the same.
Death, illness and devastating news seems to be touching the lives of everyone right now, if not directly, than through friends or distant contacts online. It’s a painful and unique sadness knowing so much hurt is out there, knowing there isn’t a whole lot we can do beyond offering our condolences, a prayer, a hug, perhaps a casserole. I’d like to offer everyone a warm cat, but understand the logistics behind such an offering.
It’s equally important to remember that even when it seems everyone else seems to have it worse, we are still allowed to acknowledge the difficult parts of our own lives. It isn’t being ungrateful or selfish, it’s simply being honest.
You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair — Chinese proverb
Just like birds, sorrows come and go — it’s all in how you choose to see their arrival and departure (and deal with the crap they leave in their wake.)
If you can, head down to Charleston and watch the birds. Promise it will soothe parts of your soul that have been uneasy for ages.
Maybe have a biscuit or two while you’re there as well.
If you’re into feeding your emotions, Charleston is totally the place to do it.