8.30.2005

Real Luxuries.

Assuming you had a few spare minutes to fill up a bag with your dearest possessions, what would you take?

Your husband is packing the car with bottled water, dry food, a bag of clothes and diapers. The kids are changed, playing on the floor, and ready to be put into the car as soon as you're ready to leave. You're frantically running around the house, trying to stay calm so you don't scare the children, realizing that every party game you've ever played never prepared you for this (you know those--what would you buy if you won the lottery, what three items would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?). So you grab a canvas duffle and go room to room, snatching two or three items from each: first pair of shoes for both children, a box of photos, your father's Captain's bars from the marines, your grandfather's watch. Your wedding dress? No room. A few extra coats, sweaters and blankets. The car is filling up, and with nowhere near the precision with which you pack when going on vacation.

You have no idea how long you'll be gone, or if you'll have anything at all to come home to.

What a luxury it is that I can sit here just imagining this scenario. What a luxury that I am in a warm, dry home, fully intact, with all friends and loved ones accounted for.

What a luxury that no matter how much CNN or MSNBC I watch, I will never fully grasp the horror of what people are going through today, simply because I'm watching it from my warm, dry home, on television, instead of sitting in darkness, wondering where I'll go, where I'll live, and if my family is still alive.

I don't mean to be a downer, just trying to thank my lucky stars for my health and good fortune. And praying, very hard, for the people who cannot say the same.

Yeah, Sometimes I Think Funny Things. And sometimes, well, I just have to remember not to take for granted that I still can.

Keep those victims in your thoughts and prayers.

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