April 07, 2012

don't put off today...

I'm a procrastinator (as evidenced by my last post). This is a problem I have struggled with most of my life. I've never received a diagnosis from a medical professional, but I'm fairly certain that I also suffer from ADD... and while I'm at it, I might as well confess to being OCD as well. Doesn't that sound like a hot mess?

ANYWAY... back to the procrastination thing. Sometimes I put things off because they aren't fun and I don't want to do them. Things like laundry, income taxes, cleaning. You get the picture. Other times, I procrastinate because I lose focus when I'm trying to do too many things. I've learned a lesson about this, but before I can tell you about that, let me introduce you to my dear friends Stewart (L) & Richard (R).

I met these two beefcakes all the way back in 1995. I was a wild & crazy college girl waiting tables at Logan's Roadhouse. Richard was my GM and his partner Stewart was a server & trainer. I instantly hit it off with both of them. Stewart and I formed a very close friendship and when they moved away I was so broken-hearted.

Just a few short years later we all find ourselves here in Nashville. We reconnect and life is lovely. We don't see each other often, but the comfort of knowing they are close is good for the soul.

One year ago, I got the terrible news that Richard was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. It shook me. I was devastated for Stewart who had built a life with Richard for 20 years and what had seemed solid one day was crumbling at his feet the next.

I began working on a quilt for Richard. He always gave the best hugs and I liken wrapping yourself up in a quilt to getting a hug from whoever made it. I planned a simple quilt out of some soft woven plaid scraps and opted to back it with a lightweight denim. Anytime I think of Richard, he is wearing a plaid shirt and jeans. He started cancer treatments and was responding well. His surgery went better than expected and it seemed he was on the mend. Knowing this, I lost the sense of urgency to finish, even though the top was complete.

I woke very early on a September morning. It was around 3 a.m., but I just couldn't sleep. Not much else to do at that hour but troll Facebook, where I found an album of photos from a Hawaiian vacation Stewart and Richard had just returned from. I was taking in the scenery and noticing how great Richard looked. I remember smiling and reminding myself to get his quilt finished. He would need it on chilly nights in the Fall.

That afternoon, I learned that Richard had passed in the early morning hours. Once the shock wore off, I got mad. Mad at myself. Mad for not finishing his quilt. Mad for not going to see him to tell him how much he meant to me. I was determined to finish the quilt.

This is for you, Stewart. I hope this brings you comfort and reminds you of the wonderful man you loved so much, and who loved you with all his heart.

There are things worth putting off. Expressing how much you love someone should never be one of them. I pray I never make this mistake again.