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I’m finally sitting down tonight to do what I’ve wanted to do all day… listen to one of my favorite CDs with the music of my favorite composer (whose birthday it is today). It’s a recording of Mendelssohn’s Third and Fourth Symphonies, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir George Solti. It’s such a flawless performance that it has ruined me when it comes to listening to any other recording of either of these symphonies… none other seem to compare. Anyway, while it’s a favorite, it has probably been a good three or four years since I have listened to this CD. I suppose I’m dating myself by admitting I even own CDs, but I’m looking forward to kicking back next to the fire and closing my eyes to just listen and breathe out this week. (This is one of those recordings that need to be turned up as loud as the ears and neighborhood will allow.)

Today was a mixed bag. It was so precious, or rather, I held precious all that I have, especially my son. Today I discovered the sad news of a local family who lost their three-year-old boy to an unexplained illness that took his life so quickly and unexpectedly. After speaking to the woman at work who shared the story with me, I barely made it back to the elevators without breaking down in tears. My heart was broken for this family, and it stirred up so much emotion in me in regards to our loss three years ago.

But in the process of hearing of this sad story and getting a card to the coworker who knows this family to give to them from us (because we know too well a taste of what they’ll be facing over these next several months, and I remember the comfort I found when even complete strangers sent words of comfort to us), I made a new friend. She was kind, and she too was emotional over this sad news. And though we work in separate buildings, we both agreed that we hope our paths will cross again.

Also, I had meaningful conversation with a friend who’s not new where I was able to give some appreciated advice that I would hope someone would give to me if I were in the same confusing situation. It was good to feel that my advice was appreciated.

There were small blessings, too. Like 1) blue sky in every direction (not a cloud in sight), 2) Friday/end-of-the-work-week, and 3) I got to leave work early. 4) It was light when I woke up and light when I left work, and that meant I had the opportunity to stop on my drive home to capture this little scene of a golden field, half shadowed from the trees, and half glowing in the setting sun… against that blue, blue sky. 5) Leaving early meant I was home in time to make it to the WinterFest Fun Night at a local school for students from Isaac’s school and all the other grade schools in town. We danced in the gym to the tunes the DJ played (think all the best stuff from a wedding reception) until we couldn’t dance anymore.

I know things look rather different for one family tonight… and so many others whose situations I’m not even aware of. So I count even the smallest of blessings, because we never know when they’ll be taken from us.

And after I do, it adds up to one good day. Now for Mendelssohn’s Scottish and Italian Symphonies. (Happy birthday, Mendelssohn!)

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