Tiny Moments...

I drove my vehicle down Baltic Avenue while in Virginia Beach last weekend while attending the national indoor field hockey tournament, and was stunned when my eyes spotted my old apartment complex. There it was. I slowed to a crawl, and pulled over and parked. I sat quietly and stared at the building, thinking back thirty years and to the summer of my 19th year.

I got out of the car, crossed the street and stood at the front of the three-story building. I could NOT believe it was still there. In my mind I suddenly saw myself a 19 year-old girl leaning against the porch post reeling from the news the police had just given her.

Our summer “apartment” family had gathered at a local hot spot not far from the beach to celebrate the end of the summer – and to say goodbye. Mike and Johnny, the boys in the apartment next door, never made it home. So there I stood, my head bowed in my hands and my body shaking with sobs.

It was a moment. Sometimes memories sneak upon you from behind, and knock the wind out of you. I said a quick prayer for the boys- thanked the Lord AGAIN that I hastily declined their ride home that night, and brushed away a tear.

I wonder how many other “tiny moments” have extended my life. I wonder.


Wunderwoman said...

I've wondered this myself many times. I guess we just never know. I am glad you have decided to come back to posting, life sure would have been bleak without you

rebelsrider said...

This one really touched my heart the first time I read it and this time was no different.

Glad you're still posting.

Vivienne @ the V Spot said...

I think every decision we make is a tiny moment. Every time we run back into the house "real quick" because we forgot something on the way out the door... Every time we decide to turn left or right... Every time we make any decision we are potentially changing our lives. Or someone else's.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

When you are blue, you tend to clean, VodkaMom? God, you aren't well! I prescribe bed-rest and more vodka if you feel any more cleaning episodes coming on...

Seriously, this is an incredible post to read once more - I think we all have many tiny moments that take us down different paths in life...

I am pleased you took a path that brought you into our love, VKMom x

Patsy said...

Thank you for posting this. So many sparks of nostalgia and irony pass through our lives and so many of them do not get recorded as you have done so well.

Sass said...

This is, hands down, my favorite of all your posts...

I can't tell you enough how much I hope things look up for you.

If you ever need anything, you know where to find me...

darsden said...

I spent the summer of 76 in virginia beach...at a 3 story apt. complex...hummmm wonder if it's is such small place
(the world) ...we probably crossed paths!

For Myself said...

Sometimes this very concept paralyzes me. Sometimes with gratitude, sometimes with fear, sometimes with anticipation. Even when I escape its jaws, I'm still awed by the force of it. What if? What the hell IF?

Sass said...


How'd I get my big ol' blue face on your site? ;)

I heart you, VM. I really, truly, deeply do.

Liz Wilkey (a.k.a. A Mom on Spin) said...


Life is amazing sometimes. . .

mo.stoneskin said...

As a rule, and I mean a real golden rule, I don't tend to listen to anyone that attends national indoor field hockey tournaments. But I'll let you off.

I hate thinking back of those 'tiny moments', like when you remember a mistake when driving that could have been fatal, or when you nearly dropped a baby when you stepped on a toy, things like that. Life is precious.

That Janie Girl said...

Love you, girl. I'm glad you declined their ride, too.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Wow. Guardian angels all around, and prayers for those boys.

Marinka said...

Those moments are so eerie, it seems like we're surrounded by them. Amazing how evocative memories are.

Phat Mama said...

Touching & so very thought provoking.

Thank you for sharing.

Ann Imig said...

It makes me shiver to think of those brushes with fate.

Puts things into perspective.

Suzy said...

Things that have extended your life?
1. Vodka

Fragrant Liar said...

It's the Butterfly Effect. Every decision we make, fleeting or thought-provoking, pushes us to where we are today. It all means something, even if we pay no attention to it.

Hope your weekend is good and relaxing and thought-provoking.

blognut said...

I often wonder the same thing. I've done so many stupid things I lost count along the way; yet I am still here when a few of the people I knew and loved are not. Go figure.

Cora said...

Ohhhh I adore this post.

And looky there, your blog has been SASSIFIED!! :-)

Dawn Parsons Smith said...

"Big" gifts often come wrapped as tiny moments:) I love this post...I've been reflecting upon such moments myself as of late and feeling enormously grateful:) So happy you are back!

SkylersDad said...

Great post, we are all a little bit better, richer than before for having you in our electronic lives.

Unknown said...

I remember this post as well, one I took to heart as it really spoke to me. I, too, clean when I'm blue.

shrink on the couch said...

Man, you have had more than your share of losing young lives. I'm sorry for your friends. That is so tragic.

Anonymous said...

Boy, isn't that the truth... had a few hairy moments myself that extended my life.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Unknown said...

I remember this the first time you posted it. I can actually picture this scene. Life sure does make us think!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

So true... I always think of thinks like that... What if I didn't check my blind spot one more time before merging into a traffic lane? What if I left the house on time and not five minutes late - only to be one of the five cars piled up on the side of the road?

I'm sorry about your old friends.

Ash said...

Amazing how one single blog post can stick with you - I've had a "tiny moment" since this original post, and you came to mind.

Take care sweet lady. E

(You had me confused with that picture of Sass, thinking I needed to lay off the sauce. Thank the Lord it was just a link. Good taste. Mama may I have another?)

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

So many tiny moments we have, and we don't even know most. That's what makes up our life, I think.

Pseudo said...

Beautifully written and so glad you reposted. I missed this the first time.

Roshni said...

I think this is the first post of yours that I read! And, I thought you were a serious writer and added you to my bloglist!!! ;)

Far Side of Fifty said...

Very thought provoking... I used to clean when I was upset..not anymore..I nap! :)

SSP said...

a little late to the post, but as always, you touch something in me (nothing dirty..tee hee). I have these flashback moments too, and think how differently my life could have gone, if I had taken a different path....i am glad you didn't get in that car TOO!!

Anonymous said...

I've been in three car accidents in my lifetime. None of which were my fault. The first time, I got slammed from behind by a dump truck while waiting to turn left, with my left turn signal on.

The second time, my sister, in her true debutant style,twirled and totalled her fiance's parent's brand new Cadillac, with me in the back seat.

She had never been in an accident before, and in a successful effort to rid her of shock, I look at her and said, "Boy, your first accident, and you go for broke. You always did things in grand style, and this time you totalled a Caddy...your first time out the gate!" She turned from tears, into outright laughter.

The third time, ever the safety conscious driver, I patiently waited for the light to turn green, and give a second or two for any drivers determined to run the red light, a chance to get through before I proceeded. That extra second saved my life, and possibly my mother's. A teenager driving about 50 MPH through a red light, shaved off the front bumper of my car from the driver's side over. If I had hit the gas as soon as that light turned green, I would certainly be dead.

Wow, that was a long-winded response to your post. If you made it through reading it, I may have just added a few more minutes to your life, by keeping you from a shooting star or something.

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