Just concentrate on ‘one’

Sherri Gardner HowellFarragut, Kitchen Table Talk

I am not a numbers person. They fly right past me, in-and-out of my head at light speed.

Except for a few…

It’s strange – how some numbers stick and others don’t. Back in the dark ages when I was a student at the University of Tennessee, you used your driver’s license number to identify yourself to pick up your schedule and your grades. That was four short years of reciting my driver’s license number maybe eight times a year, yet I can tell it to you right now without a thought. I can remember by cell phone number (most of the time), my social security number and the telephone and street numbers at the house I grew up in.

These days, I hedge my bets and write down anything I need to remember that has a number in it.

In a recent conversation with my grandson King, who is 5, he was celebrating that we still had five more minutes to play. In the next second, he was insisting that I stay in Nashville for “100 days.”

“Then,” he reasoned, “It will be time to go to the beach.”

We go to the beach in July, which, thankfully, is a lot less than 100 days away.

Today, I am concentrating on an attitude of acceleration, and it involves numbers. I am looking forward, and I am concentrating only on single digit numbers.

Two years ago, on June 10, I was flying home after a great week in Denver with a friend. We had a wonderful time seeing the city. I got to visit with my goddaughter, Libby, and her family. It was a great time, and it seems like yesterday.

One year ago, on June 10, I was getting off an Airmed flight from Salerno, Italy, on a stretcher, being checked-in at University of Tennessee Medical Center for surgery on my broken leg the next day. That was followed by days of considerable pain, weeks of rehab and many worries for those who love me. It was a watershed moment, a time of trials and recovery. It seems as if it happened eons ago.

And therein lies my point and my attitude of acceleration. I am weary of all that is happening in the world around me: the brutality, the senseless violence amid the voices of peace and change, the wear-or-don’t-wear facemasks questions, the hug-or-don’t-hug awkward moments, the longing to see friends, the wish to have questions answered, the yearning to be free of a level of uncertainty that is unprecedented – it all just seems too much.

But in just ONE year, things could be different. Don’t count days, for 365 are too many. Count to one, then two. So much can change between now and just ONE year from today.  And in TWO years, well … the sky’s the limit.

I am leaning on my faith and a hope that those a lot smarter than I am will move us forward from today in the best way. I can’t wait to look back, just ONE year from today, and say, “It was a watershed moment, a time of trials and recovery. It seems as if it happened eons ago.”

Then, maybe, I will spend “100 days” playing with my grandsons.

Sherri Gardner Howell has been writing about family life for newspapers and magazines since 1987. She lives in West Knoxville, is married to Neville Howell and has two sons and three grandsons.


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