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Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Favorite Things

The list of Henry’s favorite things was originally created on December 9, 2002, to remind Henry – who was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital – why he needed to be strong and get better. Allen read each item aloud, beginning with Mommy; his girlfriend Bella; small, shiny objects. The list grew by the hour. Henry’s desperate condition worsened by the moment. Within a day, the list transformed into Allen’s and my desperate attempt to remember everything important to Henry. Everything that made him special. Everything that made him Henry. As he lay dying, among the many horrors we faced was the fear that we might forget something, anything.

The list has continued to grow over the past seven years and much of it appears in Saving Henry. If you read it, you will know almost everything there is to know about Henry. You will know that he loved life, family, friends, fun, big things, little things, things that can only happen in the winter, and other things that require warmth and sunshine.

I keep a list of favorite things too. It brings back memories. It gives me things to look forward to. It makes me happy. Here is a peek.

  • Going to live music shows with Allen, particularly Todd Snider, Lucinda Williams and Kasey Chambers
  • When Jack discovers some great music and shares it with me
  • Playing cards with Joe
  • Looking for sand dollars in the waters of Captiva, Florida with Henry, Jack and now Joe
  • The smell of fresh coffee in the morning
  • Candy stores, especially if they sell Pop Rocks chocolate bars and red shoestring licorice
  • Cocktails on the beach
  • Right after I’ve completed a long run (but definitely not during)
  • Camp fires, especially with smores
  • Seeing endangered species in the wild like manatees and bald eagles
  • Ceasefires
  • Cozy cashmere throws
  • When someone shares a new-to-me picture of Henry
  • Wearing slippers
  • The first big snow of the year
  • Nearly anything made of potatoes
  • Seeing butterflies in my garden
  • Great finds at flea markets
  • Eating at diners
  • Allen’s dimples
  • Jack and Joe’s long hair
  • Boardwalks

Keep checking in. There’s more where all that came from.

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