Posted by: karenparmer | November 5, 2009

We may never pass this way again…

The words from a 1987 Seals and Croft song just keep twirling around in my head. (In my heart the words are always in tune but that’s not the case when I open my mouth.)

And all the years will come and go, take us up, always up.
We may never pass this way again.

Dan had a business trip to NYC last week.  I often tag along on the infrequent trips he makes out of town.  We had been trying to figure out a week we could either go see Matt in Charleston or have him come home.  We had not seen him since Fourth of July.  So as luck would have it, he was free for several days last week so he flew up on Tuesday, the day we arrived.


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A hug from my baby boy when he arrived at LaGuardia.

Then we were off to the New York Hilton, where Dan would be “holed up” in meetings from early morning till dinners late in the evening.  We did have Tuesday night to spend together and we walked around Times Square and people watched for a while.

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We just had Matt “bunk in” with us because the rooms were ridiculously priced.  (That’s the beauty of me traveling with Dan when he has business….its the same room cost with or without me…..Basically these trips cost us little (my food and any extra nights we add on either at the beginning or the end of the trip!!!)

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Matt, all 6’2″ (or more!!) of him on the super comfortable (NOT) fold out couch.  When we checked in, the guy said he was “upgrading” us for free.  I sure would have hated to see a non-superior room.  NYC hotel rooms are notoriously small.  We spent little time in the room thankfully!

So Wednesday, Dan headed out pretty early for his meeting.  Matt and I hit the streets.  It was drizzly weather so we walked a lot, hailed several cabs, and even took the subway. 

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I would have been hopelessly lost the whole time but Matt has an excellent sense of direction. (definitely inherited that from his dad.  I can’t beat my way out of a paperbag…and neither can Katie!) 

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Self-portrait.  To free up my hands, Matt put my sunglasses on!!!  We were multi-tasking!!!!

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And of course, we went down to the site of the World Trade Center.  I am almost positive all of the people who lost their lives that fated day got up, started their day without a solitary thought that “they might never pass that way again…”

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…and just in case, we did not look enough like stupid tourists, I made a pic of a roach in the subway station.  There are some moments that it becomes apparent that your job in life is to embarrass your kids no matter how old they are!!!

So as we walked lots of rubber off our shoes, went through two cheap umbrellas, went into stores where we couldn’t afford the gift boxes,  rubber-necked at unbelievable sights, etc.etc. AND we LAUGHED!!!!   We went to the box office and got matinee tickets to go see Billy Elliott.  It was a great musical with lots of dance.  I am not sure that Matt would say he loved it, but its my job as his mother to introduce him to theatre!!!!  (just a little late!!!!) 

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We hoofed it more after the play and ended up at Rosie O’Grady’s for dinner that night.  My feet were screaming.  I told Matt I’d give him a quarter to rub my bunions….(definitely an inside family quote…it’s from Christmas Vacation and our family is nerdy enough to quote from that fabulous award winning movie quite a lot!!!)

Back to crash time for me.  Dan was in the room exhausted after a long day.  Matt headed off again to go see the new Michael Jackson movie.  I barely had the energy to brush my teeth.

A good night’s sleep (thanks Ambien!) and we were off again.  Still just walking and talking more than we probably have in all the years since he’s been gone from home!  We tried the TKTS booth at Times Square to get a good price on a play for Thursday night but there wasn’t anything that appealled to both of us.  Dan, friends, and I had seen Jersey Boys in Atlanta  in June but I love it so much that I wanted to see it again and have Matt experience Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons….the music that rocked my teenage heart  forty years ago!!!!

We went to the theatre box office ….there was a cancellation …. there were two seats center stage… rows back…..When she told me the price, I just sort of backed out of the theatre.  Matt was so diplomatic.  He said, “Honestly Mom, I don’t care if we see it or not…It’s up to you and its a lot of money.”  We stood outside for a few minutes and I made a quick decision.  We’d go back in and if the tickets were still available, we’d see it!  Well, it was meant to be…It occurred to me that the chances of us ever being in the city, just the two of us, with such an opportunity would be slim.  In other words,
We may never pass this way again.

We returned to the hotel to change and go with Dan to a cocktail party that was scheduled before his business dinner.  (I felt guilty because I always accompany Dan to those venues and try to be the good smiling, HEY HOW ARE YOU wife….)  But for the three nights Matt was there, I sort of dissed my sweet husband!  But for the cocktail party, we went up several floors at the Rockefeller Center and I have to say it was a beautiful view.  Just behind the terrace level were the beautiful spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  It was sort of a fairy tale venue but Matt and I couldn’t linger long because the beat of the Jersey boys was calling us!

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This picture does not do justice to the beauty of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the background

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No girl should have to choose between two such special men in her life???? 

Came back home…..Too tired again for words.  Laid comatose on the bed until I realized I had to get up, get the boots off my feet, and crawl under the covers.  (The energizer bunny Matt had gone back out to walk around one last time because he was flying out Friday before lunch.)

When Matt left Friday, there was about an hour or two before Dan was through with his meetings.  I walked back down to Times Square, with sunglasses on, tears just streaming down my face…..The time we had together was priceless.  Matt’s almost 27 years old and I just can’t imagine that we will ever have that same experience again!  I was just hit with the nostalgia of all the moments spent with my children, friends, family, that were special because they were there in that moment! 

AND those moments came and perhaps won’t return….not ever least not in the same way.

As Dan had done nothing but work, I wanted to get tickets for us to see something I thought he’d like.  So I purchsed scalper’s tickets for Wicked (the untold story of the witches of Oz) for Friday night.  It was a great musical!  I see why everyone says its a “must see” on Broadway!

 On Saturday we got matinee tickets at the TKTS booth for Oleanna with Julie Stiles and Bill Pulliam. All I can say about that play is this…Thank goodness we got the tickets at a discount and it was only 70 minutes long!!! 

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We had dinner at one of our favorite Atlanta resaurants, McCormick and Schmicks.  How unoriginal are we????? But it was still a good NYC restaurant as well.  Then to cap off the weekend we walked back down to Times Square to see the Halloween revelers!  (I sure missed seeing Charlie the Monkey and Molly Kate, the mouse back at home!!) 

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Daylight come and we wanna go home….day…o….

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yeah, I think this was a costume!!!!

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He might actually look more like MJ than Michael Jackson!!!!

and I want to go on record as saying that we DID not try to get tickets to this!!

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Got up Sunday morning to 35,000 NYC marathon runners all over the city,  I was mostly in awe of the handicapped “runner” who used the long sled three wheelers.  There were lots of them in the lobby of the Hilton.

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And all too soon, it was time to leave.  With the play Wicked still on my mind, I do have to echo the words of Dorothy….”there’s no place like home.”

and my prayer for today is this…

Lord, help me to remember to grab the moments that come, appreciate them more.  Take no days for granted.  Know that all of this is merely a dress rehearsal for what you have planned for me…..and live like I am dying because…

We may never pass this way again.



  1. Looks like yall had a great time. I love New York! And I loved Jersey Boys. Glad you introduced matt to some theater. I hope to do the same with my hubby someday.

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