My whole world was taken away in a few short days, one weekend, that is all it takes for your life to be taken away from you, the earth simply moved in a certain way that caused my life to be washed away.
It was Daniel’s birthday weekend and we had made plans to drive up the coast and visit the vineyards, something we had always wanted to do together. I took the weekend off from the campaign trail to devote all my time to Daniel. Friday afternoon after the press conference we hoped in our SUV and headed north for our weekend together.
Daniel made a mix tape of his favorite songs that reminded him of when we were still dating in college. Thinking about those years now seems like it was just yesterday. The four hour drive gave me plenty of time to reflect on the years that we have spent together, our beautiful wedding, and what a great husband he has become by supporting me fully in my political endeavors.
Halfway through our drive on of my favorite Counting Crows came blaring through our new car speakers. “A long December and there’s reason to believe that maybe this year will better than the last…” All I could think at this point was soon the campaign will be over and I can go back to my daily Chief of Staff duties and the senator will be back in Washington. I will finally have my husband back instead of crappy coffee and dull sandwiches on the campaign trail.
When we arrived at the vineyard we were shown to our gorgeous suite, apparently Daniel had gone behind my back and upgraded our room, it’s the little things that make me love him even more.
Daniel and I decided to take a walk that afternoon around the vineyard. The grounds were absolutely gorgeous, rolling hills and a continuous ocean breeze from the pacific. I hadn’t felt that happy in a very long time. After our adventure we walked back down the hill to the vineyard for dinner. When we walked into the restaurant at the vineyard I was surprised by my entire family, Daniels family as well.
Daniel hugs me harder than ever before and says “Surprise!!!! Babe, you have had a very long couple of months and I knew how much you missed your family.”
“But Daniel, this is your birthday weekend, this party should be for you, not for me to see my family…” he cut me off like he always does “Gracie, this weekend, this moment, is about the love of my life, age is so insignificant, as long as you are happy, I am happy.”
It was great to see my family and spend time with them. Of course like all Italians do we dragged dinner on for a good 4 hours, bottle of wine after bottle of wine. Before we knew it, it was 2am. Daniel scooped me up and carried me to our suite, just like he did on our honeymoon.
The next morning I woke up with a headache that reminisced the ones I would get the morning after a frat party in college. Daniel was still sleeping and I did not want to wake him, so as quietly as I could I put on my work out clothes and headed outside to catch from fresh air. I left Daniel a note “Daniel, my love, you looked so peaceful sleeping I did not want to wake the birthday boy, I am going for a run, I should be back in about an hour, I will meet everyone on the beach for breakfast. Love You xoxo.”
The morning fresh air was the perfect cure for my college style headache. When I finally reached the top of the hills, I found a nice patch of grass and laid down and put on Daniels mixtape on my iPod, laying there for a while just listening to these songs that brought me right back to why I love my husband.
After about an hour I stood up and in the distance I could see little figures of people down a ways on the beach. I wish they could see me, this happy, and what seemed to be on top of the world.
All of a sudden I see the lines of grapes begin to look distorted. I started saying to myself “I must be going crazy, there is no way the grapes are moving.” Before I knew it the houses that lined that lined the vineyard began to move as well. They were all heading in the direction of the cliff, which lead right down to the beach.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” I began to scream, no one of course could hear me.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, DANIEL! MOM! DAD! EVERYONE FIND SHELTER” I contemplated running down the hills but by the time I got down to the cliffs it would be to late.
I paced back and forth trying to figure out a plan. “WHY DIDN’T I BRING MY CELL PHONE” I began to scream at the top of my lungs.
Within minutes the grapes were toppling over the cliffs and down onto the beach. I laid down on top of the hills and replayed Daniel’s playlist for hours.
“A long December and there’s reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last. I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass.”