Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In Only Takes a Moment

Each of us wakes up every morning completely unaware of where the day may take us.  We have a general idea of the events that lie ahead, but it’s the unknown that can surprise us.  In a way, this is good.  Do we really want to know what our life has in store for us every single moment?  What would life feel like without the unknown? 
As I write this, I take a look around my kitchen and let my eyes rest on the changes, big and small, that have taken over my life.  I see a house, a ranch nonetheless, in a neighborhood that two years ago, I didn’t even know existed.  I see furniture, new to my eyes, resting next to toys that were recently played with by little hands that also didn’t exist two years ago.  I too see items that are as familiar as my own reflection:  A treasured hutch, an overpriced flat screen, a refinished coffee table, a stray cat with the longest tale I’ve ever seen and an overweight dog sleeping on top of an oversized couch.  These are remnants of a life that used to be and memorials to a life that could have been.  They are constants and offer comfort and stability to a life that can sometimes change too quickly.
You never know where an hour, a day or a year will take you.  Tomorrow you could win the lottery, pay off your house and buy a new car (I suggest a BMW X3).   Next week you might find out you’re pregnant and expecting a bundle of life changing joy in a little over 9 months.  In a year you may find yourself divorced, married, single or widowed.   Personally, my status changed from childless to pregnant in a minute.  It took a day to go from married to widowed and in a week I gave away half of my pets (that’s 2/4).  In a little over a year I found myself no longer living in an urban Victorian, but instead habituating in a two bedroom ranch.  I’ve been quoted saying I’d never give away a pet because it would be giving up on a commitment I had promised to keep.  I’ve also adamantly proclaimed my hatred towards ranch houses, refusing to even consider them.  And single motherhood?  No, that would never happen to me, I’m much too careful.  All of these things I confidently said never to, yet all of them happened and they happened quite quickly.  What’s ironic is, I love my little ranch.  It’s full of light, the flow is great and it’s a wonderful and safe place to raise Marley.  I love my quiet neighborhood where kids play outside all day, neighbors know each others’ names and traffic is almost nonexistent.  I cannot believe I used to love living in a house with no closets, two staircases and a busy street out front.  As for Brady and Bugs, the pets I sent to loving homes, I very rarely think about them.  Honestly, I find myself more often thinking about sending Blotter and Benny to the same home.  These are just a few examples of the unexpected paths life can take.  What I’ve learned is to never say never and to appreciate every minute of my day.  I’ve also learned to slow down and take in the moments around me, whether big or small.  Every second of our life is important because it might just be the second that leads to an extraordinary change.  Most importantly, I’ve learned to not fear these changes.  Life has a peculiar way of working out and as long as we are honest with ourselves, healthy in mind, body and heart, we have the ability to ride out the storms, relax in the calm and enjoy the festivities.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A New Direction

          It’s been many weeks since I’ve last blogged, partly due to a busy and hectic schedule of raising Marley, but mostly because the heavy weight pressing down on my heart has lifted (plus my laptop has been broken).  I started this blog to allow my friends and family a glimpse into my grieving and healing process, but also to guide myself through reflection and towards a comfortable center.   As you’ve all read, there have been many ups and downs throughout this journey, twists, turns, triumphs and plummets.  I’ve worked tirelessly over the last 21 months to rebuild the life that was so quickly shattered into a million pieces.  Navigated my way through this storm was a personal challenge of a magnitude I thought I’d never be faced with.  Luckily, strength and perseverance have fought their way to the top and have helped greatly with this fight.  In many ways I feel like a marathon runner, crossing the finish line and breaking the tape with her outstretched chest;  proud of her accomplishment, victorious over her win and exhausted from her journey.  Like the runner, I can look back on my race and calculate my decisions and promise the next race to be even better.
          Today is July 12, 2012.  It’s been one year, nine months and two days since I’ve been Ryan’s wife.  Today I am strong, I am reflective and I am happy.  I’ve learned how short life can be as well as how painful.  I take nothing for granted, never sweat the small stuff and always choose my words very carefully.  I’ve learned to appreciate every aspect of my life no matter how trivial because I am lucky enough to be here experiencing it.  What if today was the last day of your life?  What if tomorrow your family was ripped apart, a loved one stripped from you?  Would you want your last memory to be surrounded by an argument over who has to do the dishes or get up with the baby?  Would you want your last feeling to be anger because the driver in front of you was moving too slow?  Bad things can and will happen in life, we must accept that this is out of our control.  What we can do however is work to not let the things we can’t control, control us.  We can remind ourselves to look on the positive side, savor the small moments, speak to each other kindly and never take for granted what we are lucky enough to have.  Take it from someone who knows, we are only given one life and with this life comes ample amounts of happiness and beauty.  I personally refuse to let any of this pass me by and will walk through my life with eyes and heart wide open.   I guess what I’m saying is, I choose to be happy, to smile, to take in my surroundings and to walk good.  I hope my writing can inspire you to do the same and help you to always remember to live the life you love and love the life you live – you only get one chance, never forget that.