This is the first time in as long as I can remember that I’ve sat down to write with no real plan or theme or idea of where this is going to end up.
Truth is, I’ve been too busy living and enjoying life, which has resulted in me neglecting to post on here for my two or so avid readers.
Another truth is, I’ve been pushed headfirst into a deep pool of reflection and realization. This push has resulted from hearing about my sister’s dear friend fighting for her life and, of course, the recent tragedy in a Connecticut elementary school.
My mind has been a mess lately – a mess of why’s, and how come’s, trying to understand why things play out like they do sometimes. Struggling to wrap my brain around the fact that lives are ending, way too quickly, for innocent people – children. And then these thoughts spiral me into a mom who wants to wrap her child in a bubble to protect her from all evil… a mom who cannot stop imagining, “what if it would have been her?” A mom who has taken many deep breaths amidst many moments of deep reflection, realizing how much I take life and my innumerable blessings for granted, wondering how I got so lucky to live this life, but also realizing tomorrow is never guaranteed.
And then I wrestle with guilt, guilt that a friend fighting for her life and an elementary school shooting have caused me to take a step back and squeeze every ounce of joy out of each day. I mean, why wasn’t I doing that before? Why did it take such horrendous events to get me to this point?
After talking to many, many people, friends, and family members, it seems as though we’re all in this place of reflection, realization… We’re all counting our blessings, and not sweating the small stuff, because we get to hug our babies at the end of the day. And I’m just hoping we never leave this place – this place of wow, what did I do to deserve all of this joy. Because that’s how it usually works, ya know? Something terrible or scary happens and we all squeeze our loved ones tight and swear we’re not going to take them for granted and then slowly, slowly, slowly… we’re back to losing our patience with our children, stressing over the small stuff, nagging our husbands for throwing their dirty socks on the floor (ya know, when the hamper is two feet away?).
And it’s still okay – to have rough days, to be annoyed when you wait an hour in line for pictures with Santa and their camera breaks (true story), to be frustrated when “the small stuff” happens. But then we’ve got to let it go. Be frustrated, be upset, have your moment… and move on. Because honestly, does it really matter if the socks are on the floor? Or the dishes go undone for another day? Or you have to come back to see Santa when the camera is fixed?
There are people today who’d do anything to have an extra load of laundry and undone dishes if it meant they even HAD a child to take to see Santa twice because the camera broke.
I’m not trying to be all preachy. But I will say that I am a changed person. I’m not proud of the fact that it took tragedy to cause me to look at life differently… but I am hoping like hell that I’ll be strong enough and wise enough to keep this perspective for the rest of my days here.
To my sister’s friend, Amy, keep fighting and find comfort in all of our prayers for you.
God Bless all of the families impacted by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. May you somehow find peace during this tragic time, knowing that an entire nation is mourning with you and praying for you. And may the children and adults who fought for their innocent lives rest in peace.