Life is so short when you really think about it. Who you are is temporary and one day you just won’t exist anymore. All the achievements you think matter, the people you’re angry with, those moments that filled your days. One day you will realize that the words you spoke were the last ones someone ever heard. You never know when it will be the last time.
We had a man we adored. We got his papers every morning and my daughter would leave a flower between the rubber band and the paper. We would always bring in his garbage cans and as he got older I would drive him to his Dr appointments and help him write his checks…his hands were swollen and shaky. I am pretty sure he could write his own checks though, I think he wanted the company. We would sit there until he ran out of stamps filling out checks and talking about his life. I loved doing that. I always made sure he knew we adored him. I always wanted him to feel loved. Every single time we saw him my daughter and I would stop whatever we were doing and run up like he was the best thing in the world. I would always ask if I could do anything for him and he would always say “I could use a new body and a new mind.”
I never ever thought he wouldn’t be here. I always thought we would have a tomorrow but one day a fire truck showed up. Then the police. I texted him over and over begging him to tell me he was ok. I sat outside and waited for the ambulance. When you die they don’t send an ambulance…I didn’t know that. They send a van and you become a body instead of a name. The driver doesn’t care who you were or what you did. His job is simply to take you away. That human who I adored was just taken away. Forever. Gosh I miss him. We still pick up his papers and his light is still on over his desk. I wish I could have held his hand before he died. I wish I could have said goodbye. I hope he knew we loved him.
I think about my life and all its chapters and challenges and I am grateful. I am grateful for being alive. I am grateful that I have been humbled and refined by God. I am grateful for every moment I get with the people I love and I make sure my words and actions show that. I want to treat everyone as if that is my last moment with them. I want them to feel adored. I probably get more out of that than anyone. Maybe it’s selfish. I have not one drop of resentment or anger towards anyone. I choose that. I choose to view everyone as the child they once were and that makes me feel loving towards them. I want to be happy! Now. Regardless of my circumstances or history. That is my gift to myself and to others, to be happy, loving and accepting and to forgive and let go. I wasn’t always that way.
I struggled with anger and pain during many periods of my life. They all stemmed from confusion. I didn’t realize sometimes people would say untrue things to cause conflict. I generally took words spoken at face value because it didn’t occur to me that a person would lie. I would become furious over a story I was told and lash out because it never even once crossed my mind that the individual was making it up for their own benefit. I watched an entire family stop speaking to one another based on the convoluted words of 1 person! That’s a lot of power for 1 person or a lot of weaknesses for those who fell victim…probably both. I tend to dive deeper so I kept trying to figure out the cause of the conflict and that’s when all the pieces fell together. I felt so sad for each individual person who had been targeted and then judged. I felt sad for judging. My realization didn’t leave me angry at the one who started it all, it left me feeling oddly soft. How broken must you be to destroy your own family! That is heartbreaking. Those once children conditioned to be on guard and to preform leaving deeply meaningful relationships virtually impossible. Children who were expected to impress others but not children who were ever cherished. Their worth measured by their accomplishments but never ever their heart or little souls. They actually never really mattered. They never learned to love so they carried bitterness from one generation to the next to the next. Thank God that my immediate family was protected from that bitterness. It is a cancer that spreads and destroys. I’m too rebellious to be bitter…or too empathetic…or both.
I literally stopped being angry the second I got it. I should have realized while I was listening that if someone is speaking horribly about their family members then they are also speaking horribly about you. I remember once asking this person directly to tell me the truth! I was almost yelling. I knew in that moment. I saw everything immediately in that very second and I had to decide whether I was going to be livid or forgiving and God stepped in and transformed not just my mind but also profoundly my heart. I just stopped being angry. Nothing was true. That was going to have to be ok with me. I had no emotional attachment anymore. I had no desire to hurt that person, I actually had the opposite feeling. I would show up and accept them for exactly who they were. They needed that and that could be my final gift to them…it didn’t matter if they deserved it. Until the others saw the same thing I would wait and hope that some day that damage would be erased and if not then I would accept that as well.
God says to love others. Hatred stirs up conflict but love covers up all wrongs. I am so blessed to have been given the gift of clear vision. I see now what is real and true and what is meant for harm. I am so happy to be surrounded by love and so many wildly different types of people. People I could have never dreamed of meeting or knowing. I choose happiness and love and complete forgiveness of both myself and everyone I am involved with. This life is fleeting but you can choose to be brave and strong at any moment. It is so much easier to be happy but it is also a practice like anything important. I am present and open and filled with gratitude.
I give people the grace I expect for myself. I show up. I am the person I wish everyone else would be. I am exactly who I always needed. It is unnatural and uncomfortable to face things head on, to put all your vulnerability on full display and just be ok with the outcome. I want that. I would always rather walk through fire than stay the same. I will meet you where you are today because yesterday doesn’t exist anymore. You only have right now. Tell the ones you love that you love them because before you know it they will be in that van. That person you hate used to be someone that mattered. Well you matter to me. My parents matter to me. My family matters to me and I will always let them know. Thank you God for seeing me before I could see myself.❤