(I lost my loving Aunt Irma today and I found comfort in these words I wrote way-back-when that offers perspective with my sadness.)
“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”
This is much along the same vein of what I’ve been asking you to continue to be aware of.
I want you to think about the following and it’s not at all intended to distress you but give you a measure of appreciation of our lives now and some insight to how we should view the life ahead of us so that we don’t immerse ourselves in challenges that inevitably and unpredictably will confront us (I’m older so I speak from experience).
There are few absolutes in life but the most basic is that once we enter this life, we will some day have to leave it. No need to focus on these particulars other than to recognize that the importance is not the beginning or the end but rather the quality, not the duration, of the “in between”. Don’t rely on the concept of “life expectancy” measurements because as we are constantly reminded through personal and global events, tragedy has a different definition of equality.
So what do we do? Actually not much more beyond what we are doing now, or what we already know. If having a problem with the first, trust your instincts on the second while factoring the absolutes above as you go through each day. I really want you to invest in this life and use your senses to be aware that there exists a pulse not only in you, but that there is also an almost musical rhythm to everything around you. This is not some theological BS I’ve created in my mind but something I’ve grown to be increasingly aware of through not only the patently obvious, but what was once imperceptible to me. I know, maybe just an imaginary complication of my brain injury but what if I’m right?
So get to the point Dad! We all know that even the best laid plans somehow get ousted in the execution. Sometimes things occur when we never intended for their development. Maybe your steadfast dreams temporarily feel like nightmares. Here’s the best I can offer.
If you feel lonely, it’s not the same as being alone and regardless there is always someone there if you open your eyes. Some things just don’t matter but always remember that you matter, especially to me. When you start falling deeply into despair, reach up your hand because their will be another one lowered to raise you up, even though it may be an anonymous one. If your heart feels broken, at least you know it’s there and can be repaired. If you are too tired to run forward, rest and/or slow down but don’t go in reverse since only what’s ahead will help widen your growth.
If you lose something important to you, don’t get lost by its absence because at least you had it at some point to appreciate its importance.
Case in point: I kind of knew that I would lose my parents but I never envisioned that it would happen in the course of a ten-month period. I dealt with it initially in what kind of worked in the short-term through denial and distraction but it took me a lot of time to realize that my prolonged and underground grief extended well beyond what my parents would have wanted for me. I had them, I’m grateful to have had them, and I miss them – what more is there for me to dwell on? However by knowing them and what they shared with me, I grew to understand that they would not have wanted me to torment myself about the time I can no longer have with them, at least during this part of my existence. Now when I shed a tear because of them, it’s only because you boys never got to meet them which is why I share so much about them with you.
Almost at the end! When you feel happy for whatever reason, remember how different it feels compared with other emotions and that it’s probably your best opportunity to make a difference to help others (whether family, friends, or strangers) when surrounded by small opportunities to do so (see beginning quote). Since we all have known similar emotions of feeling depressed or despair, then maybe the smallest kind gesture may have an impact. We all know the obvious signs or clues, and it’s not important to know the why, what, solution, or response in return. It’s only important that we as human beings caught in the same environment react to such an opportunity and do more than just share space in it.
Another absolute: God may be the first to love you and likely the last but I find it hard to fathom that He can love all of you more than I do when I think about you, and more so as I end writing this!