Do you ever reflect on your life – the past and the present – wishing if only you could freeze time?
A friend of ours recently passed away. He was 47, a year younger than I am right now. My heart wrenches for his wife and his two young daughters. I immediately thought of the missed proms, the missed graduations, the missed walks down the aisle.
Gone too soon, there is no salve equal to that grief.
But more than anything, I can’t help but think about that year. I thought about what he would miss in that year that separates the life I’ve gotten to see, and the life he was denied.
Life for me has sped up this past year to an almost unfathomable clip. I knew it would be temporary, all part of the launch of a bestselling book and a massive shift in career focus into full time speaking. They say you get out what you put in, and I knew I had to put in my all.
But over the past 24 hours, my heart has shifted from the Made-for-Hollywood montage of tear-jerking future mirages to those tiny, almost insignificant, easy to miss bits of daily beauty. I thought about watching my younger son — from ten feet back, because I’m not even trying to pretend that I’m the Cool Mom — march in four-inch iridescent platforms, arms locked with friends, down the entirety of Boston’s five-mile Pride Parade, feeling every bit happy and home with who he is. I thought about when I turned back — you should never turn back — to see my elder son sitting on the tent platform at camp, looking out on the lake and beaming a smile that could like a thousand planets, knowing he was in his happy place. I’ve heard an echo in my head every “I love you, Mom.” I’ve felt the rumble of the tumbling hooves down the stairs as the aroma of dinner broke the airspace of the second floor. I’ve seen a rotating carousel of every sly smile, every shared inside joke, every silly noodle slurping picture, every mutual eye roll.
I’ve often wondered, during this past year — and really every day in identity-shaking waves of doubt since these kids were born — if I was present enough, smart enough, perfect enough. And, here’s where I am right now: I’m not. And that’s okay.
I can’t freeze time, but as long as I’m still noticing and reveling in these little gifts that fall like random sunshowers into our daily monotony, I’m exactly where I should be.
And, you are, too