Don't Disregard This Day
Pain Teaches Much
I'm here. I've survived almost two years after the fact. What fact? My child's demise.
She lived a richer life than most, or at least many. Filled with drama and excitement, challenges and the inspiration to face whatever came her way, in her journey she taught me well.
Who would have thought? Parent's don't often contemplate the lessons they learn at the hands of their children. Well. Maybe sometimes we do. Thing is: we think we know so much already we might not think about learning from them until the lesson slaps us upside the head.
Life lessons are tougher lessons to learn than normal lessons, as in studies at elementary school and high school, where we can hope to research a subject until we find the answers we're looking for; but, life lessons don't grant us the option of reaching out to grab a book describing how circumstances have the power to change perspectives. Do they?
Well. Actually they do. Biographies do. True life accounts of the struggles, challenges, details and dialogues outlining the situations imposed on a person, who may have been an unwilling participant (at least quite often), but who, without question, stood up to meet the unexpected test with shrewdness and passion, commitment and sometimes even tenacity, although that may not have been the actual objective at the time. These are the accounts that occasionally have the capacity to change us forever, or at least to broaden our frame of reference.
So what did I learn? You may be asking. What prompted me to begin writing at HubPages again, after more than two years?
Life I guess. The fact that I am here. I have survived my child's death, and two years later I know so much more about living than ever I thought I did.
Shall I call myself wiser? No. Never that.
Shall I call myself more reasonable? Perhaps I could. Would I though?
Death teaches so much, and I've already lost so many people I love. The stream of deaths around me flowed so freely for a while, I considered numbness my sidekick. My mother was the first impacting loss, leaving me feeling stripped naked down one side, followed by my father, whose death made the sense of nakedness complete. My sister died next, leaving me with one sibling and a host of fears that I didn't want to face. Yet, somehow I moved forward without a break in my stride; and I never noticed that rhythm, so much a part of who I was, remained unbroken.
I cannot tell.
Do I want to explain what I learned from their deaths? No. There are no words that can express the depth of sorrow, or the agony a person experiences during a heartfelt loss. The death of a loved one cannot be measured by the number of tears shed day after day, month after month, year after year. The death of loved one is not something weighed like fruit on scale or a quota on a financial statement. Instead, it hovers near but not close enough to touch, intangible like a shadow, heavy, dark yet empty. The death of loved one scars the soul and cries in places where tears do not exist and shouts have no voice.
Then how does a person learn? After all, none of those details specify the title or subtitles I've included here. I cannot tell.
If I tried I would be stealing from you the innocence of not having lost a loved one, the pure unadulterated joy of having those you cherish within your reach. I would be tearing into your thoughts with melancholy declarations that you might not actually experience, since you are not me, or that you don't need to know exist, since you will know when you have no choice, the hard way.
The thing is, I wrote this "hub" because I wanted to let you know that more than anything else, this day is a valuable day, even if it was filled with outrageous situations, unbelievable turns of event, unnecessary difficulties, unwarranted challenges, baseless threats, vile interruptions and/or indescribable revulsion(s)...
Believe it or not: if you are still alive, breathing, able to use your mind, and sense the pulse within your heart... if you are capable of detaching yourself from the angst that threatens to consume you as a result of whatever challenge that you have been forced to endure, then...
Only then will you learn what this valuable day meant for your to learn. A tough lesson, a good lesson, a simple lesson, a valuable lesson. Everyday has at least one relevant lesson trapped within its confines. We may not see the lesson as a treasure in the jewel box. We may not appreciate having had to learn the lesson. We may even see ourselves as the teacher in the scenario rather than the student... really. Really?
My child died. I prayed she wouldn't. I fasted. I stayed beside her. I tended to her every need, provided her every 'want' (in as much as she was able to want). I did everything humanly possible to try keeping her here, with me. She died anyway. Just like I will one day.
However, of all the deaths that I experienced, all the losses I was forced to face, hers was the one that has taught me the most. Hers is the one that niggles at my insides every second of every minute of every hour of every day since. Hers is the one that has me bound in cords of sentiments I have not easily shared with anyone properly. Hers is the death that struck a bottle breaking blow to the border of my heart and the blueprint of my brain.
Why? Because I'm human. Because I am a mother. Because I was involuntarily constrained in a circumstance that altered everything I am, everything I think, everything I know and everything I want to learn.
She left this earth, but her leaving taught me more about life than ever I thought I could absorb. Life is more precious than gold. Life is worth more than its weight in diamonds. Life is more meaningful than words can convey. Life is well... a most underestimated gift... from God.
Yes. God. The God Who Gave us life and Who takes it back when the appointment must be kept. The God Who has a purpose for everything, and everyone. The God Who Heals brokenness even when it feels like the shattered fragments have all been lost. The God Who is able to answer all the questions we have about, 'why', but shouldn't have to, because HE WILLINGLY DIED, so that we could LIVE.
She's not gone. I will see her again. Until then, I continue learning. The lessons have more significance now than every before. I pay greater attention. I look for the surface meaning and then dig to figure out the underlying truths buried deeper. I have met a new, more pregnant challenge after I traveled with her toward the final hours of her last race.
I will never take life for granted again. I will never take Jesus for granted again. I understand the pain of our Heavenly Father Who Gave the punishment for my sins to His Son, in order to make a way for me to recover in relationship with Him. I see Him more clearly now than ever I did. I recognize the heartrending desire for Him to see each and every person on this earth reconciled to Him before the appointment with death meets the appointee.
I never want to see the day when someone I love enters eternity without Him. Because if ever I do, then that individual will be forever gone. Whereto? Nowhere I want to go.
I urge you not to take your life for granted, nor the lives of the people around you, the people you love and especially those you don't. Why? Because that other life may have an attachment to yours you do not know exists. The life of that friend, neighbour, relative or stranger is a reflection of how you look to them.
Complicated? Curious? Entangled? Rich? Precious? Life is.
Don't disregard this day or the life lessons wrapped up in invisible gift wrap, waiting to be unraveled, waiting to be explored. Open your eyes. Take in the details. You never know... the next moment of your day may be the one to change everything. If not, then rejoice that you have one more lavish "present" to enjoy.