Imagine with me for a moment that your whole life as you know it comes to an abrupt screeching halt. You know the feeling. You are driving in the car with someone and not really paying attention (neither is the driver) when all of a sudden… they slam on the pedal and the car(along with your body) tries to go from 50 mph to 0 instantaneously.
What happens? Your heart starts racing, Your more aware of your surroundings than you have been in a while, You thank Jesus that your alive(and whoever is in the car with you). Bottom line is You are still alive!
I was unfortunate enough to experience a situation in my life like this, head on. You know, the whole “world comes crashing down moments” you think only happens to someone else, and almost always only does. Until it happens to you.
I was however, fortunate enough to be married to an amazing woman who lived with enough sense to prepare me for this moment. She told me she would die before me (she was blunt like that), she told me she wanted me to remarry and have kids(how many wives tell their husbands that), she told me she loved me everyday. I of course denied it all(not the she loved me part) and believed we would all live forever.
When you lose someone who you thought you couldn’t live without, you are in a way in that car that just slammed on its breaks. You were cruising before this. Now… Your stopped. Your hearts destroyed (literally). You are now acutely aware of your surroundings. The change from 50 to 0 is done and over so fast you are in shock and unsure of what to do next. Do you keep driving? Do you get out and say “screw that car!”(because it is obviously the car’s fault) and start walking. Are you someone who pretends like nothing happened (like the guy that hits the curb when turning)?
A moment like that takes seconds, like in a movie, but feels like eternity. But the repercussions are widespread and take time to sort out. BAM… At first all you hear is the rhythmic beating of your heart get louder. Yea your still alive, take it or leave it. Slowly your vision goes from a jumbled blur to clear. As much as you wish the fog was all a dream, it isn’t. You begin to hear voices, once you choose to care enough to listen. Then slowly you start to move.
This isn’t a movie though and you can’t just flash forward and as you step out of the car underneath you in small letters it says two years later.
My wife Rachael died in April 2007. I’ve gone through all of the heart beat, vision, hear, starting to move junk. I experienced a new one recently though. Fondness.
I don’t know how to explain it any other way. I caught myself. It was a new feeling, or one I haven’t had in years. I was thinking of a moment we shared and began to laugh. This may not seem like a big deal. To me it was/is amazing. In that moment I wasn’t sad that she was gone, I wasn’t wishing that things could be different, I was genuinely enjoying and fondly remembering her. It was one of the coolest moments I shared with her(not really with her but…) in almost 5 years.
I am grateful that I can do that. That I can think of her and just remember who she was with a smile on my face.
I don’t live every day wishing I could have her back. I have had to accept she’s gone. I don’t often think about what our life together could have been. I am grateful for what we shared, good and bad. She was literally the anchor of her entire family. She knew something then that I still try to grasp. In life you can’t ever go back(I am sure she wish she could). You can only go forward. She knew that If she was gone, the only way for me to go on…
was to LIVE.
Everyday, to give of myself, to love people I may lose tomorrow, to enjoy the small things of everyday that this life has for me. To forgive others. Not to dwell in the past, but to accept everyday that comes as a gift that isn’t to be taken for granted.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, pick your head up. Look around at your surroundings. Notice the people around you. remember the past fondly.
Your Alive today… so go LIVE!