Life is full of moments. My moments of change, happy or sad, remind me. They remind me of the life I had … once upon a time. They remind me of family, they remind me of hope, and they remind me how different things are now. Moments with my kids, whether it be a joyful laugh, the trepidation of change, or their sorrow of loss, pull at my heart. There is always the lingering “what if?” There is always that sense that something is missing, that we are not whole.
In the final years of my time with my husband, I felt so blessed. I felt so grateful. Not just because of how our life was going, but because in the moment, I could see it. I could recognize that it was a moment. It was a time to be grateful. Those times that are so ordinary, yet so joyful. Sitting together, holding hands, sharing time with our children. I was so grateful. I still am grateful for all of that. I am so grateful for our children and the opportunity to have them in my life. I am also so sad sometimes that Dave is not here to share them. I am so sad that my kids have these moments in life that are so great and then, they remember. They remember that Dad is gone. They remember they want to hug him, hear his voice, be in his physical presence. Fleeting moments of joy tinted with sorrow. I don’t know if I am grateful that their childhood will have these types of moments, but I know that this is it, and this is how we live.
There is a new type of moment that comes along with this grief. The moments when I realize I have balanced something, or done something I haven’t done in a long time because I didn’t want to be sad … and the moment when I realize I could do it and not be sad … even be joyful. Then I am grateful again. I have had a new moment. I have moved another step toward who I am to become, and another step away from who I was. I have survived another thing … and am moving toward thriving, not just surviving.
So, in those fleeting moments when the air is sucked out of me and the pain of loss feels like it did when the loss was new, I will be grateful. I will be grateful that I can still feel. I will be grateful for love that moved me to laughter and tears. I will be grateful that I have this life and was lucky enough to experience love and gratitude. I will be hopeful for another fleeting moment of hope.