This month has been a whirlwind. A whirlwind of emotions, a whirlwind of travel…
It began with some of the biggest joys life has to offer. I was blessed to attend the wedding of one of my niece’s and a first birthday celebration of another. The wedding was probably one of the the most stunning I’ve seen, even though(or probably especially because) it was an intimate ceremony held at her home that overlooks a lake. They did just about everything on their own, and never lost sight about what it was all about. Were we to have had our wedding, that is what I would have hoped for: Close family and friends celebrating our love together.
The next day was the birthday party. Like the wedding, it was a small family gathering. It was so nice to catch up with parts of our family we don’t get to see as often as we would like.
One week later, our family was hurting. My nephew, Miles, passed away at the age of 20. He was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at a young age, and we were originally told that he likely wouldn’t live beyond the age of 12-13. Although we knew that his time with us would be shorter than we all wanted, we were so blessed to have had him in our lives for as long as we did. He lived and accomplished so much more than was expected by the medical community, and what many of us ever do. His memorial service was filled with laughter and tears, and it was wonderful to see the lives he had touched in his short time here.
Our next visit up north, while for a happy occasion, was bittersweet. We were there to celebrate my dad’s 76th birthday, and my son’s 1st birthday. I wish Miles had been there, he was definitely missed. However, I think happy celebrations are therapeutic, and are a great way to help heal the hurt.
There are many ups and downs in life, and this month represented so many of them. Celebrations of our young children and of our older generation, the recognition of love and all of its promises, and yes, the loss that inevitably comes amidst these happy times.
We will hurt. That, too, is inevitable. However, we must also hold tightly to our family and friends and cherish those good times. Even after we lose someone so special in our lives, we will have those memories to soften the pain as we figure out our new normal. While you eventually move on from much of the hurt, you never truly get over someone leaving your life. I believe the only way for that to happen, is to have no memory of them. At all.
And really, which is the worse life?
I prefer to hold onto, and remember, the good times. But not at the expense of not remembering the bad. We need all of it. After all, all of these experiences make us who we are. The beauty, the joy, and the sadness.