I saw a post on social media early this morning~ My friend had missed her niece's wedding due to concerns about exposure to "THE VIRUS". She has health risks that puts her in the category of those who need to avoid infection. To add insult to injury, the live stream of the wedding went down before she could catch a glimpse of her beautiful niece walking down the aisle. Another stolen moment-thanks to "THE VIRUS". WHAT a disappointment, and how can we possibly take away any good from this loss?
As the months of the year of "THE VIRUS" have slowly passed by, it is easy to become mired in the deep well of What I am missing? .
In an abundance of caution, I have limited exposure as much as possible, but I am weary-most of us are weary- of feeling life is slipping by. What moments of great importance are being stolen as the days whirl by waiting for a vaccine, a cure, or any glimmer that this will soon be over?
As I thought through this, I remembered, there have been stolen moments in my life due to other circumstances. My father died when I was 14~I really barely knew who he was because your emotional intelligence level is low for most of us as children. I missed those moments of figuring out just who he was. I am left to fill in the gaps by what I am told, what I can remember, and what I hoped was truth. A lifetime of moments were stolen by his early passing.
I missed some of the firsts with my children, because I always worked. Their sweet babysitters were sometimes the ones to witness those firsts. I have to consciously set aside "mother guilt" and remind myself, others- who were stay at home moms, also missed some of the firsts due to different circumstances. Unless you glue yourself to their sides 24/7, you will miss some of those firsts. Some of the firsts, I really am glad I missed, such as the first time they decided to climb on the roof and jump down to the trampoline (OH THE JOY OF RAISING BOYS).
As I have watched my children raise their children--the precious grands--I realize how many stolen moments of joy were sacrificed by me in the quest to have it all together. OH, my house was clean, the clothes were washed and put away, food was on the table, but what moments of fun and play were stolen with the quest to appear as if I had it together. I am happy to say, my children have not made that same mistake~they realize what is most important.
It is easy to become bogged down in regret, when we make a choice to mourn and dwell on what we feel has been stolen from us or lost in the shuffle. The post, I alluded to in the first paragraph, also contained a testament to all the moments of joy she had not missed when watching her niece grow up. As I thought this over, I realized we have a clear choice of how we react to stolen or lost moments~we can allow those moments to take the lead in our thoughts, or we can mourn them and turn back to those joy filled moments we did experience. We get to choose where our mind goes when we reflect on our lives. Am I going to allow the few years which have been REALLY DIFFICULT to become the benchmarks of my life or am I going to remember the MANY REALLY GREAT years and be thankful.
YES, we can all agree 2020 has been tough--one of the toughest for our generation. Yesterday, I shared with two young friends what my mother and daddy's life looked like during WW II. All the men had marched off to war, and they were not only separated for long periods of time, but also had to experience all the difficult moments during that time alone. I can truthfully tell you, neither parent spent a great deal of time dwelling on those years. We certainly heard some of the stories, but it did not take center stage in their lives.
My friends who served in Viet Nam witnessed horrors beyond our imagination. They will tell you bits and pieces of those years, but they do not take center stage in their life journey. Instead they speak of the good years of marriage, children, and relationships, fun trips, great adventures, and lives well lived.
SO as we near the end of this year, it will certainly go down in the history books. We will stop and remember those we lost, those who were extremely ill, and the economic consequences of all that has happened, but it will not be the only story to come out of this year. I, for one, had a new grandson born during this time. There are people experiencing high moments of life during 2020, just as "The Virus" has been a low.
What am I trying to say---
Stay in the moment
Do not live in regret
Relish the good moments
Mourn and move forward from those lost and stolen moments
Look toward the future with the promised hope of better days.