Last week a dear family friend passed away. She was very close friend of my sister-in-law and brother. She was diagnosed with cancer over a year ago and fought a courageous battle for her life. She was my age. A mother of twin 4 year old boys…she could be me or any other mom out there. This hit home for me.
The fact that death is so definite has always been real in my life. Pre-motherhood I never “feared” death. It was just a fact of life, something that happens to everyone. However, once I became a mom I had it looming in my thoughts. “I Can’t Die” who will take care of my children like I do. Who will dress them?? Who will teach my daughter how to put on make-up or what do when a boy likes her…Who would be there to advocate for my son’s need or teach him how to talk to the girl he likes. I know my husband would do all of this and more but the thought of not being there was something I didn’t want to think about. The fact is for a while it was the very thing that often crept into my thoughts. I would share it with my husband. I would try to fill my five year old daughter with all of this knowledge I wanted her to know. I was doing everything in my “power” to “cure” my son’s Autism. I was consumed with getting everything in order before I died. So here I was living my life waiting to die. I have to tell you not that’s not the best way to live your life. It was an extreme amount of pressure on my family and myself.
The sad part is I didn’t even realize how much this consumed me until I had my “Aha” moment during a workshop I was taking. It hit me like a ton of bricks!! What was I doing to my poor husband and kids? What was I doing to myself? Yes, guess what I am going to die one day, but right now I am LIVING my life. I am choosing to enjoy everything and then some!!! I am taking the pressure off and loving my life in the process.
My “Aha” moment came full circle when I was attending the wake of our family friend. I was so sad and heartbroken for her family. It was my greatest fear for myself ; dying and leaving my two children without a mom came true for someone else. I was dreading going into the funeral home but what I found was so profound to me. When I arrived there I saw so many people waiting outside. I realized that there was a line of people waiting to get in to pay their respects and say goodbye. Instead of feeling sad I was overcome with a feeling of serenity. This was a testament to her life!! It took over an hour of waiting on line just to enter the room. I just kept thinking everyone of these people were touched by her in some way. Her life was cut way too short but look at all she did. She must have Lived her Best Life and all those people were the proof.
Today I choose to wake up everyday and thank God for my life. I choose to have faith instead of fear. I look into the eyes of my children and know I am so blessed to be a Mom. I am Living my Best Life by choosing to be Joyful, Loving and Grateful everyday!!