Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Heavier Part of Life

I've been thinking about life a lot lately. There is so much good but there is also so much sad. I think about mortality and the unknown. I have no idea how long I’ll be here. How long God has given me. But this has been weighing so heavily on my heart lately that I have to write about it. I remember one day earlier this year, I was on my way to work when I passed a horrible accident on the opposite side of the road involving a tractor trailer. It really shook me up. About a week and a half later, I lost my Mom.

The reality of life and more so the reality of death hit me like a brick. I will never forget the way it felt to watch my mother take her final breath. Never. To listen to the medical examiner give her official time of death. To meet with the Funeral Director to plan her funeral. It was so final. And so real.

And the truth is, people lose their lives everyday. People I’ve never met before.

Many of you may already know that I visit my Mom’s grave every weekend. I know she is no longer there. But to me, visiting the cemetery allows me to think. It’s where I get most of my reflecting done. I sit or walk or stand and just think about the full spectrum of life. I have, in a sense, gotten to “know” the other people who come to visit. I can tell they are visiting their late wives or sons.

I look out at the headstones and know that every one of these people had a story, a family, a life they lived however long or short.

The spot next to my mom’s grave belongs to a boy who was my age. We were born the same year. I’ve seen who I’m assuming was his mother there a few times. He passed away just a month before my mother. My heart breaks for him. There is another boy two rows up who went to high school right up the street but never even got the chance to graduate because he got into a car with someone under the influence. And the boy diagonal from him who was 26, my age, when he was killed in a car accident.

That’s three guys my age or not much younger than me who are right there around my mom’s grave. And there are hundreds more headstones in just that one cemetery alone. Every time I go there, I remind myself to live for those three guys I never got to meet. To not only chase my dreams but make them happen. To marry my true love. To raise a strong, loving family. To hold my grandchildren one day. I PRAY so hard that I will have the chance to live a life that full, as my Mom did.

Yesterday, again on the way to work, I saw a horrific scene as soon as I entered onto the freeway. Traffic in the opposing lanes was completely stopped and there were more vehicles with flashing lights than I could count. I saw a Penske truck and a sedan. The sedan was completely mangled in the front. My brother takes that route to work everyday and I texted him. He was safe but had been stuck in the back-up for nearly two hours. I thanked God that he was safe.

I later found out that a man had gotten out of the Penske truck and was around the back of it when a car slammed into him at full speed. As I write this, he is in critical condition. I don’t know who he is, where he was moving to, or how he is now but please pray. Pray for all of those people struggling to hang on to this precious gift of life. And please, let us not ever take a single second for granted.

Between the shootings that have occurred recently in Colorado and Wisconsin, all the violence throughout the world, and the innocent lives lost right here in my community, my heart just breaks. It's a constant reminder of this being our one life to live. Live it wisely. Live it fully.

A post to follow will cover the happier times of life :)


Ashley @ The Sweet Life said...

Nothing like tears and being thankful with your morning cup of coffee. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful and to be aware of each and every day.

Ash said...

this is beautiful and so honest and raw. big hugs to you, friend... and may you live YOUR life exactly how you want to (:

oh hell, another big hug to you (with an extra long squeeze at the end)


Claire Kiefer said...

I found this post of yours at the perfect time--my grandma just passed away this morning. She was in Georgia with the rest of my family, and I'm in California (where I live). I have a ticket to go home on Monday--my purpose was to spend time with her--and I hate that she couldn't have made it just 5 more days.

What you're saying is so true: we never know when it's going to happen, to whom, under what circumstances. And it's so wise to note that the only thing we can do is life life purposefully every day.

I can't imagine how hard it must have been to lose your mom. Sending all kinds of love and bravery and peace your way.

Danielle said...

Thank you for this. Yesterday there was a fatal crash on one of the main streets by my house, a lady hit a semi head on and passed away. The street was shut down in all directions.

Its scary to not know when something may happen to someone. It's a good reminder to live life to the fullest.

Haley W. said...

Thank you for this!! I've been so stressed the past few weeks over things that shouldn't have even been given a second thought and this is just what I needed to remind me of all that I have to be grateful for. When I visit my mom's grave I often find myself wandering the rows and wondering the same things as you. It's always eye-opening and a constant reminder that, like you said, we only have one life and no one knows when it will be over. Thanks again for this, and for always being such an inspiration!