Sunday, October 17, 2010

What Would I Change?

I came across this blog today. A day when I needed perspective. A day when I allowed complaint to creep into my thoughts. I was teetering on the terrain of taking it for granted. Until I received this reminder to tread lightly there and back up slowly. I quickly remembered the magnitude of my blessings.

This family has shown a valiant faith I am in awe of after losing their 18 month old daughter  While her parents were on a date she was being babysat by her grandparents. Tragically she wandered off and after a desperate search was found barely alive in a canal. She died days later. The recent blog postings chronicle their journey through unimaginable grief. Their strength and faith is truly remarkable.

Oh boy we were having a day today. It was me. I was in a bad mood. For no good reason but everything was bugging me, including dirty diapers and runny noses and crumbs that appeared moments after I vacuumed the floor. I felt drudgerous today and was certainly going through the motions. I didn't want to ask for shoes to be put on one more time. I didn't want to hear all the things rather desired for dinner, I didn't want to wash hair, do bedtime stories or fold laundry. I was in a bad mood. and then I read this post. 

Oh yes, the guilt flowed. My heart ached for this family. My Mother eyes stung with each word and the thought of a life without the very things that I had felt fleeting annoyance at only hours earlier hung over me. How short the time I fold little sleepers and match tiny socks. How quickly passing the nose that is helplessly out of control in the cold without a mother's tissue to intervene.  How blessed I am that I kissed my babies goodnight tonight.
I thought of all the "habits" in our day. So many of them revolving around the children. I cannot bring myself to imagine the ache of arms with no baby to hug at bedtime. I will certainly think of this family in gratitude for reminding me of what is so important.

Shortly after the funeral Ashley was asked if there was anything she would have changed about the time she had with her daughter. She answered take more pictures and slow down.

 I wondered this question. Looking back what would I change, what CAN I change?
I think the two things that come to mind and continue to be a theme in my life of late are "savor" and "be present". I want to be more in the moment with my family and with myself. I want to stop thinking so much of the future and more of the now. I want to be engaged in the moment I am in. I want to listen, feel and enjoy the now of my day. I don't want to absentmindedly "mmm hmmm" Ben in a conversation while I turn the newspaper with one hand and stir a pot with the other. I want to make it count. I want to be able to answer that question one day, upon reflection, with a quick and confident "nothing".


Devry and Chelsey Hymas said...

I also read Ashley's blog. They live about 10 minutes from us, and although I don't know her personally, we share many of the same friends. I have read each post and thought the same things you have. In days of frustration, and impatience I have found myself thinking about her experience, and how I need to change my attitude to enjoy my sweet boy more.

Jane said...

Thanks for posting Jenn! Made me do a lot of thinking....

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