I am only 45 years old and have suffered some losses that are somewhat unimaginable for someone my age.
The first real loss I had was as a young teen. My most beloved Great-Grandma passed away. Although still quite young, I felt her loss probably more than any of my cousins or even my brothers can feel to this day.
She was a story teller and told me stories that were probably so far-fetched that most people would not believe them. Yet, all of them...true. She was a well-know member of her community, a former school teacher, a person who helped the poor during the depression and a real true to life, suffragist.
I admired her.
My second real loss came when I was in my early 20's.
A boy, whom was a crush when I was in grade school and whom later I would go on a retreat with, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. When this happened, I traveled back to his funeral. There were kids I had gone to grade school with but had not seen for years. There were also his parents, crushed under the weight of losing a son and also seeing us, his classmates who come to say our goodbyes.
It was surreal for me because in all honesty, it was the first time that I truly realized that life was short and age really meant nothing for such a thing.
After that, life moved forward as it always does. At this same time, I suffered a devastating divorce and worse yet massive depression that followed. I also suffered the loss of one of my very best friends to a tragic accident, another Great-Grandma, and my Grandpa.
I would also suffer the loss of my home and my things, not once but twice. Some things, precious mementos that I can never get back.
I also suffered the loss of a teen. This teen was best friend to my daughter and her friends. His was one of smiles and laughter. However, under his laughter was hurt. He took his own life. This was the second time, I came to know that the passing of another knew no age. My children lost in their own pains was so much to handle.
I would not discover how badly I had depression until I was into my 30's but it crippled me in such a way that it affected everyone around me. The fact remains even to this day, there are periods of that time of my life that I do not remember. I have blanked them out. This is painful because that was also the time my children were little. It is painful to admit but true. I simply do not remember.
It took a good friend to tell me the truth.
Not long after that I would physically suffer the complete loss of my hearing. I do not know how this happened as the doctors could only say, it was a freak thing. I have only regained 5% of my hearing and even that at times, I am not so sure.
Two years ago, I lost my Grandma and my Dad within two months of each other. Both of their losses have had a profound affect on me in very different ways.
My Grandma, my hero, I miss so much sometimes I ache. She being the matriarch of our family. She constantly reminded us to be strong, be who you are and enjoy life no matter what comes.
She kept us together and now...we are...apart in so many ways.
My Dad and I. Oh, so many years of anger and hurt with him. I have mentioned this before in passing and yet, the last 6 months of his life were bliss for me. His loss brought me some regret but it has also brought me memories...good memories...long forgotten.
At this same time, my nephew would be diagnosed with leukemia, my aunt dealing with breast cancer,and even most recent, my ex-husband too diagnosed with leukemia.
Here I am, two years later.
It seems from all that I have written here I have had nothing but tragedy. That is far from the truth.
I have had many, many more things outweigh those things that have not been so great.
However, I write them today for a couple of reasons.
First, I have come to understand that no matter what life has thrown at me, there is always lessons to be learned. Those lessons may not make sense at the time that I am in the muck of them but there is a lesson, I just must look for it.
Secondly, there is ALWAYS someone in a much more dire situation than yourself.
This right here is where it all comes down to your indulgence of my dribble today.
In all the tragedy, of things, I learned that:
Life is precious and to enjoy it for what it is.
Things are just things that can be replaced.
Everyone has something to teach you, no matter what their age.
Forgiveness is divine and to forgive as quickly as you can.
Laughter is sometimes the best medicine.
A hug can cure many things.
Belief in a higher power (no matter what that "power" is) is essential.
Life can and will change to something better.
Family is EVERYTHING!
Most importantly, be grateful for every single moment that you have and indulge in them as much as you can because once they are gone, they are gone.
Today, I am grateful for all.