It is time for us to address a common topic. It is time to recognize that unfortunately, there is loss. Dying is part of life. There are times however, when loss comes unexpectedly. There are times when loss defies the natural order of how life is supposed to be.
For example, it is unnatural for a parent to bury their child. It is unnatural when the older buries the younger. No matter what the age might be, although natural, the finality of death seems so unnatural to us; to be without someone, to never hear their voice again or see them in the flesh, to say goodbye but yet, to hold onto them with all we have because memory is all we have left is an idea that has become far too common.
We were younger once. We were young and unafraid. Remember? We were the kids from the town. We all knew each other. We knew the stories and the places where the stories began. I look back and laugh sometimes.
I see pictures from our youth. However, I am seldom in photos. I don’t know why this is but nevertheless, this is true. There aren’t many photos of me from when I was younger. Yet still, there are times when I come across pictures from when we were kids.
I can almost smell the smells and hear the songs. And the songs were everything. Perhaps I have said this before but the songs and the music we listened to were like matching anthems, each with their own spirit of revolution and independence and each with their own mood.
There are things in life that we all understand. We understand the difference between sunshine and rain. We understand the difference between daylight and nighttime. We understand what it means to lift something that weighs 5lbs as opposed to something that weighs 50lbs. We understand the sensation of touch and taste, sights and smell. These things make sense to us. Intellectually, we understand why time flies when we’re having fun or how it drags when we’re stuck in a place where we’d rather not be.
I don’t know what it’s like to live as anybody else. I’ve never walked a mile in anyone else’s shoes. I don’t know what it’s like to live in anyone else’s skin or see things from behind someone else’s eyes.
I know that what we see, think, feel and say are all open to interpretation. And here we are. It’s another day above the dirt. It seems you and I are on a voyage right now. Then again, we all are. We all have our individual purpose. We have our unique way of seeing things and whether we see this or not, we offer a unique package to the world around us.
There is a saying about worry that goes, “Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” Needless to say that put simply, yes, this is true.
Then again, there’s another saying that is equally true. “Never in the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down, simply by being told to calm down.”
I go back to that word, “Just” and the way people simplify our difficulties when they offer their advice by saying, “Just don’t think that way.”
The question comes down to this, “What now?”
Life changes in front of our eyes. There are problems and breakups, splits, and tough decisions. There is always something around that opens our eyes to the need for change or improvement. But once we are aware, the question is this: What am I supposed to do now?
Simple answers are complicated. Nothing makes sense. We have an uphill climb and work to do. This is why people have spent lifetimes with blinders on. They’ve kept themselves this way because of one intimidating question. What now?
There is one thing that is and will always be. And that’s life. There is and will always be life around us. There will always be something. There will be reasons why we weep and reasons to rejoice.
There will be incidents and accidents, tragedies and moments so amazing that they only come once in a lifetime. There are however, the daily stressors. There are the hidden tasks which no one else sees or knows about.
Someone asked why I cry when I do some of my presentations. I laughed because crying is not what people expect. I’m not even sure that crying is something that I expect. Then again, maybe emotion is the best way to create a point.
I suppose the saying is when life gives you lemons, you learn to make lemonade. In which case, I think it is suffice to say the year 2020 has been lemons galore.
There have been shutdowns and losses as a result of the pandemic. There have been bankruptcies and closings. We are distant now and growing even more distant than before. It is strange to me however, as the holidays approach. It is strange how the connections change and the faces we’ve grown accustomed to are only virtual now.
There is this tree that we call our family. Each limb holds a position. Each branch divides and splits in their own subdivision.
There are mothers, brothers, cousins, uncles, fathers and aunts and there are the extended families, which are not related by blood, but more than blood is the mutual connection that is stronger than blood itself.
This tree represents the names and the faces and the position, in which they hold as a family member. Their designation is by title alone. However, as we all know, our titles have meanings.