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Thursday, January 2, 2014

'Till Next Time...

There is something about the ocean.

Recently I was able to enjoy a new aspect of its wonderment, that is to see it for the first time through the eyes of my three year old son.

We walked out as far as we could to meet the waves at our feet.  Each time, he would squeal with excitement.  Running out and then back again, jumping and rolling with laughter, clinging to the safety of my legs as each one came crashing, dissipating into tiny droplets just above his head.

I hadn't seen this look in his eyes before.  Pure amazement, complete appreciation.  I thought about the last time I had been here, over ten years ago.  What had taken me so long?

There is this analogy that plays in my head with regards to your recovery.  I used to think that coming to terms with you being hurt meant that I could go without acknowledging what happened, how things are different now.  I used to think that progress was the ability to forget.  I realize now how wrong I was.  

In this image, our family is climbing a steep hill.  We are aiming for the top, of course.  We aren't quite sure what is there.  I maintain that "up there" will provide a different perspective if nothing else.  I long for a way to look at what happened to you without being so angry.  I try for this every time I open my eyes.  

There have been days where I look at you and I can feel myself rising.  I'm immune to the negativity, pouncing off one boulder to the next with the strength of twenty men.  

There are days where I fall so far, hitting every jagged edge in my rapid descent.  Days where I wanted to die, where I could feel the weight of the world on my back as I got up and began to climb again.

Here on our vacation, I have come to realize something important.  As I watch the ebb and flow of the tide, I sense the wonderment again.  I notice that the ability to appreciate is not lost on me.  

So I indulge in another crab leg.  And I let my three year old ride the jet ski with his father, watching them fade into the horizon as I pace on the sand.  Because here's what.

We can never know when we will be here again.  Tomorrow is no guarantee.  

You have taught me that the 'next time' could be very different from now.  People would say, "live for today", carpe diem tattoos on their sleeves, and I would nod.  But I didn't understand.  I never truly felt it.  

Now I sense it with each breath you take.  I feel it in my bones, this reminder that circulates with every heartbeat.  It glistens in my tears, on each bead of sweat and in every single smile.  

I have learned to focus on days like today.  Days where I can catch a glimpse, if only for a moment, from the top of that hill.  Days where I can watch the sun dance on the water and I'm not angry, because I realize that I am entitled to none of it.  Everything is extra, undeserved.

It's a tragic outlook from up here, to see the things you love and realize they could be ripped away at any moment.  While it's completely unfair and terrible, everything is slightly more beautiful at the same time.  Temporary and incredible, from so high that it's hard to breathe.  

And I tread here, and I revel in it for as long as it lasts, and I thank you for that.  Because wow.

What a view.

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