Saturday, August 30, 2014
I was asked something recently.
In one of my online support forums, a question was posed. If you could go back and say something to your former self, what would it be?
People speak of baggage. It is true that everyone has their past, their regrets, though that's not the type of baggage I can picture anymore. There is only one bag, and it holds the "I Could Never's."
I hear it all the time. And I used to think so, too. My list was long and my bag was heavy. Not sure how one carries such a weight.
I could never.
I could never teach.
I could never be a mother.
I could never love someone more than myself.
I could never watch machines breathe for a brother, hold his lifeless hand in mine.
I could never sleep in an ICU waiting room.
I could never watch my parents, trembling, fading, begging, in corners during emergency brain surgeries.
I could never push my strapping, independent, twenty three year old brother in a wheelchair and drive home grateful.
I could never.
I could never deliver her. Just knock me out, I'm serious, I could never.
I could never hold her.
I could never show her to grandparents and aunts and uncles, look them in the eye as they kissed her and cried.
I could never hand her away.
I could never bury her.
I could never say goodbye.
I could never return to work, pick up a pen.
I could never tell.
I could never share.
I could never smile. Laugh. Relate.
I could never forgive.
After reading several responses, I realized that it was all good advice. Take more pictures, one woman said. Follow your intuition, no matter what the doctors say, offered another.
Don't take one second for granted.
Give more hugs.
You have a good life.
But given the opportunity, there is only one thing I'd advise. I would walk right up to her, take the bag off her shoulders and set it down. Then I'd lean in and I'd say,
You are capable of so much more than you think.