This morning I woke up to receive the not-entirely-unexpected news that my uncle and godfather had died. My first thought was relief that his recent years of suffering were finally over. I was also joyous that he and his beloved wife who died years ago are reunited. He hated what his physical existence had been reduced to – mostly immobile, completely dependent. It was no kind of life for him.

Later in the morning I read a post on one of my favorite blogs, Free Range Kids. Today’s post is, as the blog’s author says, just about the most important one to date. It’s a letter from a mother written in the fresh grief following the sudden and shocking death of her 9 year old daughter. She was experiencing the most intense pain imaginable, yet was clinging to the knowledge that she’d let her daughter really live in her short 9 years. It’s such a gorgeous letter, and I hope you’ll click the above link and read it.

The connection I’m making between these two things today is an important one for me.  For the past two years ago, I’ve been feeling increasingly stuck and frustrated in just about every aspect of my life. Through infertility, miscarriage, depression, work burn-out, marriage ups and downs, and everything else… I haven’t felt clear-headed in a while. And the sum total of what’s been going on has resulted in a lot of apathy. Whether we suddenly drop dead at age 9 or slowly waste away at age 77, we should be able to say we really lived. And I’m not sure I can.

No more. I’m thirty-five tomorrow. Time to live.


3 thoughts on “living

  1. Dear EmJayBee.

    I am the mom who lost that little girl. I also had a total of four miscarriages over the course of my life. Yes; they’re connected. I also carry the gene for the heart defect that killed her and someday, it’ll take my life, too. I have felt the kind of angst you voice here. But it doesn’t define me.

    I am so sorry about your uncle. I hope my Bug finds him and gives him a welcoming hug. And I hope you find peace.

    You have some important decisions to make.

    The first is whether you believe you love the person you see in the mirror. If you don’t, it’s not your fault. You just need a different mirror. Because that person in the mirror? She is worthy of love. More importantly, she is worthy of YOUR love. Don’t forget that, or find someone to help you see it and remember it.

    The second is whether you are doing anything that will leave a mark here that will survive your time on this earth. No? Then you need to take a bit of time to pamper yourself. You’re exhausted, I’ll bet.

    Then, you need to grab yourself a marker. I love your category for this post: “Set your sights on something big”! Lovely (and I know you are!) EmJayBee , I hope that if I stop in here in a few months, you are feeling less down and more hopeful.

    Life gets better. I promise.

    • I’m so honored to have you be my first reader and commenter, especially since your letter so affected me this morning. Thank you for all your kind words, and through this next year (and the rest of my years) I hope to honor your daughter’s example and yours also. I appreciate so much your encouragement.

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