Friday, June 27, 2014

Life in the Slow Lane

Dear Harper,

July is just around the corner, and as I sit here, I wonder how it was able to pass so quickly, with the outside world barely noticing. It has been nearly four years since you left us, and that in itself, is ridiculous to think about. It has passed at an incredible rate, and I am still sitting here trying figuring things out.

I don't know that I will ever have everything figured out, most likely not. But what I have taken away from the last four years is this: Slow down and take each moment for what it is, a blessing. You taught me to slow down, and enjoy the little things because those little things are, actually, the really big things.

Life has changed over the course of the last 48 months, people moved, old friends left, new friends joined, a sister was added, birthdays and holidays have come and gone, and I take each moment as it is, a wonderful addition to this crazy thing we call life. How you have reminded me to slow down, to enjoy the walk, and to smell the roses.And, I have to say, those roses smell so sweet.

I think people forget how to slow down. I know they forget to take a breath and relish the moment they are in. They constantly think about the next moment, and where that will take them, wishing the time away as if it were something with an infinite amount to spare. Forgetting to live for now, not worrying about what is to come. To be quite honest, I was one of "those" people. I never had a moment to spare, impatient with everything, but something has happened in the last four years to change that. I walk slower, see clearer and experience everything, even those things I dreaded doing, with a new found enjoyment that comes from slowing life down.

Grief can assume many forms for any given person, it can be a dark and scary place, or it can be an eye opening, uplifting experience. The path in which a griever takes is solely up to them. Four years ago I started walking a very dark and scary path after you died. But, soon I found myself with child again, and the dark and scary path was no longer an option. I spent months in an indifferent state, and then one day it clicked. I could allow the grief I was experiencing to rule every move I ever make, and to overshadow everything that I was to do, or I could do something great with the emptiness and sadness I was feeling.

Four years after the all consuming grief monster came in to consume my soul, I emerged from the battle believing that I am a winner of sorts. IF you can consider coping with loss of your child a win. I slowed down and enjoyed the moments I had here with your brother and sisters. Watching them grow into beautiful young humans, who care. Giving them what they need to be honest, caring, goodhearted people. That is what the world was granted, what I was granted, in your death, a person who cares enough to try and change things. You gifted me a new breath of life, a new person emerged from the chrysalis of death.

I may never have a million dollars to donate to a charity, or the means to make the entire world a better place, BUT, I have the means to make my home a better place, the means to raise good children that will go on to do much greater things. (I have a feeling that they will be unstoppable.) I slowed down...I forget deadlines, I forget what I was supposed to be doing, I am usually late and some consider it a downfall. But the truth is, I forget about things because I am busy...busy having piles of laundry, a kitchen floor that inevitably needs to be swept, and busy playing with my kids. Watching them become these neat little people that have amazing ideas, and BIG dreams. It is worth missing an appointment, or clocking in a couple minutes late to see this. I have become "that" person that makes others on a schedule mad because you can't schedule how life happens.

We make plans, God laughs. I watched as my hopes and dreams fizzled out when you died. I had your whole tiny life planned and God had other plans. His plans are not always clear, but I think this was part of it. I suffered, possibly one of the biggest tragedies anyone can face, in order to become a better person, a better parent. To slow down and take a evening stroll all day long, to never miss those glimpses of the greatness of your brother and sisters. I spend my time trying to find ways to make their eyes glitter, and to make them laugh. I spend my time creating with them, bolstering their imagination and their dreams. I know too well how it feels to have your dreams shattered, and I will do anything to help keep that from happening. Even if it means I am dressing like a fairy princess and trying to fight Captain Hook, or staying up all hours of the night making tiny, tiny Polaroids of the Elf on the Shelf to keep them believing their elves are bad. Because those are the important things.

You taught me to slow down. You taught me to be an incredible fan of random acts of kindness. Smell the roses, then pick one and give it to someone, the smile that ensues is enough to change the world. Dollars in a pocket do not compare to the love in a heart, and my wallet is flat but my heart is full.

Thank you for all you are teaching me, my sweet bean.

I love you always, forever, and then some.