Monday, January 17, 2011

Build a Ladder to the Stars

I'm staring at a blank screen. Blink - blink - blink goes the cursor. How do you begin to find the words? When something just doesn't make sense, how do you then attempt to explain it?

Well, that's just it. It can't be explained. Another leaf has fallen from our family tree. Another life cut short.

Tuck, you really showed me the meaning of joy in adversity. Despite everything that was happening on the inside, you kept your head up high. You kept us laughing and you showed such strength of character. You were a fighter to the end. Those who were closest to you were upheld by your determination and your resilience.

For me, I think about the paradox that my children face right now. We have talked to them about death and it feels so contrary. When they ask if they are going to die or if we, their parents, are going to die, the answer always assures them that we will all be here for a long time.

However, of the 3 funerals they have attended, Tuck, at 28, will be the oldest. I have trouble wrapping my head around that and trying to realize that I won't be able to make sense of it. My mind wants to have an answer for everything, to be able to assure them of how things will unfold.

But all I know is this: this is today. The importance of living in this moment is clear. Much as I want to control everything, there comes a point where I have to realize that control is an illusion. I can only do so much and at some point, I have to release the reins.

Tuck, we love you and miss you already. Your memory will always bring a smile and a laugh. Rest now. The pain is over.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Year of Potential

The beginning of a new year! This naturally leans itself towards reflection. It is a time to look back at how far we've come and areas we want to improve in.
I have a new workout DVD that I've been using by Jillian Michaels. One of the things she talks about at the end of the workout is how important it is to reflect on our accomplishments. So often we are just racing through life and don't take the time to stop and say, "Hey, I'm pretty awesome!"
Well I hope each of you know that you are awesome. We all have things we have done to be proud of. Our tendency is, of course, to look at all the things we didn't accomplish and focus on those. 
This quote from Ellen Goodman sums it up: "We spend most of January walking through our lives room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but potential."
That is my wish for each of you as you reflect on the past year and the year ahead. Focus on the positive - on all those things you accomplished. Use your strengths to help you set goals and resolutions that you will be able to achieve and be proud of.