Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Every Day is a Gift

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)  There have been many days during the last three plus years that I have not been glad and haven't felt like celebrating or rejoicing.  But regardless of how down I got or how difficult the times were I never reached a point that I didn't want to go on living.  It's for this reason that I'll never be able to understand why anyone chooses to end their own life.  For me there has always been someone or something that has kept me going; there has always been and always will be a reason to keep living.  God gave each of us a life here on this earth, and I believe it is up to us to live it to its fullest and make the most of the time we have.  Every day is a gift to be cherished not thrown away.

I began writing as a means of therapy two years after Eddie's death.  I also hoped that by sharing my experiences and feelings with others I might help someone else in a similar situation.  I have dealt with many emotions during this time - sadness, disappointment, regret, anger, resentment, guilt, bitterness, helplessness.  I haven't completely stopped having some of these feelings, but I no longer experience them with the same intensity as I did initially.  Even the bitterness and resentment that resurfaced recently have started to subside.  I'm sure I will probably have times now and then for the rest of my life that I still have some of these feelings.  That's only natural when you lose someone who was a part of your life for 28 years.  But I know now that I can handle them - they don't have to control my life. 

I've learned a lot about myself during this time.  I have done my best to remain strong, confident, secure, and independent, but I've had to accept that I'm only human.  I have had and I'm sure will continue to have moments of weakness, and that's OK as long as I don't give in to these for any length of time.  I've also had to accept that sometimes I need help from others, though I haven't done a very good job of learning how to ask for it.  I've learned that as much as I may want to, I can't control everything in my life, and I certainly can't control any of the people in it.  Every person has their own free will and chooses how to live their life - that choice isn't mine.

I also know about some things that I could have gone the rest of my life without learning - specifically alcoholism, suicide, and grief.  I quoted a Kid Rock song (When it Rains) earlier that said "I wish I didn't know now the things I never knew before..."  Unfortunately I do know about these things now, and there's nothing I can do to change that.  I just have to accept what happened, live with it, and hopefully learn from it.  Despite the events of the last three years my life has continued, and as I'm learning now it can be a happy life again.

I've reached a point where I feel I have said everything there is to say about my past experiences and feelings.  I plan to continue writing from time to time but not about Eddie's alcoholism and suicide.  While those things will always be a part of me, I don't intend to let them be a big part of my future.  I'm going to think positively and say that at some point I will be writing about my mother's recovery from cancer, about Trey getting married, about the milestones Emily will reach as she grows up, and about good things happening for me personally.  After all - Life Goes On ...

"There's Always a Springtime" - Helen Steiner Rice

After the winter comes the spring
To show us again that in everything
There's always a renewal divinely planned,
Flawlessly perfect, the work of God's hand.
And just like the seasons that come and go
When the flowers of spring lay buried in snow,
God sends to the heart in its winter of sadness
A springtime awakening of new hope and gladness.

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