Every day, I feel these things: gratitude, pain, love, surprise.
I am grateful, because I know how lucky I am. The support I receive daily is matchless and I smile knowing that there are a multitude of people I can count on in a moment's notice. I also feel like every day I am understanding more and more what I am meant to do in this world. I am grateful for the lessons I am learning... the people with whom I am spending my time... the magic of healing.
I feel pain, because I am still going through this process one day at a time. Grieving a loss this profound is a roller coaster... a journey of great feats... an open wound. In fact, every morning, I feel that there is a gaping wound in my chest. I touch it, poke it... and it still hurts. I wince, knowing that today will prove painful in some ways as usual... but I am also relieved, because if it hurts, it's still there. The loss has shaped me and I don't want to be rid of it or the emotions that I associate with it. It's part of me now... forever... and as it heals, the scar will stay. I would not want it any other way.
I feel love, because every day somehow holds more beauty, not less. I live a life I'm meant to live and I am not ashamed of that longing for joy. There is no end to what I can do...what I will do. For me, there is no mundane life that is just lived because that is what's always been done. I have purpose, energy, determination, ideas, spark... It hasn't gone away. It may even be amplified. In the wake of tragedy, I have been shown great love... and since love breeds more love, I feel love all the time. I still think there is sadness in my eyes that was not there before. I can see it even when I smile. Sometimes it even catches me off guard, as if for a minute I don't even recognize my own face in the mirror. But it does not stop me from loving.
And last, I feel surprise. I am surprised by the twists and turns my life has made...and I am also surprised by my lack of being able to predict my own life these last, let's say, 10 years. When I pictured my life, I saw so many things - but those things were more like predictions than dreams. I have learned not to predict, but to dream. I used to imagine what I thought would happen. But if I do as the Eagles say in Love Will Keep Us Alive (one of my favorite songs), and just "let it ride," I can appreciate everything as it comes and understand that my dreams are just seeds ready to make realities bloom. There is no sense in thinking you have life all figured out. Who has life figured out at 20? At 30?
I ride this life with no expectations. I have wishes, hopes, and dreams, but I will not predict my life. I will simply live it.