Dear Bob

Well Bob,

I knew this day would come…

It hit me today that several days have passed and you were not there, not there crashing into my conversations- my dreams-on my life. I guess that is to be expected, that my thoughts of you would fade and that life would soon return to normal, and while you, dear Bob are starting to fade, life will never return to the way it was. It can’t.

I can see that- that change. Every now and then I get a glimpse of it.

I noticed it the other day when I was picking up my Alex from school. I am usually excited to pick up my gang, but lately it’s been different. I saw her bouncing up the steps ready to jump in the car and I was beside myself- overwhelmed- with a joy that she was coming home.

Now, moms, trust me I used to have my days that I had to talk myself into driving through the parking line and actually pick my kids up. I really did. Everything in me just wanted five-ten- more minutes before chaos ensued.

But, it’s different now and it’s not because my children have changed. Haaa-definitely not changed, but I have.

I have changed, Bob.

I cherish moments… even the rotten ones. I want those too. It was like a celebration, that day when I picked up my Alex, because I was grateful for one more day, one more afternoon that I got to see her little face. I don’t take that for granted anymore. Beaming, I waved both hands in the air like a madwoman, flagging her down, overwhelmed by joy. Pure joy.

You see Bob, this is your doing.

As morbid as it sounds we are all terminal. Yep, I know it’s a shocker, but whether you grow or not, I will still die-someday. It might be quick and instantaneously I will be gone or  perhaps it will be arduous and drawn out. Who knows. It might be soon or decades away, and yet we run from this idea of death.

We distract. Something. Anything. Anything to not think about that fact that we all will have a last breath.

And you forced me to look at that, Bob, to hit that fear head on, because everyone I know with a brain tumor is dead. A there I was, unable to run from this reality, a reality I have dreaded most of my life. And a funny thing happened… in embracing this fear I discovered that life is faaaar more precious and valuable then I had treated it.

Sometimes I like to sit quietly and focus on taking a breath, a single breath. Breathing in. Breathing out… and saying to myself Oh, Lord I’m so grateful, that’s one more breath than I could’ve had.

I had one more breath to be thankful for. Thankful that I have one more day my babies came home. Thankful my children have breath with which to give  me lots of love and lots of attitude and thankful that I have ears to hear it all. He gave me one more moment to take in life.

Life… oh beautiful, messy life…

Alex’s meltdown because she doesn’t want to put her shoes on.The chaos that comes with dining with all of my siblings and their families. Baby Claire’s perfect little breaths as she sleeps on my chest. Holding John’s hand walking quietly side by side. The sting on my backside when Brooke slaps my rear end as she cruises through the kitchen. Watching a movie on my bed with all the kids, arms and legs overlapping and dangling everywhere.

Because of you, Bob, I see more clearly.

So thank you dear friend, for giving me a whole new perspective on life- on love. I can’t help but think this is what God intended life to look like and why he asked us to come to Him as little children because little ones are not bogged down by the worries of this world, by what may happen in the future. They live in the moment. They get excited over hot dogs for dinner and sad when they can’t find a pink tutu. They cry loud and laugh well.

They squeeze life out of every moment.

I do that now, Bob, I squeeze life out of every moment.

 

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