So tonight I was setting up our video camera for my son – apparently he is going to play FIFA soccer on the Xbox, and talk to the camera and practice calling the game while he plays.
I was flipping through the camera when I came across a bunch of videos on the menu screen. It is not as if I did not know these videos where on the camera. I knew they were there. I have seen them before. But part of me was a little shocked, and then humbled, by watching them.
The first set was from December 25, 2011. The scene was fairly dark in our dining room, as our boys ripped through their Christmas stockings, and yelled excitedly about the football cards, band-aids, and stickers that were being flung about. It is funny to watch them interact – although it is only 18 months later, they look so much older as I glance over at them now.
The scene changes and I see myself, talking to Frank, as we try to set up the camera to watch the kids open gifts. Both of my parents are sitting on the couch, and Tommy is jumping all over the room, carrying a stuffed bear that he found under the tree that is taller than he is. It is a bit brighter outside now, and you can clearly see the snow through the front windows behind the Christmas tree. Gifts are everywhere, and I try to preface this scene for Frank’s brother Ryan, who is sitting next to me watching the video, as he was not here with us at that time, and didn’t have the point of reference for this date.
At one point, Frank pushes the camera away from his face (the man always loves to have his picture taken – insert sarcasm here) but then the video settles down to a normal (for us) Christmas morning of Frank handing out gifts, announcing the names for each one, and trying to keep up with the kids as they rip through each one quickly, and then sit, bouncing up and down, until they are given another gift to open.
The big difference with THIS video is that it was taken BEFORE……
Exactly seven days later, our lives were forever changed.
On this video is our life, as we knew it, without a major care in the world, living day to day in our normal lives.
But change was coming – and we never knew it.
I find this video hard to write about tonight, even though I have seen it already since the accident. I am not sure why it is bothering me, although hearing Frank talk on the video, and then having him come into the room moments ago to tease me is a bit surreal.
So much has happened in between those two moments in time.
It feels like a lifetime ago. Yet in the same breath it feels like yesterday.
It is hard to reconcile those feelings sometimes. I am glad that I don’t have to – no one says that I have to understand why I feel the way I do. And that is the great part about being able to walk through each day the way that I have chosen to do so.
I have chosen to acknowledge that life can, and did, change dramatically when Frank almost died in that car accident. That life changed when he began to clear form his coma, and we knew that his brain injury was severe, and the unknown loomed before us. That life, with many twists and turns, continued to move forward around us as we were supported and loved by so many, and we learned that life is precious, and meant to be cherished, regardless of the outcome of the day.
Life is meant to be lived, in its ever changing moments, by each of us. We don’t chose the path life path that we are on, but we can make darn sure that we NOTICE the path that we are on, and do our best to embrace the life that has been presented before us.
Today I was reminded, and humbled, by witnessing a moment from before - and before, although familiar and consistent compared to now, was not truly lived.
Today is lived, each day with awareness of how precious life is, and how important it is to focus on what is right, and how life can be lived.
Live your life for today.