I spend many late evenings allowing my thoughts to ramble around in my head. Sometimes they make me think of the past, worry about the future, think about the why, when and where we will be.
Just this week I visited the past, in a round about way. I have been listening to the many people that have asked for this story to be written - it is something that I take seriously, and I thought that going over the beginning of this journey might jump start my thought process.
I allowed myself some time to just visit with my own writing to see if there was any way to put together the information into something that might help others process their own life trauma in the future.
What I found surprised me, although it did not surprise my good friend Linda, who is a therapist.
As I walked slowly through the memories of that night, meeting with the Chief in my front yard, driving to the hospital, passing through the doors and finally reaching Frank, I began to hyperventilate. Soon after, I found myself with tears running down my face, and a horrible feeling of dread and sadness.
I eventually had to close my computer, and shut my eyes to bring myself some peace.
I sent a text to Linda, telling her how I was surprised at my reaction to just reading what I had already written.
Her reply to me? Sounds about right.
Some people are too smart for their own good.
I am unsure about the future of this story. In my head, I feel that if I can just help one person to brave through a traumatic event, I would happily put our story to paper.
But how do you write a story that doesn't have an ending yet.
What if the ending isn't what we want? And truly, will it ever be over?
In the world of rehab, not for many years. In the world of police work, we still have a long way to go.
The story without an end. Yet/
Do you think that maybe I can write the ending that I want and it will come true? That would be great, but I can tell you I don't know what that would look like even if I had the power to make that come true.
Because asking for the past is not the answer. I have already admitted that the past was not our best work. Not the history that I want to write.
We as people need to have faith in our own story, but even more important, we need to actually pay attention to the story that we are writing.
What would my kids say about the daily life we lead? Will they talk with their children about what we did that summer after Dad got hurt? Will they only remember the sad, scary parts? Or will they learn to be strong, to fight past something hard, and to know that some pain can be cured with a hug and some frozen yogurt?.
If you just pay attention to the story that you are writing, it can make a huge difference in the life that you lead. Do you want to be the person that ends each day without making an impact on anything?
I know now that is not the story I want to write.
Which means, my wish into the future cannot be to return to the past. It means that I would need a new wish, a new plan, and a new thought process.
I have no idea what my wish would be, but I am paying attention to what my story is each day. It doesn't need to be a book, but a page, a paragraph, even a line of my day that I am proud of. That is what makes a difference to me.
That moment that I turned around and watched when my son said "Look at me Mom!!" for the tenth time. Stopping and watching the butterflies flit through my garden that I took years to plant, and have not had the time to enjoy. Small moments, great lines in a story.
When I get bogged down in the what might be, and what is going to happen, I pull out my small accomplishments of the day. There is always at least one, and if I try real hard, I might even come up with two.
Not a bad way to end a day. Maybe a good way to start the day too.
Now I have a task for tomorrow lined up - I will contemplate that during my 5k tomorrow.