It has been a long time since I posted to the blog but I have been following my own advice – taking the time to focus on what is happening with my family while transitioning to my new job. Things have been difficult to say the least – the life of a family living with a survivor of a brain injury is constantly changing, and when that person is a law enforcement officer retiring from his career, life becomes a world of ups and downs.
The past 24 hours have solidified for me that you can never regret the days that you have – you never know when the life that you know will change. Last night Frank and I spent some time hanging out with people that I graduated high school with – most of them I was not “friends” with in high school. But these people like to get together during Christmas break every few years to say hello to those with common childhood initiation memories. It is a good time had by all, and it always brings to mind those that are missing, either by choice or by passing. My best friend is one of those missing by passing, just now at the 13 year mark of her death. It is times like these that I have some regrets at the time I missed out on spending with her while I lived out of state. Those regrets did not change my behavior for future regrets – it wasn’t until the TBI entered our lives that I had a shift in my priorities.
Today Frank and I went to the visitation of a woman who lost her life too soon. Her family stood with her to the very end of her days, and gave her the blessings to pass on and leave them behind. Another life lost, with those left behind grieving for their loss. However, opportunities were taken to focus on those last moments together, which created a gift. A gift that was taken and will be cherished now as memories made and memories that will never be forgotten.
These are the times that we take to find the true meaning in life – to be present in the moments that matter right now. We just don’t know when we will no longer have the opportunity to take these moments, and when we figure it out, it is usually because of a life tragedy. Wouldn’t it be great if we could figure out that we need to be present in our lives without the fear of a trauma or emergency?
The brain injury changes priorities in the entire family – life isn’t easy and any way predictable, and at times, it can be downright hard. Knowing there was a before, and that we are living in the after, we are trying to focus on good in each day, and sometimes in each hour. The walk towards a huge life change, whether chosen or forced, can be either heart-breaking or exhilarating. The future is wide open during change, and you have to choose to be in, or to be out.
That choice can only be made by those living the change, not by those supporting the change, but only by those living the change.
These life changes can make us or break us; we can focus on how life continues and notice the here and now, or we can worry about what is happening with the change, and forget that the moments are what are important, not the pain of the change.
Sometimes though, it is the pain that wins.
For me, I am living life without regrets – finding the moments in the day that have the glow of happiness and spark of hope is more important than worrying about the future of what might be, and where life can go from here.
It is the moments of now that we must travel through, but finding the joy and hope in those moments is what is important.