Friday, November 13, 2009

A little history and why I am thankful

First the bit of history... It was sometime in October and I was twelve. I was sitting with my dad in the car and we were on our way home from a daddy-daughter date that I made him take me on. I was excited because in a couple months I would be turning the big 13 and would officially be a teen. My dad's birthday was coming up even sooner than mine on the first of November and I asked him if he was excited for his birthday. The answer he gave me was honest, but somewhat depressing. He said, "honey, right now you are just beginning your life and you have so many milestones in front of you that are exciting." He went on to name such milestones 16, 18, graduation, college, marriage, babies etc.... Then he said, "after that and when you get to be my age life becomes routine, you have lots of responsibilities and your birthday really just becomes another day, you don't really have much to look forward to anymore." All I could think about for the rest of the ride home and quite a few years after was how I did not want to grow up. Growing up sounded like it sucked. I felt so bad for grown ups they all must be so unhappy. (note: my dad was the father of seven kids and a really sick wife at the time and life was beyond chaotic. He worked from 6am to midnight most days to provide for us. He is the most loyal, hard working, persevering man ever; and at the time he was trying to speak to me like the adult I was to become by giving me an honest answer as to why he wasn't jumping up and down for his birthday.) I understand all of this now, but at the time it really scared me and I was determined that I should really try to enjoy things now because the future stages of life would inevitably come and happiness would be gone forever.
Now fast forward five or so years. I was again really excited. This time it was about a boy and going to a dance and if I remember correctly there had been some intense boy drama earlier that had caused so many tears I was sure I would never recover and never be able to stop crying. So now I was in the living room and I was really excited and my mom was sitting on the couch smiling her most happy smile at me and she kept just smiling at me for a really long time and after a while the intense smiling got a little weird so I asked why she was smiling because I was sure she wanted to tell me. And what she said has stuck with me maybe more than anything else she has ever said. She first reminded me of how sad I had been with the boy drama and now how happy I was. She told me how each stage of life is so unique and that there are trials and joys that we only will get to experience in that stage and when that stage passes we go onto new trials and new joys that are unique only to that stage. She then elaborated on her stages of her life and the trials and joys she has experienced and she explained that her intense smiling was from the joy she felt watching me so happy and how when she was younger she never new the joy she would feel at age 50 watching her teenage daughter. She was simply enjoying the moment. If I can ever claim to have had an epiphany it was here. I realized so many things during that little chat with mom. I saw life for how I think it really is. There is not one phase of life superior to the others as I had believed after that convo in the car with dad. It is a series of experiences. Trials, so we can learn and grow. Joys, gifts from God that should always remind us of how much we are loved.
And so today it is this lesson my mom taught me for which I am thankful. what a blessing it has been to be able to enjoy life and the moments and not expect any time to be free of difficulties entirely. And what a comfort it is to know that trials do not last forever and sunshine always follows the rain. I really am thankful for my life and all the experiences I have had and for all the ones yet to come.

(btw she doesn't even remember telling me this and when I try to thank her for it she doesn't believe that she taught me such a brilliant lesson and then she asks me to repeat it so she can write it down. Ha! that's my mother)
Two reasons why this stage of life is RAD


The Bames said...

Awesome post Deb. It is a good reminder to enjoy the stage I'm in right now.

Olivia said...

I think if we all could remember that daily life would be a bit easier. Every cloud does have a silver lining! Love you my friend!

sara2delta said...

what a great post deb. you can always find joy and hardship in every stage of life and the trick is to focus on the good! i sure do love those two babies of yours.