I’m sitting at my writing table watching the video from my son and his fiancé’s European trip for like probably the 10th time. I am enjoying the views of the various sites…the Eiffel tower in Paris; the Tuscan sun in Italy (yes, one of my all-time favorite movies); the Astronomical clock tower in Prague as well as bathing in their love for each other that is so clearly obvious. Before I start to watch it for the 11th time I think of how blessed they are and how blessed we are to share in their joy. I rewind the video to see the part (yes, again) where he goes down on one knee and proposes to his love along the cliffs of Cinque Terre during the sunset. And as I watch the thought comes into my head…Life goes on.
No matter what has happened in the past. No matter how someone has hurt you; no matter what you’ve lost or even when you feel like the world has stopped spinning life DOES go on. As some of you may know, I lost my husband back in the beginning of the year. And even though I was sure that the day he died the world had stopped spinning I know now that life goes on.
Together my husband and I had planned the trip to celebrate the engagement when my son first told us at Christmas time that he was going to propose during their European trip in the spring. We were so excited. We just couldn’t wait. And even though my husband is no longer on this earth we all still had reason to celebrate. And with family and very close friends we did just that.
I remember my grandparents often saying “life is short.” And as a 10 year old waiting for the school year to end I thought “that’s crazy! Life is way too long!” But now that I am older (no numbers please) I realize life really is short. It is too short to hold a grudge. Too short to work a job you really don’t like. Too short to wallow in regret. And too short not to let someone know you love them every chance you get.
You can choose to live in anger…you can choose to live in regret…you can choose to live in sorrow and sadness for the rest of your life. But know that life will go on with or without you. Someone will get married; someone will have babies; someone will buy a house; someone will get a new job, etc. All reasons to celebrate.
There is a reason why things in the rearview mirror of your car seem so small and far away the further you get away from it. They are! They were meant to be left behind. We can’t continue to live in the past. Yes, cherish the memories; embrace the love but do not stay in the past. Do not get stuck there.
The day that I first saw my son’s video was the day of mine and my husband’s wedding anniversary. And although I initially wanted to stay in bed and cry all day long I purposely planned the engagement party for my son and his new fiancé for that specific day. I knew if I kept busy I would not think of the plans my husband and I had made to celebrate our anniversary. But not only that I knew that the celebration was a symbol. A symbol that life goes on. And that we must embrace every day that we have been blessed.
Celebrating their love as a young couple was not only good for them but for all those around them. Watching their video and watching them during the celebration gave us all hope. It didn’t matter who was going through a divorce; who had problems on the job; whose teenager was giving them a hard time, or who was having health problems. We all left the engagement party with one thought…life goes on and that gives us hope.
I know it is not easy but somehow we need to find a way to deal with our hurt, our pain, and our struggles without getting stuck there. No one said that life would be easy. But somehow we have to get through it before life passes us by. I could have stayed home and wallowed in sorrow and regret but I chose to embrace the hope; the joy and the love my son and his fiancé shared. Before you know it they’ll have babies (no pressure you two) and I’ll be asked to babysit and a little one will call me “grandma.” At first I’ll cringe at the word because the first image I conceive in my head is an old woman in a rocking chair with a head full of gray hair. (I would totally fire my hairdresser if that were the case.) But like with my 1st grandchild I will embrace the name of “grandma”; the sticky kisses and hugs; the 529 Plans and the babysitting duty because after all…life goes on.