It’s Valentine’s Day 2014. The day that reminds us of love, romance and all those sweet little things that come with it. This is my official, unofficial Valentine’s Day post. It’s not about the love and dreamy stuff that most people are thinking about today. I have never been much of a Valentine fanatic and having more than a few stuffed animals has always seemed like a big waste of fake fur to me. So, I’m sharing what’s in my heart, but it’s not necessarily the warm, fuzzy and romantic stuff.
I started my Valentine’s Day post about two weeks ago in my head. The topic was supposed to be “Love”—with an emphasis on special needs parents (and any parent for that matter) protecting their marriage and putting it first. But as I got closer and closer to Valentine’s Day, the words wouldn’t come. This is the only word rolling around in my head right now “Life”. I am re-reading a book in which the protagonist is questioning his life and that ever popular phrase “Life. Be in it”. Well, I’m really in it right now and so are many of my friends.
Thoughts spring to those facing serious illnesses and life changing events. Some are happy with what they have found in life so far and others are still searching. Many of us are approaching middle age and it seems almost impossible to imagine. We now have mortgages, babies, and real jobs. The other day I counted the years and couldn’t believe how much time has passed since college and dare I say it—high school. I found myself wondering about so many people I knew long ago; wondering how they fared and if they are well. I do hope so.
This thing called life is pretty incredible and I am enjoying it as best as I know how. There is an ebb and flow that can be counted on but not predicted. Seasons come and go and we never get them back. So, I am trying to take more time to stop, love and appreciate. How? By hugging my girls a little bit longer and probably way too tight. By telling my husband thank you for the little things and making sure he’s listening when I say he’s appreciated. By sitting still and giving the time to friends who need an ear to listen—even if it throws off a schedule or allows the girls time to rip the house apart. By enjoying the beauty of a cloudy day just as much as a sunny one.
Love is all around us today and so is life. With its crazy ups and downs we have so much that we could complain about. But why? We don’t always get the story that we thought would be written. But you know what? That’s okay for me. I don’t want to waste time thinking about things that could have been or asking crazy questions of why? I want to appreciate who I am, where I am and what I am as much as I possibly can.
My special needs daughter turned four this week and I am still celebrating, smiling and remembering the day that we brought her home. We’re not living the life that we planned, but it’s still a good one. If you’re like me, your story may not be unfolding as you hoped. But I think that’s a part of it. Whether it’s going the way you planned or not, are you leaning toward what means the most to you? What are you grasping a hold of and appreciating right now in this thing we call life?