Tuesday, February 23, 2016

LIFE'S LITTLE DETAILS


"THE DETAILS ARE NOT THE DETAILS. THEY MAKE THE DESIGN." — CHARLES EAMES


If you asked me last week about today's post, I would have predicted the most emotionally draining thing I'd tell you about was dropping Max off at daycare last Friday—because he definitely cried and wouldn't let go of my leg. Instead, I come to you today with a heavy heart. In December, my grandfather's health took a turn for the worse. Just when we were hopeful that things were improving, they found cancer. Despite endless tests, medication, and physical therapy, we continued to get texts from my grandma and aunt that made us feel hopeful, even when things were actually really bleak and the status of his health fluctuated minute by minute. Feeling helpless and living thousands of miles away, it often seemed like there wasn't much more that we could do than remain positive and pray REALLY hard, so we did just that. On Saturday, we learned that his heart started to give up and my mom booked a flight back home to Iowa to be with her mother and sisters. Perhaps a part of me was hopelessly optimistic when she told me she was going home. I imagined the women of the family rallying and this would be just the encouragement my grandpa would need to keep fighting. I never wanted to believe this trip would result in us saying good-bye like we did on Sunday night. It didn't seem fair; it wasn't his time. But the truth is, my grandpa gave the last few months everything he had, and we have the chance to celebrate his life this weekend. He's at peace now and his memory lives on through those he left behind.

Because the past few days have been an emotional roller coaster, I didn't know if I wanted to post today. In the big scheme of things, does any of this really matter? But then it hit me that sometimes those ordinary moments that I may take for granted are actually pretty great. One week ago, I never would have envisioned writing anything like this, but now, while I pack my bags and prepare to join my family as we put my grandpa to rest, I can't help but be reminded that loss has a way of teaching us about the worth of things. Despite my best efforts to delight in the mundane as often as possible, it's easy to get caught up in saying "No!" for the hundredth time, cleaning ANOTHER mess, or our daily and slightly monotonous trips to the park. It's best when we live for little moments like receiving an unexpected and cheeky card from an old bestie or watching my favorite caped crusader run around the house in oversized wellies. And when life feels less than rosy as it has recently, it's best we let ourselves feel sad and scared as well. Sometimes painful moments like saying good-bye, which I've learned can be as simple as dropping your baby off at daycare for the first time or as heartbreaking as losing someone close to you, can actually result in unforgettable memories like four hours of child-free bliss and discovering old photographs of my grandparents dancing at our wedding. Tough times open your eyes to the good things you weren't paying attention to before and grateful for people and moments you didn't even know you were missing.



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