This morning as I was walking a specific song rolled though my head. I don't know who sings it, I think Brad Paisley. The chorus is, "if I could write a letter to me". Which made me think of a few blog posts I've seen lately where people post things they would say to their 20 or 30 year old self. Which made me wonder about this very thing. If I could write a letter to my 30 something self (actually 33), what would I say. Many of these letters I've read on blogs say things like: live in the moment, don't sweat the small stuff, don't put too much emphasis on how you look, surround yourself with the people you love etc. And while, I agree with every one of these and in a normal year these words and ideas would seem inspirational and motivating for me. This year they just don't seem to say enough. No, this year if I were to write a letter to myself my ideas would be more specific and certainly would include the people I love. So, I thought I would give it a try today. Here is the letter to my 33 year old self.
This year you will loose your mother. It will not be cancer or any other disease that takes her. You will not have to watch her suffer a slow and painful death but rather she will be taken in a matter of minutes in a car accident. She will be here today and gone tomorrow. You will speak to her on the day of her death. It will be approximately 2 hours before the crash. She will joke around with you so you will be left with her sense of humor and you will end the conversation with a "Good-bye" and an "I love you." You will be so thankful for that last conversation and the words spoken. Simple words with powerful meaning.
Your husband will weep alongside you for he loved her as much as you did. But he will hold your hand and be as a strong oak for you to lean on. You will feel pain like never before and you will be so grateful for his long arms when he wraps them around you at the cemetery and holds you tight as the two of you cry together. You could have never expected or predicted it to happen but the love between the two of you will deepen 10 years in a few short days. Remember that in future trials and hardships.
You will be devastated that your children lost their grandmother but they will take it so well. You and your husband will take them for a short ride in the pasture and there you will tell them that ShaSha has gone to heaven. Your boy will tell you that he already knew that and with childlike innocence and faith they will understand. It will amaze you that they have such complete peace about the fact that their grandmother is now in heaven and you will long to have that same peace. It will warm your heart and make you smile when weeks and months later your girl says, "I am so glad I have this picture so I can always remember ShaSha." And when your boy looks at a picture of him and ShaSha and gets a twinkle in his eye and big smile across his face. He is certainly a boy of few words but his face can tell a novel.
You will be taken care of by so many. Sweet friends will bring food, cards and flowers. People will call and come from out of state to love on you and say goodbye to your mother, and for that you will be thankful. You will realize just how many people she touched in her 54 years and you will love the stories they share.
Your wonderful childhood friend Dedra will come without being asked with a car full of groceries and treats. She will stay and cook and clean and care for your babes. She will help you pick out a dress to wear and she will help you write the words to be shared at the memorial. She will stay up late and will awake early. She will do all of this with a big smile and will bring laughter and warmth to your home. She will not leave until it is all over and you will never be able to repay her for all she has done. But, that's okay because she will not want one single thing from you because she loved your mother too. Much like her own.
Your daddy who has long since been divorced from your mother will come and bring you a dryer because your dryer will go out in the midst of all of this. He will come and with your brother they will install it and you won't have to ask. It will just be done. He will come and love on you like only your daddy can. He will hug you at the back of the church once the memorial is over and whisper through tears that, "She was a good mother and that it hurts him to see us hurting like this." And these words will stick with you forever and you will cry every time you think of them because you are a parent too and you can't imagine seeing your children hurting in this way.
You will find that all the things people say are true. Life is too short. This will become ever so clear to you. Hold tight to the ones you love. Again, very clear. Spend time making memories together. Yes, because those memories will be all you're left with. Live in the moment. Absolutely, because life can change in just a moment. It certainly did for us.
And then, you will write. You will write like crazy. You will write because you will find that with each word written you heal a little more. Sometimes you will find the healing rather tiring and you will want to stop the crying but each time after you write and cry you will feel better. Lighter. More able to face the world. You will be thankful for this outlet because holding each moment inside will make you feel like you will burst and you don't want to burst. So you will let it out a little at a time.
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