I was talking with a new friend yesterday and she made a comment about how calm and peaceful I am despite all I’ve been through. There was a time I would have laughed at that thought. In my prior life, prior to losing everything that I thought mattered and losing the only thing that mattered, Jack, I was the person no one really wanted to deal with.
Since that conversation I’ve been thinking about all that has happened in these last few years. Everything that I thought mattered, the stuff, the job, the financial security, have fallen into perspective. Not one bit of it made me happier, at least not for long. Instead I only wanted more. More money, more responsibility, better, newer, faster things. The latter of which would be replaced with the next latest greatest toy. Since I don’t desire these things anymore I also lost the desire to compete for them too.
I get excited today for another person’s success and I understand their drive. Some of us came here to have that experience. When others are talking about their careers or desires the best thing for me to do is to silently bless them that they find what they need to. In doing so I become more calm and peaceful. That’s how I am blessed too.
Jack’s life and death have had a profound effect on my life. We had all the normal ups and downs of any marriage. We came through some really difficult times but we stayed together because we knew we were meant to always be together. We worked on our challenges, together, and we were grateful for every day though we may not have verbalized it often enough.
I had 36 years with the love of my life. That’s rare these days. Being by his side through his cancer journey and his dying, as gut-wrenching as it was, was also a blessing to my life. This time changed my perspective irrevocably. In his suffering he showed limitless courage and grace. In his death he left with me the legacy to live the same way.
Being at peace has come at a high price me for me. It has taken living through the worst life has to offer for me to realize that all of the other stuff is meaningless unless I allow it to be more. What I’m grateful for is discovering this before the end of my life.
While I can write about what I’ve learned in my life I also know that everyone comes to this life to have their own experiences. If mine help you then great. But no other person can tell you how to live your life. You have to discover it your own way. I wouldn’t wish the worst life had to offer me on anyone else but the worst life had to offer has made me the person I am now… someone at peace.
I wish for you that your journey is all you need it to be for you.
With love, Cheryl