I believe the moments make life worth living.
Anyone unlucky enough to share my affliction with IBS will understand how I found myself lying on a bathroom floor in the wee hours of a winter morning.
Completely convinced that either an organ had ruptured or that I was dying from some undiagnosed illness, I found myself completely absorbed in the moment. I was keenly aware of how I was feeling. Extremely sensitive to my surroundings and engulfed in what I was experiencing. It was in that moment that I had an epiphany: When I’m feeling well and life is rosy, I never think to myself: “Wow, my stomach feels great right now”, or “those dandelions in the ditch bank are really yellow”. Only in my time of despair did I stop to think and feel completely what was happening at that moment of my life.
Then and there I promised myself that I would stop to appreciate the good moments too. Watching my husband and son play basketball. Lying on my lawn in early summer and being thrilled that the sun won’t go down until 9pm. Or noticing how beautiful the trees are in autumn when the leaves turn and drift.
I can honestly say that I have taken the time on such occasions to stop, feel, and be thankful for my life. Never has this philosophy served me better than after a recent loss.
After years of trying to conceive and intrusive fertility treatments we found ourselves pregnant with twin boys. With a history of miscarriage I was careful not to be too optimistic in the first trimester. But the weeks rolled by, the exams went well and the ultrasounds were reassuring.
Then all of a sudden, on uneventful Halloween afternoon, my water broke at 16 weeks 2 days gestation. I had a feeling that I would lose both of my precious and terribly wanted babies. My feeling was right. The next morning our first baby was born at 5:30am. The second followed at 8:39.
In the next few weeks I suffered through all the typical stages of grief. Eventually, just as the books said, the anger and pity gave way to acceptance. Once I accepted that I could not go back and change what happened, I realized something. I still had the moments.
Marveling at my growing belly before getting into the shower. Seeing the little lump in my abdomen when one of the babies moved around. Rolling over on my side to get out of bed because I’d gotten too big to sit straight up. These were all moments that I stopped, felt, and gave thanks for my life. Moments that made it all worthwhile.
As I continue to find my way through this life I hope I won’t only find myself overwhelmed in times of despair. I hope to find myself overwhelmed with joy and love during precious moments that could slip away unnoticed, lest we forget to cherish them.
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