There’s been a lot of loss around lately… One of our grooms from 2009 passed away this past Saturday. Jen Berry lost her husband to Hodgkins earlier this month. Natalie Norton‘s sweet Gavin would have been three yesterday.
It weighs on me – their loss. All such good people… In the last week I’ve cried for all three of the women who have lost someone so close to them. My heart aches for them. I feel exhausted by the idea that the darkness that once visited me is ever looming in the back of my head – waiting to make my heart freeze with fear or possibly to make me sick again someday. Even more than the residual fear that I will always have, I feel responsibility.
I’ll never understand why I was chosen to live. This confusion and gratitude must be somewhat similar to what people who survive an accident feel when they live and someone else in that accident doesn’t make it. It’s unnerving sometimes… I feel such an overwhelming calling to make it count. If God chose me to live when so many other people die or lose their loved ones, I feel like I need to make sure He knows I’m grateful. He needs to know I was worth sparing… He needs to see me living with purpose. It’s something that I honestly believe I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.
Part of that for me is treasuring every single moment I’m given. So when I read this on Jen’s blog today, I just had to share.
“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.” ― Pema Chödrön