I am reading a really interesting and thought-provoking book right now entitled, “Rising Strong”, by Brene Brown. It speaks a lot to the idea of telling one’s story and making sure to get the details “right”. And that, it’s never too late to write your life story anew. Wouldn’t we all like to rewrite several chapters of our life stories? My love of journalling really does allow me to, if not rewrite my life’s story, then at least let me examine it from a different more objective standpoint. When I look back now at 49, is it the same story I wrote when I was say 30 or 18 for that matter? Can I look at the experiences that happened in my childhood, in my married life or work life with more open mindedness and less bias? It is something I’m learning to do. Most times, it is a difficult thing to try to understand why we or other people chose to pen the chapters of their lives the way they did and it is truly important to embrace our own narratives as well as try to appreciate the life stories of others.
As I sit here at my computer, I take many glances away from the screen and over to the right at my Mom’s obituary which sits where I can see it everyday. Her sweet, beautiful face looking back at me from the small photo. I often wonder what had her life meant to her? Had she any real regrets? Was she really proud of something she did or accomplished? Any poignant advice on aging gracefully? What would she tell me? Unfortunately, we never discussed many of those end of life questions as she truly never gave up hope on beating her cancer-not once! I often thought that she did us such a disservice by not wanting to talk about her life, her battle with cancer or dying. She never talked about what were her best achievements, although I would guess she would have said her children. Or that maybe her biggest regrets would be that she would never see her grandchildren marry and have children of their own. I can only make those assumptions of her story as I will never truly know. However, I understand now that she committed herself to living and that unwavering dedication to living her life to the fullest was her decision. It was her last chapter to write and she wrote it with total conviction. I have to be satisfied with the book she left me. My sister and I are now responsible for keeping her story alive through continuing her traditions, telling her funny tales, remembering her unmistakable laughter, passing on her smile to others and most importantly, loving life. It is a tall order, but it’s a real labor of love.
As each of us are, I am the author of my book. I want to be open, honest and forthcoming with my story. I want it to show my life in a realistic light. I know in my life there is plenty of drama and a great deal of hardships and heartbreaks, but there is also LOTS of love, joy and forgiveness. It is my book to write and from now on I choose to fill it so others will find joy when reading it. I will choose to learn from my mistakes, grow from my shortcomings and see the world with all its faults, disappointments and tragedies with brand new eyes every day. I chose to be happy, find the joy in the small things and be grateful for each and every day I get to spend here on this Earth. I know some of those experiences were also my Moms experiences. They were also in her book. I hope I will make her proud with the remainder of my own story. It is my pen and my paper. It’s time to get writing!