In the year following the divorce I had found myself focusing so much on the future that I couldn’t see what was happening in the moments I was within. I had become consumed with finding the right person, future holidays, the kids growing older, his future with the person he had replaced me with. I couldn’t catch my breath most days. My mom would say to me, just get through today, Pam, please don’t worry about tomorrow, next week or even next year. I had no idea how to grasp this concept because I have no patience. No, really … absolutely no patience whatsoever! So to ask me, the one that lacks this character trait to not worry about the future it became a battle within myself of which I never won.
About 18 years ago I received a phone call that I remember like it was yesterday. Nathan was just a baby, 6 months old and into everything! The house had toys scattered from one end to the other, I don’t think I had made the beds in a week, laundry was creeping its way of out the laundry room and into the hall and I am sure I had not washed my hair in days. With a laundry basket in one hand, Nathan at my feet I thought let it ring, but instead picked it up and said, “Hello?” “Hey sis … not now A.C. I am knee-deep in everyday life, talk later.” He wouldn’t let me go and the harder I tried the more determined he became to talk. Finally just to get off the phone I gave in and what followed was this … “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you!! Love you sis now get back to your everyday life!” Just a few short days later the phone rang again, this time the somber sound of my father telling me to come home, quickly that A.C. had been in a horrific car accident and likely would not pull through. I stood there, speechless looking at Nathan and unable to speak, to move, to think. All I could hear was A.C.’s voice … was this really happening? Over the next month I sat vigil by my brothers bedside. The only response they had been able to get from him was when I walked into the ICU room and said his name. He moved, which they called involuntarily but I knew he had heard me. The night he took his last breath I was by his side praying for just one more moment, just give me one more with him.
Not long ago I fell into bed exhausted. Not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I was worn out with life. Everything from dating, to work, to coming home at 5:00 and starting what I call my first job … my 8-5, Monday – Friday career is my second job in my book. Being a mom comes first, just my hours are a little off! I was in that mindset that I had found myself in several years earlier. Frustrated at the lack of hours I had in a day to get things accomplished, the future, both mine and the kids I was overwhelmed with the what ifs and why me’s of my life. And then as if I was standing in my house 18 years ago and hearing that phone ringing again I couldn’t remember if I had heard Carolina laugh today, did Elizabeth blow me a kiss after I dropped her off at school, had I hugged Alex before he got out of the car, had I even asked Nathan how his day was? These are the most important moments in a day and I was missing them because I was more worried about the future and not what was happening right here today.
I absolutely love Elizabeth’s room! It is bright purple filled with pinks and yellows and greens. It is everything I want for a little girls room. It is filled with pictures frames filled with family photos, beautiful hand painted pictures, mirrors, a silver piggy bank with her initials. A chair … a beautiful chair that she will never sit in but my chair that late at night when she can’t sleep I sit quietly in next to her bed, holding her hand praying for rest for her tired little body. Early one morning as I walked in to wake Elizabeth up I stopped and stared at one particular plaque I have hanging on her wall. I have passed it a thousand times and never allowed it to mean anything to me other than an accessory in her room, until that morning in the early light of dawn.
My fingertips brush over this plaque every morning and I have to remind myself that God has the future handled for me so that I can ….
Love the Moment.
(… and to the one that reminded me just today of the importance of focusing on the good, loving the moments we do have together and for your ever-loving patience as I find myself, thank you)