Life is full of choices. Each moment of our day we make a choice. Some are so natural and so automatic we don’t think of it. Other choices make our brains go into overdrive. I have learned that how we look at a scenario greatly affects the way we make our choice. It is like the saying, “Life isn’t about the cards we are dealt, it’s how we play the hand.”
Everyday I wake up I have the choice to let Mark’s death cripple me by dwelling on every detail, every moment, and a focusing on a future lost or I can move forward and take the future into my own hands. I choose to keep moving forward. It’s not just for the beautiful children I have, but it is also for me. Yes, I finally had to start looking at putting me first sometimes. If I laugh and smile, I show the kids through actions that there is still a life to live. I get the permanence of death and that no one can come back. I get that the future I thought once was, is no longer. It is a change. How I choose to make that change is up to me. I choose love and happiness.
Everyone grieves at their own rate and there is no right or wrong. I have had so much help and support around me that I think gave me a huge boost. Learning to live as a single mom and take every decision and everything needed to run our home and the lives of my three children into my own hands was daunting. I made a pact with myself to do one thing everyday to get all of our finances, paperwork, and life back together and in order. Each time I was able to check something off the list I felt a sense of accomplishment and a little stronger. That was a choice. The choice was to take matters into my own hands and get it done by navigating down an unknown path and finding good in each decision.
I have learned to find joy in the smallest moments in life: some solitude on the beach watching the sunset, singing and dancing in my living room to my favorite song, thinking about what life holds. The unknown can be scary but it can also be exciting. I choose to be open to whatever the universe and God has in store. I choose to keep an open mind and be open to all possibilities. I choose to let my heart beat again and feel love and laughter, yes, you really can feel laughter. I have also learned that’s it’s okay to be happy. That does not negate the life I once had, in fact it honors it. The woman I was is still there to some extent but the woman going into the future is someone I am proud to be. I have felt broken, labelled, and lost. I chose to wear those scars with pride and know there is greater strength than there ever was before. I have more of a sense now of who I am and what I want in life. I am no label, I am simply me.