This week brings me to another marking of time. March 8 will make four years since Sam left this world. Five years since knowing we were in a very bad place. Terrible, terrible times.
I look back sometimes and wonder how we made it. I would not wish what we experienced on anyone.
But if you just keep moving…
Today, our daughter Skyped with me from 5,000 miles away. She’s been ice skating on a frozen lake. She tells me of her adventures, the friends whose names I did not know five years ago. We laugh, we visit, and I am aware of the arrival of a new day. Happiness. Joy. Peace. Living.
I sit with our son at Mass. I visit his family tonight. Laugh at the constant motion, constant buzz of his house, filled with family and laughter. Good food, good conversations. Laugh at the antics of two little girls we did not realize would be coming to us. Happiness. Joy. Peace. Living.
Never ever could I have predicted the days we lived five years ago. Never ever could I have predicted the happy circumstances my family lives today.
Smiles from living in the moment we are in. Sentimentality from remembering a good man who would be smiling at all of us.
Wherever you are, whatever sadness might stun you, overwhelm you, paralyze you, breathe through it. One day, it will get better.
Maybe not in four years, or five. Maybe later. Maybe sooner. Just keep at it.
Walk —when you cannot take one more step, take just one more. Sooner or later, you will walk into sunlight. The ice will glisten like diamonds on a frozen lake and you’ll marvel at all the colors you see.
Wait—when you cannot wait one more second, a child might arrive. Or two. And they will bring laughter from a well that until then was unopened.
I have watched my children’s smiles return. I have seen real joy in their eyes.
This is a gift from walking and waiting.
So, smile when you can and remember what you must, but know that a lot of good is right down the road. Live to see it.