Friday, March 24, 2017

#SOL17 Day 24 - 27 Years Ago...

27 years ago today was a bright, sunny Saturday morning in southern California. It was also the day I lost my dad to a sudden heart attack. I was 16. My parents had been married for a little over 19 years. As I write this, Chance and I have been married for a little over 20 years. In fact, we're leaving tonight on our much-anticipated trip to Tahiti to celebrate this milestone.

My Dad and Me
In truth, I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that I've been married longer than my parents. I'm not sure what it is, exactly. I just feel unsettled about the idea. So I decided to try and write my through my unsettled feelings in the hopes of gaining some clarity. I think part of my discontent is that I don't feel like Chance and I have been married that long. The picture I have in my head is of us when we met: college seniors, hands joined, looking outward from the shore in a similar direction, our whole lives spread out before us like an endless ocean. Now, we're in the midst of the ocean of our lives. Am I afraid that we're closer to the other side of our ocean? Maybe.

Another part of my discontent is definitely a fear-based result of having a parent die in my youth. My dad's sudden death all those years ago made me acutely aware of how quickly things can change. He was here one minute, making fun of my boyfriend and nagging me about my grades, then he was gone. I don't like that I'm getting close to 49 (the age he died.) Getting older isn't bothering me as much as just seeing age 49, like it's some sort of scary finish line. Morbid, I know. But no one ever said fear was rational.

As I reflect on these thoughts, I notice two things: they're both fear-based. And they both mean one thing: I must choose to cherish this life I've been lucky enough to have. Regardless of where we are in the ocean of our lives, it's our life, meant to be lived to the fullest with the same joy as that young couple with the hands clasped together had all those years ago. No matter if the memories are small ones (coffee on winter mornings, cuddles in front of the fire, summer evenings by the pool) or momentous milestones (#TwentyinTahiti - we decided to hashtag our trip, because we're dorks) each one should be cherished and lived to its fullest.  

To honor my dad and his memory, this is what I'll work on: be present. Cherish the small times, because they often end up being the big times. Be grateful for each day and leave it a bit better than I found it.

6 comments:

  1. You are right, fear is rarely rational. It has to have been a hard piece to write, but important. Cherishing the every day and the major moments is a way to hold on to your past, present, and future. Have a great trip!

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    1. You're right, it was. I really struggled through this post, but it left me with a lot of insight, and I'll bet it will continue to do so.

      And thank you!!! I can't wait to get on the plane!!

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  2. Lorie - when I read your title on the TWT page (Anniversaries… sad ones lead to a fresh outlook) I was so worried something happened to you on your trip. While I was relieved, I did not feel relief. Your slice hit home in many ways. This time of life is exciting and scary. I agree we need to be present and appreciate each moment. Thank you for sharing your story --it was beautifully crafted. I wish you a wonderful #TwentyinTahiti! (but no more scaring me with titles!!!)
    Clare

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    1. Oooof!! Sorry, Claire! We're all good. :)

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  3. A beautiful slice. While I have not experienced a loss like yours, my husband did (although, he was older...30) and I see some of your fears in him and as his wife, I also experience them. Especially when he gets to his dad's age.

    You sound like you have a great outlook for the future.

    Enjoy your anniversary trip!

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  4. He was here one minute...and then he was gone. Life is so fragile and unpredictable. That's why you should go to Tahiti and enjoy every single minute while you are still on earth.

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