I am a different person than I was five years ago.
Heck, I'm a different person than I was a week ago.
One of the many gifts of life is that we are able to evolve, to grow, to create new experiences and memories. To take chances. To live.
Five years ago, a dear friend of mine had these gifts taken from her when her life was taken from her. We don't know how her life may have flourished over the last five years. I imagine she would still be teaching, enriching hundreds of lives. I imagine she would be the biggest cheerleader of her three children, watching them excel in their sports and academics. She would be strong in her faith. She would be a shining light. She would be all of these things and more.
I've spent countless moments over the last five years thinking about Susan and her gentle, sweet soul. I've tried to piece things together, and I've tried to find peace. I take great comfort in knowing her children are healthy and happy. But I still-quite deeply- feel her loss.
I recently have been wrestling with fear. There are a few things consuming my mind that keep me worried and anxious, and I haven't been sleeping very well. Today, I came across these words
"The honest truth is that we are really only meant to carry one day's worth of worry around with us...we know it's tempting to let your mind wander down the dark "what ifs"...but you've got to try with all you've got to shut those thoughts down. Be present in the moment and try not to let fear be your operator. Fear is a punk and will try and steal your joy from the present moment. The more you can focus on the today and the here and now the more your heart and mind is forced to be and stay present."- Jill and Kate
I couldn't help but think of Susan as I read these words. She was one of the bravest people I ever knew, but she lived her life with such passion and meaning. I have always said that I strive to be like her, and I know that those words were meant to find me today. I know that she would want me to set my fear aside and to live my life passionately. So to honor her, and to be the best me I can be, I will try my hardest. It is NOT easy, I know that, but hopefully with grace, and practice, I can do it.
As the years go by, I find it more challenging to write about Susan, to honor her in a way I feel gives her any sort of justice. But should their come a day I cannot find those words, there will never be a time I do not have her on my heart. She left an everlasting impact on me, even in the short time we knew one another. She continues to radiate light- I can feel it.
Self, and anyone else reading this, let's not live our lives in fear. It's too short for that. Let's embrace the changes, cling to the ones close to us, share our feelings, and be loud with our love. Susan would have. In many ways, she still does.