Four years ago today a beautiful, tiny miracle was born; a perfect little angel. Four years ago today this little girl made me a mother, the most wonderful, honorable, treasured title I could ever receive.
Today Quincy would be four. Four years old…what would it be like to have a four year old. I sit here and imagine how today could be so very different if we were planning a four year olds birthday party. What would the theme be? What would she choose to eat? What colors of balloons would we buy? What kind of cake would she choose? Who would her friends be and what would she ask for? I can only imagine how magnificent a four year olds birthday would be.
The past two years have been heavy. The pain of grief is exhausting as each day is an effort to stay positive and continuously remind myself how much I have to be grateful for. The sting of child loss never leaves. As Q’s birthday has been approaching I have contemplated what to do. How do I stay positive and gracious? Do we celebrate? She was here, she lived and her short time here is most definitely worth celebrating. But how do you plan a party for a four year old who is not here anymore. I can’t do it.
There are many things I have learned over the past two years as I have struggled with grief and growth. I feel that I have changed tremendously as an individual in ways that others may not necessarily see, but in ways that I think, ways that I am. Of all the life lessons I am learning one of the most valuable is that of truly living. Living the life we are given. Living each day to the fullest. Taking time to truly live.
We are all so caught up in everything around us. We are busy. Life is fast paced. We are often running, chasing, working, texting, chatting, shopping. We are in a world where we are constantly searching for more, we are rarely satisfied. We are often wanting something bigger, something better, something more. More clothes, more money, bigger house, more toys, better job, more friends, better everything. We want to be skinnier, prettier, happier, smarter, healthier. It’s not all bad things we are chasing, there’s a lot of good that keeps us busy but are we truly living or are we skimming by, hanging on to whatever takes us to the next thing?
Let’s take a time out.
On this day, the 19th day of August, the birthday of my angel Quincy, I ask everyone to slow down and take a time out. Set down your cell phone, turn off the TV, leave work an hour early, miss a meeting or an appointment and take some time with your little ones. Sit on the floor and do a puzzle, put together that train track or dress that baby doll in fifteen different outfits. Don’t rush, just do it and enjoy it. Tickle toes, paint nails and color pictures, laugh at jokes and read some books, look at photos. Take time to focus on what’s truly important, the little things that are right in front of us.
Life moves so quickly and we don’t know what each day will bring. I never in a million years thought I would live my life without all my children. If there is one thing anyone can learn from me, from my trial, I hope that it is to take time. Take time for the things that truly matter. Be gracious and grateful for what you have. Be content and humble. Every day, take time out. Whether its 10 min or 2 hours, just take some time to slow down, sit down and do something, anything to make the most of that day. There is absolutely nothing more important. Nothing.