I was president of my mom’s group a few years ago. Every month, our newsletter included a President’s Greeting. It was usually a cheery preview of the month’s upcoming activities. Since I’m not very good at cheery previews, I used the space to write my own personal thoughts on motherhood. I am including these on my blog for my children to read one day.
October 2006: What were you doing ten years ago this October? How has your life changed since then? I was just 22 years old, not even married for a year yet. I think I was in the “no kids for me, thanks” phase of my life. I was probably still trying to find myself and hadn’t learned the biggest lessons of my life yet. (Not that I’ve learned them all even now…)
Ten years ago this October, my family was still defined as my parents, sister, brother, and my husband. That definition has changed tremendously in the last 10 years. Not only do I have a daughter, but I have another baby on the way. My family core has changed and has now become the family that I’ve created – the one that I’ve borne, not the one I was born into.
Ten years ago this October, the family I grew up in ceased to exist. My parents had already divorced in 1995, but in October 1996, my brother died. Before this point, I don’t think I stopped to think that my family would ever change that much. I figured my siblings and I would grow old together, and the grandparents would be around for a long time, spoiling and playing with the grandkids. Now, ten years later, the only ones that are left are me and my sister. It’s devastating to feel like the only survivor after a storm.
But the silver lining is I changed my life – or rather, it changed me. I learned just how much I take for granted, and I learned that we will all die one day. I learned that family doesn’t mean shared blood – just shared love. I learned to pare down the frills in my life and relationships, and learned that what I truly need to survive aren’t things and stuff. The hardest lesson I learned was that I have to tell the people I love how I feel. I always thought I’d get another chance to tell my brother I loved him, but I didn’t. That is one of the biggest regrets in my life. And, for the last ten years, I’ve tried not to make that mistake again.
I know you’ve heard this before, and it’s repetitive and maybe a little trite. But let me say it again so you might truly know it: don’t wait another day. Whatever it is you’re waiting for, stop waiting. Say it, do it, undo it, be it, feel it. Tomorrow isn’t always another day, Scarlett. Today is all you have. Make it count!