Today, I head out to Chicago, and then onto Michigan at my friend’s lake house. I took a similar trip and this same exact time in 2012 (thank you Facebook Memories for reminding me of how aligned the timeframe is). I plan on spending great time with great friends with laughter and creating memories. I did this seven years ago as well. The difference this trip; Ed is not with me as he was last time.
What I did not realize seven years ago was it would be his last trip. This would be the last time he saw these friends. People made it a point to see us when we were in town. They knew it. We didn’t (thankfully). And I would not realize that everyone knew but me until several years after Ed passed where I came right out and asked, “Did you know that would be the last time”? More often than not I got “yes” or “I had a feeling it would be”. I had no clue because the brain and hope can be very powerful things.
This Thursday, I will have rotated around the sun 2,555 times since that last trip. And while up until the other night, the earth had felt relatively still (I experienced my first real earthquake at a magnitude of 4.7), there have been plenty of shifts in this time. They have happened without my even realizing it. Life – good, bad or indifferent – has moved forward. And looking back at what was gets further and further away. Looking forward at what will be gets more and more into focus. Like a kaleidoscope, the colors and shapes blur until things look the way we think they should. And then they change again. The constants are the people in my lives, and the people I will see this week in particular. These are my life long friends. These are my “lifetime” friends that no matter how much time has gone by, we pick up where we left off without skipping a beat. These friends are “home” no matter how long has passed. No matter who has passed. No matter what has happened, the good, the bad, the ugly, they are “home”.
The farther away I get from my old life, the more I feel like I am an on the outside looking in. That life is no longer mine. It’s what was, and now I am what is. Looking back upon my “old” life feels less and less normal as time passes. Instead of crying, I smile at what was. I have gratitude for what is. And I look forward to what will be. I’m now at a point where I cannot look back, but only continue moving forward. And this has not been quick journey (word I hate btw), or a sprint from point A-to-point B. It has taken me time and discovery. Presence. Surrender. Faith. I now experience an energized feeling when I know I am on the right path.
Here’s to all of us living life and moving forward at our own pace, in our own space and time.
Strength, Courage, Wisdom…Faith, Love and Hope…
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