I met a new person last week, an old friend of Daniel’s. We had met before, but I don’t think we’d ever had a conversation. “I’m so sorry,” he started out, “about Dragon. I can’t imagine what you guys have been through. I’ve been reading your blog. Your writing makes me think differently about my life.”
“Thank you for reading,” I responded, surprised. Before this year, no one had read my writing. Well, they’ve read my marketing plans, my business plans, my memorandums, but it’s been years since I wrote anything from the heart. Until now.
“My college roommate tells me that each blog post is like a love letter to Dragon.” I continued. When Mina had said it, I had realized that it’s true. Every post is a love letter to the son I miss so much.
Lately, I’ve been a broken record. Each post is a variation of I remember this about Dragon, I miss that about Dragon, here is another way that Dragon’s absence breaks my heart. I am compelled to write because it helps me process this thing that makes no sense, but I’m not sure why people are compelled to listen. I wonder if people wonder, when is she going to move on?
Gentle Reader, I don’t know what to tell you. For me, for now, this is my life. I don’t think there is a “moving on.” As Hannah has said, it’s just trying our best to “move forward.”
This friend I met last week went on to say, “Because of what’s happened to you guys, to Dragon, I see life differently. Our high schooler, he was having a hard time at school. It’s a prestigious school, and before this year, we would have told him to suck it up. To stick with it. But now, we listened. We heard how unhappy he was, and we decided to make a change. He’s much happier at his new school. It was the right thing. And my younger son? Now I hug and kiss him all the time. So much so, I think he’s sick of me! Me? I could work harder, start my own business. But, I find that what I want to do is to spend more time with my children. I’ve started to think differently about what’s important.”
“Yes,” Daniel chimed in, “You realize that, in the end, none of it is important. Family… that’s what’s important.”
I agree. Lots of things that used to seem significant, I now realize, are unnecessary. In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, author Brene Brown wrote: Joy is what happens when you realize how good life really is. My life was good, but I didn’t realize how good it was. I told Dragon every day how much I loved him. He knew how much I loved him. I don’t worry about that. But I wish I would have taken more time to just enjoy him. Not to improve him or to teach him, not to coach him or to groom him, just to purely enjoy the pleasure of his company. I wish I would have appreciated more the pleasure of our life. I stressed out about doing and achieving, I stressed out about work/life balance, and I lived a lot for the future, when all we had was today. I thought we had years ahead of us, decades together. I didn’t know then that I had days. That photo at the top of page? Days.
Maybe life still is good. Maybe I’m still wasting time now, not being joyful. But at this time, joyful is not a word in my vocabulary. I can’t agree with life being good, but I can see that life can still have good moments. That’s all I got for now, but it is a start.