So death has been a bit of a recurring theme for me the past few hours. Odd enough considering it’s only 3:30 pm and my work does not center around that particular topic, but definitely unwelcome as it’s brought up definitely unpleasant feelings/reminiscing. A while back I must have read a review or SOMETHING of this book The Replacement Wife. I don’t remember what it was about or who reviewed the book or if maybe Amazon was like, “hey based on the other chick lit books you filled your Kindle with, here’s something else you should buy!” but whatever the reason, I added it to my Amazon wishlist. Right before my honeymoon, I received an update that the book’s price had been reduced and I could snag it for just $2.99. For someone who reads as much and as quickly as me, this was a Godsend so I immediately clicked the purchase button and downloaded it was. I filled my days with my husband and Christian Grey (oh yes) on my honeymoon so it wasn’t until we got back and were settled in that I started it. This is the first time I feel screwed by my Amazon wishlist. Although it’s a good book so far, the very beginning introduces us to the main character’s cancer relapse. The main character’s mother also died of cancer, which is of course present in much of what I’ve read so far. I just deleted the next sentence that I wrote here because unfortunately I sometimes try to use humor to diffuse an uncomfortable situation, yet it’s not always appropriate, funny or come across so well in print. I was reading the book on my lunch break today, as I so often do, when I actually ended my lunch break early because the book was making me upset and that’s just not something I need at the office. I took my tupperware container that had my super delicious Rachael Ray recipe for steak pizzaiole (spelling? I’m too lazy to stop typing long enough to google this…wow) and walked in on two of my co-workers talking about a friend who had passed away at 54, leaving behind a wife and children. They were saying how young that was and how it just shows you can’t take life for granted.
I agree wholeheartedly with that statement. I’ve had friends and friends of friends who passed away as teenagers or young adults. I always try to keep that philosophy in mind, but it’s really hard when life gets in the way. It would be much easier to embrace spontaneity and my life to-do list if my everyday to-do list and work didn’t get in the way. Of course, when I do actually have a day without anything pressing to do, I don’t really take advantage of it.
I feel like I have little epiphanies about life way too frequently without actually doing anything about it. I love my life and wouldn’t change it, don’t get me wrong, but I definitely think there are things I could be doing better and allow myself to do more or try more or live more or savor more. Just more.
I kind of got away from my original thought behind this post. Today’s focus on death made me sad. It made me think of my mom, which caused a flood of emotions to sweep through after the sadness took hold. It reminded me that I want to live my life so I never have to go through losing another loved one while facing regrets. I wish I had called my mom more. I wish I had saved the money to go visit her in Florida before it was almost too late, while she could take me to the beach without a wheelchair and we could go for a drink at the bar where she met her boyfriend (he took me by the way).
The last few weeks before my wedding were the hardest without my mom. I have the greatest support system here and have been lucky enough to marry into one of the best families on earth, but all I wanted to do after my last dress fitting was call my mom. I wanted to tell her about the way my waist looked tiny and my arms didn’t look as huge anymore (thanks cheerleading). I wanted to tell her how dumb I was that I let my veil and headband get mixed with boxes from my bridal shower and thrown away and how lucky I was to have a fiance who made sure I had new ones. I wanted to see her dress, which she never even shopped for, and tell her she looked pretty, even if I was jealous of her blue eyes, blonde hair, and 105 lb. frame (before she got sick!). I wanted to show her all the DIY stuff I had done for the wedding, something she may not have even believed without seeing it due to my utter lack of interest in crafts when I was younger, something she was basically a pro at. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t do any of those things and even worse I was too busy and was supposed to be too happy to even contemplate it further.
Trying to comprehend losing my mom has been very weird because she lived far away and I didn’t see her often and with our different schedules, we didn’t talk all the time either. It doesn’t always seem like she’s gone until I want to tell her something and it’s then that it hits me the hardest. It’s also just so hard to talk about or put into writing because it makes you feel raw just thinking about it. As I type, I have a huge lump at the back of my throat and have that weird feeling you get when you’re trying not to cry. It’s hard just to formulate the right words and maybe it’s even impossible. I also never really want to put my realest feelings on display which I believe is why I have such a hard time blogging on a regular basis. As soon as I have something real I want or NEED to write about, I shut down. I feel like I can’t or won’t. But sometimes life’s lessons are more important that the lump in your throat. We really do need to remember not to take life for granted, that it goes too fast to be anything but happy, to tell the people we love that we love them, and spend our days doing more…not more work, but more life. Sometimes it takes an overheard conversation or a not-so-well-timed book to remind us. Or perhaps I’m reading that book exactly when I should be. Things happen in life for a reason, and perhaps this post is one too.