About 2 weeks after my wedding my dad got very sick. He was on a ventilator; with many days of us not knowing whether he was going to live or die. He came out of it but he has never been the same. The dad I remember that used to go to Tiger games and listen to music much too loud; is no longer the dad I get to see. I didn’t know that dance we had was the last time he was going to be able to dance without oxygen. There was a moment I didn’t even know if I would hear his voice again. I was painfully reminded how fragile life is and how quickly things can change in a blink of an eye.
When I became pregnant I naturally wanted to rush everything. I wanted those nine months to be over the day the lines showed up on the test. Often times I thought back to those moments with my dad and was reminded of the beauty of the unknown. This is not easy for me to say because I am a planner. I am type A+ and I read every spoiler I can find about Grey’s Anatomy. This lesson is my life lesson. It is what the universe continues to show me; time and time again.
The mystery of the moment is one of our greatest gifts. We never know when that last moment will happen. Olivia decided one day she was done with her crib. She asked for her big girl bed and we obliged; thinking she was just in a phase. It was not. The crib front came down and without any notice, I had a toddler sleeping in a big girl bed. I didn’t soak up those moments enough. Her swaddled in her crib not able to move. Pulling herself up on the rail and jumping until we came in to get her. These moments were over without any warning. I am not sure if we can ever really get enough, but we can try. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Some are expected and beautiful; others are painful and we never see them coming. Some we know are coming but they still manage to hit us like a ton of bricks. Each change welcome and heartbreaking at the same time.
What I have learned is that not knowing when the moment will become the memory is the beauty. It is what helps us try and appreciate each moment as best we can. Not just as parents but as friends, significant others, or any other relationship we are in. This is not to say that we can’t wish for the next phase in life, for when the potty training is over or when we can relax while our child plays independently in the yard. This is merely to appreciate the beautiful gift life hands us of not knowing. It forces us to try to be present, to love while we are here, to appreciate the happy times, to soak it up and breathe it all in.
“Sometimes you just don’t know when that’s gonna be. Hold me baby, give me a kiss, like tonight is all there is. ‘Cause there is a last time for everything.”- Brad Paisley