Last night, almost two months after The Event, the news went public. Attempting to process all that has happened, she started writing a blog. It was the first time a number of people had heard the news. I read the shock in their posts. I imagined what it would be like to read that on Facebook for the first time, not knowing. Shock is a very appropriate reaction.
Tonight I read her blog. From beginning to now. I entered her story. The words formed a voice and I was pulled in. For a few brief moments, I was recovering from a massive heart attack. I was reconsidering my life and waiting. What does this mean? How has everything changed? I was living in a body which was no longer willing to keep up with my spirit. My spirit was looking at what it had wrought and sobbing.
On one hand, I am alive. That needs to be enough. In this time and space it has to be enough. I have to embrace life and love it with all I have. The intensity with which I've lived has taken a toll. But now, that intensity has to be turned around. Can you take care with intense tenderness? Can I relax passionately?
Mourning what I've lost, I emerge from the last post. I look into my husband's eyes as the tears fall freely now. I choke out one statement.
"I don't want it to happen to me."
On one hand this shouldn't be about me. My friend is going through something I wouldn't wish on anyone. Her life is hard enough without me sucking energy from the room. Earlier this week I read an editorial which suggested that the person experiencing a tragedy is the only one with allowance to complain freely. I am not that person.
In every word I read, the picture of a person in love with life is painted. To live a life like that, you give until it hurts. I know how that works. Somedays there is nothing left. Against any odds, you succeed. Failure is a stepping stone and you rise to every challenge it offers. But how do you rise to a challenge brought on by your own tenacity?
This is not my story. She is not me. But, in reading the beginning of her current story, I wonder what lesson the world wants me to learn right now. Do I go to the gym tomorrow morning? Do I leave off that 4th coffee in the late afternoon? Do I reconsider my workload? Do I get down on the floor and play with my kids for a little more often?
With every step, we redefine our lives. Choose your fate. What is my first step on a path that is not mine? First I remind myself - you are NOT her. Second, I send up a prayer and a wish that she makes peace with her situation and heals her heart. Thirdly, I take what she has offered me. A reminder to tuck in my tank. Be thankful for each and every day. I can't know that it won't happen to me.