Thanking everything that I woke up today. Yesterday… yesterday is gone!
So, I have been thinking about the “take-away” that I gypped yall on… yesterday; fueled by my inability to see any point past the pain I was feeling. I am sorry about that. You see, there are “take-aways”, because in any situation, in every situation there are lessons to be learned; information and emotions that can be used to smooth out the rough edges in days to come.
Let me admit that I will probably never get to the place where I can look at the loss of my baby boy as a “blessing”; there will never be any set of realities – the health of my eggs or even his sperm, the health of the relationship we had before I got pregnant, the so-called burden a new baby’s presence would have had on my academic career, other people’s judgmental opinions about me without even knowing me – that will ever cause me to look at what happened as anything other than, to date, the most significant and life and perspective-changing loss I have ever had.
But what I am able to extrapolate from this poignant set of circumstances, is the (scary) reality of the fleeting nature of life and how incredibly stupid we mostly are at how much we take it for granted. Now, I know that so many spout the correct words, the ones that are used to convey how much we (supposedly) value our time here. But, when you stop and take a clear look at actions, those words are rendered void every time! Like so many of our behaviors, in this instance as well, our words are in direct conflict with what we do. Sigh.
So, one night I went to bed making plans for and amazed by the presence of my baby and the next morning I woke up and he was gone. Still physically with me; but no longer growing with me. It seemed as if it were “just like that” (as I snap my fingers). Let’s address this: how much of life happens like that? Actually more accurately, how much of death happens like that? Literally, those that we love (or profess to love), are here this minute for us to either love, respect and honor, or gone the very next, leaving us with flashbacks of anger, un-retractable words and actions and regret. You see, we live our lives as though we know, we just knew that we would have all the time in the world to fuck up and then get it right. We behave as if we’re God – knowing just how much more life there is in us. We make decisions as if they were unilateral ones; paying scant attention to the fact that the moment after our last word, we could then only be remembered for our last word.
Listen, this is absolutely not about advocating for living our lives just waiting to die; that would be incredibly foolish (not to mention boring as hell!). What I am addressing this morning after waking up from a memory of a nightmare is the encouragement to live our lives being more aware of how precious it and those that share it with us are. It is about truly recognizing that we are all of us on “borrowed” time and as such, should not spend this particular ‘loan’ foolishly – the interest is too fucking high! I also advocate for the removal of the people and things in life that take up too much of your precious real estate without paying rent; do what landlords do and evict them! Literally, “ain’t nobody got time for that’!
Tina Nguyen was simply walking down the street, I imagine fully involved in her life and now, she is being mourned by people that love her. All her future plans are not to be fulfilled or actualized (by her); but I pray that she enjoyed and succeeded in the fulfillment of her past ones. I wonder if when she woke up that morning she knew that there would be only a few short hours left of her life, what she would have done differently. I wonder what those around her who (professed to) love her would have done with that knowledge. I wonder if she knew her life would end at thirty-seven if she would have loved harder, married sooner (she was steps away from her July wedding), had babies earlier, bought those shoes she’d been “keeping her eyes on”, possibly not had that stupid argument with her fiancé. I wonder what would have been different.
My friends, we are all “Tina’s waiting to happen”. Without any exception, we will all end up the way she did; only the ‘how’ will/may be different. Just like all the babies that never made it to this world, one moment we too will have beating hearts and “just like that” (as I snap my fingers), it will stop. So in the meantime, let’s make the shit count! Let’s have the reality that this moment could be our last truly resonate with us and have that realization affect our behaviors. Let’s begin to value our time and the people in it; because they, like us, are on loan. Let’s love hard, dream big and give and accept no bullshit! Let’s put a value to every single moment in our lives so that when “it’s time”, there may still be plans that are left on the table, but what we did experience rests our souls in peace and leaves those left behind to join us at a later time, both smiling at the memories and wishing there had been more. We continually place the emphasis on the wrong things – time is not money, time is honey!