Thursday, June 8, 2017

You Don't Know What You've Got...

...Until it's gone.

People say it all the time. Usually in the aftermath of losing someone.

It's painfully true.

We may recognize on some occasions what it is about this person that made life what it was. Moments of reflection on their positive traits, and how, perhaps, we might have benefited from the way they lived.

But when they're gone.

When they're gone, we do it every day. We remember them with tears, and regret. We wish they were back, we recognize all of the ways we may have made their living difficult. We remember things we wish we hadn't said or done.

The problem is that we don't often enough think that we shouldn't say or do things before we say or do them.

We don't regard people as well when they are living with us. When their faults and shortcomings are in full color, so is our irritation and exasperation.

Wonderful moments come between the hard parts of life. The parts that grow us and develop our  character. The parts where we make mistakes, and we're unsure of what to do next.  The parts where we are insecure, or we recognize that we are jerks, those are the hard parts. Then, while we are focused on our own shortcomings, somehow the shortcomings of the people closest to us are magnified. Rather than doing the hard work to fix ourselves, we begin to gripe about how those loved ones could fix themselves.

We want them to do something better, or more, or less. We want them to focus more on us, or less on us. We want them to be what we want them to be.

But they are who they are. They are either becoming better, or they aren't. Just like the rest of us.

But then. Then, sometimes, they are gone. Just, gone.

Then is when we realize that everything that they were, that they worked toward, that they said, and did...we miss. We miss that they left their shoes in the middle of the floor. We miss that they never put the cap on the milk. We miss that they worked so hard for their family. We missed that they served their community so well. We miss that they encouraged us to stay at home and love our family. We miss that they were always up for an adventure.

The things that we loved about someone, often those very things are what irritate us the most after a time. Then, when they're gone, we remember how much we loved those things about them.

We get in our own way too much.

We focus on our own agenda, or right to be right. Our wants and needs.

When the persons that we love the most aren't there any more, that's when we notice how needy we were. How self involved.

We realize that we'd take back every little thing about that person if we could. Every, blessed, irritating thing. And every lovely thing.

And we know that we wouldn't focus on the irritating things. In fact, we know that we'd push aside the luxury of being irritated at all. We'd focus on every lovely thing. We'd encourage every lovely thing.

In fact, perhaps we'd grow every lovely thing in ourselves.

I'm disappointed with myself that it has required grieving the loss of one of the loveliest people I've known, to purposefully look for every lovely thing in the people that I do life with.

I hope to succeed in this. I hope you will, too. Love covers a multitude of wrongs. It doesn't make losing someone easier, but it can make our regrets fewer and our lives together more joyful.

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1 comment:

Inksgirl said...

Well said and oh so true. Love you to pieces my daughter!