Life is not fair, you don't always get what you deserve, and cherish those fleeting beautiful moments, because they are truly what life is about. These are the lessons that tragedy has taught me. When Gabe was little I had this childish notion that life was fair and that only the old died. I learned that this is not the case. I also learned how beautiful and precious and breakable life is, and because of that you should marvel in every single drop of joy it gives you. Instead of wondering what that next moment will be and wasting precious, glorious time making plans for it, when you have joy, bask in it, bathe in it, allow your soul to drink it in for the nourishment that it truly is. Gabe's death taught me to cherish my living children, love them and hold them until it hurts. Take pleasure in every second that you have, because it is so precious.
I truly do live the philosophy that life is about joy. Please don't get me wrong, there are times in my life that I feel like my brain might really explode, much like the Mentos and Coke experiment. There are times that I would gladly leave my children in the supermarket and run away. There are more times than I would care to admit to that I might very well be in last place for Mother of The Year. What I'm saying is that I am not perfect, actually quite far from it. What I am is a human. I am a human who knows unthinkable tragedy, and has come through it with the knowledge that life is a gift. I stop and smell the roses, because that is what makes life worth living. I take joy in my children (when I am not considering leaving them in the grocery store and running away).
I live in a small rural town, and consider it a blessing. When I walk down the street I will smile and wave at most of the people, because I know them. I live in a community. A community is where people come together. One of those times that our community comes together is Canada Day. Since Gabe was tiny I would dress my kids up in patriotic wear and they would take part in the Canada Day parade. This is something that they looked forward to. The last few years our municipality has been sponsoring fireworks, that is just icing on the cake.
Yesterday was Canada Day. I frantically created patriotic clothing the night before. Tuesday morning the kids all excitedly donned their clothing. For me there is always this sense of pride in my kids. They walk a little taller, smile a little more on the day of the Canada Day parade. They walked down the street smiling and waving at everyone, holding that monster tie dye flag that Gracie and I made. When the kids got to the park, Gracie and our neighbour sang Oh Canada.
We had this amazing day. The organizers at the municipality outdid themselves this year. There was bird building houses for the kids, lots of crafts, free cotton candy, and snow cones and cupcakes. I looked over at the table where they had the bird house making area. There was my Dad patiently helping out my kids, and all of their friends. I am very proud of the fact that my parents have basically adopted all of my children's friends. It's quite beautiful. The kids had an amazing afternoon seeing their friends, and the highlight was jumping through the fireman's hose on one of the hottest days of the year. We went home and had dinner. Then came back for the fireworks.
Throughout the day I took in every single second of what was going on around me. I saw it for the gift that it was. That night sitting with my friends and the kid's friends and our family I felt like the Grinch when his heart grew larger and broke the x-ray machine. I was nearly in tears with the sacred joy of it. I looked in front of me there were my amazing friends with their children, my children were sitting on a huge blanket, cozied in with their friends. On my lap lay Elly dazzled by the beauty of the fireworks, and the excitement of them. It was one of those moments that I will not soon forget. It was absolute beauty. It was a moment that almost felt religious and sacred. In that moment I knew how truly blessed I am.