Ever since I had Kimmy, I've become equipped with an ever-growing sense of mortality (and a steadily-increasing anxiety level). Granted, I've always been somewhat of a worrywort, with my Type-A personality and all. but it's tangibly worse now that I'm a parent.
It's amazing how many mundane, harmless things become dangerous once you have a little one walking (more like running...constantly) around. Outlets, toilets, corners, walls, cords, anything smaller than a ping pong ball, cold weather, viruses, and on and on and on. I'm constantly having mini-freakouts about my daughter's safety. I still even catch myself rushing in her room at night if I wake up to pee, just because I want to make sure she's still breathing and that a kidnapper hasn't broken through her window and snatched her from her bed. Crazy, right?
(Believe me, I'm getting to a point, eventually.)
I think I also have a heightened sense of mortality, due to losing my sister so suddenly, so young. Add to the list of deceased loved ones and friends: my Nunu ("nuh-nuh"--great-grandmother), Grandaddy, aunt and grandmother who I never met, a 4th grade classmate, several fellow high-schoolers when I was in high school, a friend's husband of less than a month (whose wedding I was supposed to sing in, except we had to move apartments that weekend, instead), and a classmate from college (who knitted Kimmy a beautiful baby blanket and pair of booties just one year before she passed from cancer)...
...finally, my former Girl Scout leader, who just so happened to be one of my very favorite people on this earth, Deana Morgan. Her sense of humor, intelligence, wit, resourcefulness, demeanor, faith, and love were (and still are, and probably always will be, at least in my mind) unmatched. I found out about her death right as I was wrapping up my bedtime routine the night of Kimmy's birthday party. She was such a good friend and person. Thanks to her genorosity, we were able to purchase the car seat we wanted for Kimmy. We didn't have to buy diapers from the time she was born, basically, until she was a year old. She helped us so much, even if it didn't seem like much at all to her. She made such a strong and lasting impact on my life.
Death affects me very deeply. It drills down into my being and tries to uproot the soil in which I am rooted. I don't have to be close with someone to be very strongly affected by his/her death. That's the empathy in me, I guess.
What I'm getting at is this: life goes on. People move on and forget, and life's tide brings them nearer and drifts them further away in different seasons. Kids grow; new things happen. The only way to move forward is to LIVE. I'm talking with no regrets, right now, in the present, good and bad. Take it all in stride and keep moving forward. That doesn't mean you can't be sad or worried or cry your eyes out some days. It just means that you have to be resilient and push through it!
That's what I'm trying to do. Some days, I'll admit, it's a terrible struggle. Some days, I have no faith in humanity and want nothing to do with anyone, other than my child. In reality, though, I've got my God, my family, my friends, and my faith, and that's really all I need to be happy.
I'm alive; you are, too! Live it up and enjoy each moment!