"Get over it!" ---Sara Cronin
"Get over it!" Seriously, the last thing my daughter said to me besides "I love you" before going into surgery for the last time. I think about it all the time, that, and two other things she said during her final 2 weeks with me. I sincerely thank her for that. Those words have become even more meaningful during this past year.
***(I'll share the other things she said a little farther down this post. The girl was wise beyond her years.)
I haven't posted in a very long time. My posts during the first couple of years were full of hope. I was embarking on a new journey...to fulfill a dream. I felt like I had a purpose! I needed to have a purpose!!!!
The last year has been really difficult for me. It's been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs (mostly downs) that were, nearly all, self inflicted. I was giving up...on everything! I was plagued by "Should haves"! "I should have listened to my realtor in the beginning." "I should have given up on the condo sooner instead of pouring more money into it." "I should have built here right away." "I should have pulled over before I looked at that text." "I should have listened to my gut." Those "Should haves" ended up eating away at my confidence. I didn't trust my decisions anymore and I was starting to "settle" figuring that something was better than nothing. I was so wrong!!!!
During the last 4-5 months I've been doing a lot of soul searching. I don't want to settle!!!! For anything!!!! Ever!!! I have, however, learned to ACCEPT that everything I want may not happen immediately or exactly how I've planned. I may have to take a few detours long the way. Just accepting it has relieved a huge amount of pressure that I put upon myself. The pressure was distracting me from all the good things in my life and taking all the joy out of things that used to make me happy. I felt hopeless!
Then, during one of my many turning points, Sara's words came to mind...the first one was "Get over it!" I was tired of placing conditions on my happiness. I'll be happy when..."I get move out to the ranch", "I love my job", "I make more money", and "Fall madly in love". I needed to "Get over it!!!" If her life taught me nothing else, it would be, life is short. There may not be a tomorrow. If you put off being happy...you may never be. Another thing she said to me came to mind "I'm so happy!" Big deal you say? How is that significant or meaningful in any way? It wasn't what she said, as much as when she said it, that caused me to think. THIS was the first thing she said to me in ICU, coming out of anesthesia, after she had one of her lungs removed! I knew exactly what she meant!!! Prior to that surgery I had to help my 19 year old daughter complete a Living Will in case a decision had to be made. She was "so happy" because she got to live another day!
I've decided I need to adopt this attitude. "I'm so happy"...I'm here, I'm alive, I'm grateful.
The final Sara quote that helped me get things back into perspective was "I'm not afraid of dying. I'm afraid of leaving you." She wasn't focused on herself...she was thinking (and worrying) about me!!!
I spent the last year so focused on how things affected me. Worried that our dream will never come true. I felt like I was letting her down.
I stopped thinking about myself and started thinking "What would Sara want?" "If she could say one thing to me now...what would it be?" I thought about an exercise I did in a therapy session after Sara passed away. It had been three years and I was feeling worse than the first and second year combined. The first part of the exercise was for me to write a letter to Sara telling her how I was feeling and to read it aloud. Turns out I had a huge amount of guilt I was holding on to. I felt like I didn't spend as much time with her as I could have, that I let her go too soon, and that I should have done more. The second part of the exercise was to write a letter from Sara to me...what would she want to tell me in reply to my letter??? I cried as I read it because I knew what she would say..."Mommy, (No matter how old she got she always called me Mommy) you always did the best you could. You worked hard so I could have all I needed. You stayed single because I wanted you all to myself. You always stuck up for me and supported me...you did not fail...and now I WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY!!!!" I knew that's exactly what she would have said.
It is no different now.
Sara would not say that I've failed. She would be proud of all that I've been through for her. She would want me to be happy and enjoy life while I have it. I haven't accomplished what I set out to do almost 7 years ago and it may be even longer before it finally happens. "Maybe", she'd say, "it's time you step back for a while, do some things that make you happy. Sometimes the best things in life happen when you're not trying so hard."
I know she's right.
I'm really enjoying NOW, hopeful for the FUTURE (whatever it brings) and looking forward to a few DETOURS along the way.
Thank you Sara! My little Buddha (teacher).