Saturday, November 23, 2013

Grateful For Today

I just found out a girl I went to high-school with passed away from a horrendous battle with leukemia. She wasn't someone I reconnected with in recent years, so I had absolutely no idea what her life turned out like. To say I am taking this news hard is an understatement. All I can picture when I think of her is the wild, boy-crazy party girl we all were, back in the day. When things were simple, the blemishes of life's trials not visible to the naked eye, nothing but a future to sail off into. Did anyone get what we thought we would? I know my friend sure didn't. And while I've spent the better part of nine years sick, almost died a couple of times, and devoted far too much energy to stewing in epic amounts of bitterness and anger at the unfairness of it all, finding out my friend lost her life put my experience in blaring perspective.

It could have been any of us, how were we to know? This journey called life, it's no joke. No guarantees, nothing promised. As much as the human animal is capable of screwing up their own life, nobody is immune to randomly inflicted hardship. Some get it much worse than others, without any explanation or reason or culpability of their own. When I was a little girl my dad used to tell me all the time how unfair life was. I suppose he was trying to prepare me, although even his father's all-knowing wisdom didn't have any idea what was in store for the future. 

Learning about my friend's painful and untimely death shook me deep inside. I stewed and shook my fist at the sky as I paced and asked questions there are no answers to. Why her? Why not me? Why almost me, but I got another chance? Why didn't she? Trying to find peace in this situation is difficult. Pinpointing the fork in the road, when everything started to go so terribly off course, is darn near impossible. Funny memories, usually blurred by the effects of too much beer, keep popping into my head. I remember her smile, her laugh, the way she lit up a room. To think that light has been extinguished is heartbreaking. From the swirls of sorrow whirling around my deep reflection, I am finding gratitude for simple things I'd long ago forgotten to be grateful for. While I may not run a Fortune 500 company or live in a mansion, through the eyes of so many, I have so much. It's time my eyes saw it too.

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