We live stagnantly, trying to get through the throughs of every day life: just merely existing. We become numb to the world around us and ourselves as we join the steady unthinking chaos around us.
But, then something sparks a fire, igniting those embers we thought we had snuffed out. Suddenly, our spirits are ablaze with disquiet emotion all set aflame by a single moment. It can be the smallest of things that fuels the tinderbox of our minds; sending it whirling, bringing us back to reality. A reality in which we have unconsciously tried to shield ourselves from. Striving to protect ourselves from the harsh realities, hurts, and pains in which life threatens to engulf us.
It's a moment that catches me off guard. I look down and see my goddaughter holding onto my finger. I wasn't ready for the resurrection of emotion I had worked so carefully to bury these past months. I see my index finger tightly clutched within her tiny sweet fist. She doesn't notice how the hand in which she grips doesn't look like hers. She doesn't see CF. But, I see it: embraced within her perfect little pudgy fingers.
It's a package with a return address of Switzerland and an announcement of a wedding in Spain next July. The pictures and handwritten note that accompany the exciting news set my mind racing and my heart pounding. I begin to feel my throat tighten and tears fighting to overtake my eyes. I remember those beautiful past worry-free expeditions and adventures abroad. I remember the timeless bond between friends that is unlike any other. There's a tightness in my chest that sends a powerful reminder of CF's impact on any possible future rendezvous between two friends separated by an ocean. It's a moment filled with the heartache of CF, a powerful hope, and sincerest love.
It's an onset of laughter that makes my lungs grip onto each breath.
It's a powerful hug that lingers for an extra second.
It's being passed up for an opportunity because of CF.
It's a sharp pain suddenly in my chest.
It's an innocent conversation about the future.
It's a catch or crackle I can hear in my breathing.
It's the reflection of myself I see in someone's gaze.
The Good. The Bad. The Realities.
It's moments like this that make me realize how numbly I've been living these past weeks. Forcing myself to become more and more distant from the true desperation, hurt, and deep seeded fears CF has buried deep within me. Allowing myself to be consumed in the chaos of the world, in hopes I might no longer feel any of it: unconsciously protecting myself and those I love. All in hopes that if I don't recognize time, it might just stop. That for a moment if I pretend CF doesn't exist in my life, it doesn't. But, by shielding myself from the realities of life I am also numbing myself from enjoying all the beauty and goodness that surround me as well. By protecting myself and becoming numb I begin to question myself, my purpose, and the good I so desperately strive to share.
But then it's the same small moment that makes me realize how incredible my life is. I am grateful for those moments that catch me off guard, that remind of who I am and the life I am lucky to have. Today, I choose to embrace each reality that fills my life. They remind me to live fully, love deeply, dare more greatly, and be forever grateful for every beautiful breath. They make me realize that my reality has shaped who I am, my passion for life, and my dreams for the future I so fiercely seek. Those moments remind me to stop, take a breath, and recognize the beauty that fills my life.