Oh Lucky You
I've been listening to a podcast recently by Simon Thomas. It's called Life Interrupted, and he interviews people who have had their life's path interrupted in often the most awful way. It is their stories through the grief and/or physical impairment. It may sound somewhat gruesome but the people he talks to are amazingly inspiring in how they have dealt with some pretty crappy situations. From a personal point of view it helps me to remember that there is a whole world of pain out there. It's not what happens to you, but how you deal with it that is the ultimate test.
Listening to the story of a squaddie who lost his legs in the gulf conflict, the soldier described himself as lucky. It reminded me of a conversation I had a few months back when I also described myself as lucky. My friend, in a way of trying to be helpful told me that I wasn't. I think they thought I was putting unrealistic expectations on myself, trying to hard to be too up and too happy. Even though it was meant in a good way, shutting me down had an impact on me, so much so that I remember what was essentially a throw away remark many months on. What I was trying to communicate, in a rather clunky way, was that although something awful had happened I still had good things in my life.
When Lauren died it was the most awful thing ever, and no amount of stories from other people about their hardship will change that reality for me. But it doesn't make my life awful. However, I am still privileged to have wonderful things in my life. Lucky is probably the wrong way to describe it. Lucky is winning the lottery. Things like strong family and friends take work, but I guess I was lucky to have met the people I have at the times I did. I met my soul mate when I was just 23, we've had an fantastically wonderful 20+ years together. I've brought up three healthy & happy children for 13 years and continue to do so now. We have holidays and fun and minimal money worries. I have more good friends than I sometimes feel worthy of, not just passing acquaintances but real belly laugh friends that I have had the most fabulous times with (most of which are not fit for print!).
So I guess I do feel lucky. No-one knows what is round the corner, it can all change in an instant. But if I look at what I have right now, rather than what I have lost it is impossible not to feel blessed.