When the Tough Times Teach You a Lesson

The silver lining is there. Can you see it?

I went to a funeral yesterday.  My sister in law lost her Dad.  He was in his 86th year, and the last year or so had been a rough one for their family.  They have gone through a lot.  Hopefully they are at peace now knowing that he is now at peace, and they can move on remembering the best of times with him and keeping him alive in their hearts.

I also received news last week that a man that I have known since I was a little girl whom I have respected and admired for the better part of my life, has died.  I knew him through work, and didn’t see him very often anymore, but he was a wonderful man, and upon hearing that he passed away, I was quite saddened.  He was a younger man, in his 60’s I believe, with a wife, children and grandchildren.  He was probably on the brink of what would have been one of the best times of his life.  He and his wife likely would have travelled quite a bit, and I imagine his retirement years would have been very full and very blessed, had he not been taken so early.

Neither of these passings effected me directly.  There are a lot of other people who are suffering due to these losses, and though they have impacted me somewhat, my prayers are with the people that are truly grieving their father, husband, grandfather, etc.

Everything in life holds a lesson though, and I like to try to take something away from every experience.  Therefore, when things like this happen, they get me thinking.  These are two different situations, yet the ultimate outcome is the same:  there are two families out there that are grieving a loss right now.

I don’t think about death very much, though I will admit that since I had my son I have definitely considered it a lot more.  I think it’s natural when you have children to think about dying – hoping you stick around as long as possible so you don’t miss anything, making plans in case tragedy strikes and your child needs to be provided for, etc.

But it is in times like this, where you encounter loss that strikes a little closer to home, that you really realize that what they say: “you can be here one moment and gone the next” is totally true.  Some day, we’re not going to be here anymore.  When I look at it this way, it makes every minute precious.  It makes wasting time a horrible thing.  It makes me want to grab on to the people I love and squeeze them tight, so that there will never be a question of how much I love them.

I try to find the good and the positive in every situation.  Maybe a month from now, when I’m stressing about something that I can’t change, that I shouldn’t be stressing over, I’ll look back on this time and remember that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.  Maybe 3 months from now when it’s summer and my kid is driving me crazy because it’s summer and he is bored, I’ll remember this and instead of pulling my hair out, I’ll take a deep breath and remember he’s a kid, and he’s bored, and he just wants my attention.  Maybe when my Dad cooks something in my kitchen and leaves the stove a mess because he boiled something over, I’ll remember that I’m just lucky that a) someone is cooking me a meal and I don’t have to do it, and b) someday he won’t be here to cook for me and I’ll remember this wishing he was messing up my stove again.

Life is full of tough times.  Some times are worse than others.  Some people seem to have it worse than others.  I think the important thing to remember is when tough times happen, the best way we can deal with them is to look for the positive things.  I believe every cloud has a silver lining, and there is a lesson to be learned from everything life sends our way.

Until next time.

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