Sunsets… they have been so much a part of my life for the last twenty years. I wrote previously about the profound impact of sunsets and my mom dying. Since then, when the sun is setting and I can see it, I am captivated. I remember living in North Carolina and telling friends I missed seeing the sun set. They were all confused… they explained the sun sets each night… I realized they had never seen the sun set on the horizon of New Mexico. I realized they were deprived of seeing the sun slowly disappear over the plains of central Texas.
Since this week is Spring Break, we are spending a few nights in a house in the middle of the country in east Texas. Keaton got to feed cows this morning, say hi to horses, and make friends with a farm dog. While all of these things fill his soul, watching the sunset the last two nights have filled my soul with gratefulness and hopefulness that I needed.
Tonight as I sat in the hot tub alone (the guys had gotten bored and went inside), I took full advantage of the stillness and the beauty. I focused on the horizon and watched as the sun disappeared. My mind started to reflect on this last year. While this year has been filled with obstacles and fears, our family has been so fortunate along with many others.
My mind flashed back to a blog I wrote at the beginning of all of this and how my mom’s suicide prepared me living with uncertainty. Tonight watching the sunset, I could feel nothing but gratefulness. I truly believe how we will remember this year is based on our perspective. If we are lucky enough to continue to keep our job, house, food, and health, we are the fortunate ones. We are the ones that should be grateful, not yelling at how we have been cheated or how life is not fair. We are the ones who should be holding the hope until those who have struggled immensely can find it again.
If we think life is unfair, guess what? It is unfair. I realized this years after my mom died. At some point it occured to me that I could keep being stuck on her death, or I could decide to look at the goodness of everyday, instead of the horridness of one act. This one thing has changed my life completely.
Tonight as I watch the sunset tears flood my eyes… not because I miss my mom… they flood my eyes because of the goodness of life. I am grateful that my mom’s decision to kill herself did not determine the entirety of my life. I am grateful that Matthew loves me completely and that together we get to raise an amazing kid… a kid who reminds me what it means to play and have joy… a kid who focuses on being grateful… a kid who gives me perspective… a kid who shows so many what it means to have hope in the future.