Ten years. It has been ten years since we held Josh in our arms. Time feels abstract when I measure how much life has passed between his death and today. Our twenty-one months together were brief in time, yet, his life continues to play, the background music to the choices I make each day.
Over the years, there have been moments I press fast forward. It gives me the excuse of double time; I can’t feel the pain, if I am unable to take time to acknowledge it. Other moments, all I want to do is press rewind. This rewind is not to undue moments, but more so playback or repeat from another viewpoint. It is not the moment that I want to rewind to relive, but instead, the moments after it from which I learned to be stronger.
Each moment, I am aware of Emma’s eyes on me, witnessing my reaction to my choices and their consequences. Daily on our drive to school, Emma and I set goals. The other day I shared my goal “to not be so short tempered.”
“Mom, what does short tempered mean?”
“You know, how sometimes, when I respond to you, I am…well, I, …instead of being kind, I am sort of…”
“Well, that is short tempered. Today, my goal is to not respond grumpy and instead to respond…”
“Yes. Kind. I need to respond instead with kindness.”
These are the moments I need to pause. Rewind. Replay. Then, repeat. Too often, my first reaction is not my best reaction. However, these are the moments I can model for her the strength it takes to pause. The strength in reflection. How to find the strength to keep moving forward.
Like other years, today, Courtney and I gave each other grace. Grace to take the day and our memory of it as we needed to. I read through my previous posts (Rose Colored Lenses and Learning to Play, Light in the Darkness, Angels We Have Heard, Doing What I Love) lost again in the number of years we have marked his Angel day.
Josh was special. His laugh, his smile, and the moments we shared made me who I am today. Our love for him cemented Courtney and my vows to care for one another. The brevity of his life, a harsh reminder that our time together is a gift.
This blog is my commitment to being honest about the journey I am on through each peak and valley. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and can smile and nod with the best of them, but my goal for myself in continuing to write this for a public audience is to do so with no regrets and no excuses. In saying that, I monitor my voice the same way I do in a public setting, knowing what I say may be misinterpreted from my intended purpose.
I am currently in a year-long intensive graduate school program pursuing my Master of Educational Leadership. Our cohort dedicates time to discuss communication and the vital role it plays in successful leadership. Tonight, I think about all of the messages I send over the course of a school year as well as all the messages I have sent and received over the past ten years since our handsome man left our arms.
My hope is my messages are those of
humility and strength
kindness and grace
grief and hope
I do not get a redo button. Instead, I must make the most of each moment moving forward. Some days I am more successful than others. Every day is worth the effort.