I have, at times in my life, struggled with my weight.
I’m not talking obesity here, but a general chunkiness, the kind that sneaks up on you during the winter, or during periods of extreme “Cook-for-your-hubby-because-he-loves-cheese” happiness. The winter that Mr. Whiskers proposed to me was one of those winters, when my general chunk was disheartening. I remember going to Walmart with my sister to purchase the new Britney Spears album and Rock Band, and thinking to myself,
At least I’m not that fat guy in sweatpants.
I’m not proud of this, but it is true and I am sharing it because when our lives aren’t doing what they are supposed to, we compare to make ourselves feel better, to remind ourselves that it could be worse.
At least I’m not working at McDonalds.
At least I’m not single in this town (and I found this amazing man to marry).
At least I’m not living in a trailer.
At least I’m not blah blahbedeblah.**
**I apologize if you, the reader, are a single person living in a trailer and working at McDonalds. This life may be just fine for you, and I am not here to judge.
With the loss of our daughter, there has been one go-to “At least I’m not…” that makes me feel better.
At least I’m not a Jew in the Holocaust.
How did people living in those times not think it was “End Times” (the Apocalypse)?
I hope this isn’t coming off as insensitive. When you lose a child, you take the comforts you can find. Some days, I can only find comfort in the fact that my religion isn’t being mass persecuted and my family isn’t at risk of being shipped off to a concentration camp.
We get so caught up in ourselves, our personal plight. We forget that so many would trade places with us, if given the opportunity. We forget that our struggle is not the only struggle in the world, and what’s more, our struggle isn’t even probably the worst struggle in the world.
But we feel like it is.
And so we can wallow and moan and feel sorry for ourselves, and sometimes I give myself full permission to do so. I sit in our daughter’s nursery and take in all the outfits she’ll never wear, the Baby Bjorn she’ll never ride in, the glider I’ll never nurse her in, and I let myself just feel the injustice of this world in a deep, personal way, and I cry that yucky, animal-noises cry and blubber and moan things like, “It’s not fair,” and “I miss my baby.” However unproductive this might be, I do it, and I feel cleansed when I let this out all at once, liberated when I let the anger and life-disappointment to the surface for just a few minutes.
Doing this from time to time frees up my logical brain to focus on the ways that I have it so good, instead of on the ways that this world is so wrong. And I realize that I have so much more to do, to give, to offer, to be.
Because of Hudson, I will make a difference. Because of Hudson, I will live in the moment. Because of Hudson, I will take the opportunity, write the check, run the half-marathon, start the foundation, write the grant proposal, touch a life, give a bigger hug, leave a bigger tip.
And when I can get to this place, I get a whole new list of “At leasts…”
At least I’m not going to let this ruin my life.
At least I’m not going to let Hudson be forgotten.
At least I’m not going to take my husband or my family for granted.
At least I got those three wouldn’t-trade-’em-for-anything days with Hudson.