Our emotions are defined by our greatest joy and our deepest tragedy.
As the school year comes to an end, as the class of 2013 is nearing the graduation walk, I find myself among parents who are sad. Sad that it is the “last” of everything, last game, last prom, last whatever it is that is important in their family. I get this, I really do, I felt these emotions in 2010. Twenty ten, the year the boys’ graduated, I experienced the sadness that comes with thinking of something as the end. It is now twenty thirteen and I am not the teary eyed Mom I was three years ago. Yes Rylie is graduating, yes there are many high school things she will not do again but it is not sad, it is not the end.
My love for Rylie is no different than my love for Cale and Conner.
Her graduation is no different than theirs.
I am different.
This last year, Conner’s sudden violent death, has left me a bit battered and weary but it has also given me a very new perspective. A perspective that I didn’t ask for, a perspective that I wouldn’t wish on any parent but that I must embrace because it is now mine. My deepest tragedy has changed my very being.
“The end” means something very different today than it did before. The end means there will be no more graduations, no wedding, no children, no new memories, it means you have truly experienced “the last” of everything with your child.
Rylie’s graduation is not the end, it is a fabulous new chapter, a time for “firsts”, a time for new memories and new beginnings. There will be tears, but they will be happy tears for a girl getting a diploma, a girl who has survived life with faith and a smile, a girl with the whole wide world in front of her.
My emotions have been redefined. My greatest tragedy has given me two choices: to be bitter or to embrace what I had, what I have and the joys ahead. I have chosen option two.