“Would you rewind, or fast forward?”
BettyJane posed this question to me while we were in the midst of dealing with an abnormal amount of relentless CHAOS the other day.
CHAOS that had both of us cornered at the brink.
When I didn’t immediately answer, BettyJane persisted,
“No seriously, if you could either rewind your life, or fast forward it, which would you pick?
“I would push play,” I said.
I have learned that attempting to go through horror with grace is difficult, but attempting to go through horror without grace is unwise and extremely unproductive.
“You really would want to be right here?”
“Yes, I would want to be right here,” I said as firmly as a baseball umpire would shout “Out” on a close call at first base, knowing the more firmly he said It, the more convincing he would be.
I said it very firmly.
But I wasn’t convinced.
I wasn’t convinced that I would really prefer to push play.
Not this time.
This time I had my doubts.
“Pushing Play” was just too painful.
Pain does that to you
But hurting is good.
Pain is the price of being human.
It makes you recognize that you are alive.
It makes you feel.
It makes you question and compare.
Pain makes you more aware.
It heightens your senses.
It sharpens your focus.
It is by experiencing pain that you find answers.
Pain forces you to connect the dots of your life using your own inner vision as a model for what you believe the picture of your life should look like.
Pain makes you fight for it.
It makes you recognize things that you would have overlooked if you didn’t experience the pain.
It actually does.
“Really? This is what you would want?” BettyJane repeated.
“Of course not, but this is where we are. And I believe we need to be here for some reason,” I said.
The conversation suddenly came to an abrupt end as we both had to deal with another onslaught from CHAOS. It was as if CHAOS was listening to our conversation and realized BettyJane and I were suddenly coming back from the brink. So it attacked again.
But the conversation never ended.
Not for me.
I picked it up again in my mind hours later.
I just felt there was something in that conversation that I needed to delve into and inspect more closely.
It made me tingle.
And when I tingle I know it is exactly where I need to be.
So I decided to conduct a personal experiment.
I asked myself a question:
If I had decided to rewind my life, or fast forward it, what would I miss?
To carry out my experiment, I thought about things I would have missed just in the last few weeks, and how differently I view life today, compared to how I would have viewed it a few years ago.
Here’s what I would have missed:
I WOULD HAVE MISSED
I would have missed an 11-year-old boy named Jaxon being able to partake in the first wrestling practice of his life.
Through a friend of a friend, I met Jaxon’s mother, Amber, online last year.
Amber is the mother of a child who is fighting cancer.
Last year she posted on Facebook that all she wanted for
Jaxon’s birthday was for people to send him a birthday card, for what he really wanted was unattainable.
Jaxon wanted to wrestle like his brother.
But he could not.
The doctors thought it would be too dangerous due to his illness.
So Amber started the Send Some Birthday Love to Jaxon Facebook page. She noted what Jaxon really wanted was to be able to wrestle like his brother. He was too sick to do that, so instead, he just wanted some mail.
Something to look forward to.
The letters, cards and sports apparel flooded in.
I believe more than 1,100 pieces in all.
It was a wonderful outpouring of love and support from total strangers and acquaintances from the wrestling community.
It touched my heart.
As a parent of a sick child, I understood the significance of just wanting something good to look forward to each day.
Something unexpected, non predictable, totally arbitrary – something to get you to tomorrow, where
maybe, just maybe, tomorrow would bring something better for your child than today did.
In a recent Facebook post Amber wrote that during his oncology appointment, Jaxon just got the approval from his doctor to be able to wrestle.
Just like his brother.
I WOULD HAVE MISSED
I would have missed Taylor drop the first puck for the NY Rangers 2016 season.
I met Taylor and her mother, Teresa, when I was asked to speak at a benefit for Taylor that the Islip Owls Travel Baseball team organized to support her in her fight.
Taylor is fighting Neuro Degenerative Langerhan’s Cell Histiocytosis, a rare blood disorder (only 350 cases per year are diagnosed) that can affect the central nervous system.
I wanted to be early for the event, but that night I was running late, and as fate would have it, I pulled into the parking lot at the exact time Taylor and her family were getting out of their car.
I spent a few minutes with them walking into the event. I’m glad fate knew what it was doing that night – making me late for the event. That walk into the event wound up being the quality time I was able to spend with Taylor and her family. Taylor had to leave the benefit early because she wasn’t feeling well.
I would get to know Taylor and Teresa from afar over the next year by following Taylor’s Hope Foundation and Teresa’s late night updates on Taylor’s fight and journey. Posts I would relate to all to well.
I would learn how Taylor met Adam Graves through the “Garden of Dreams Foundation” . And how much this foundation has impacted her life.
I would learn why it is said that hockey players are the greatest professional athletes in the world.
I would learn that the “Garden of Dreams Foundation” wasn’t for show or publicity.
I would learn of so many behind the scenes things that they did for Taylor.
The life they renewed in her, the inspiration they provided when she needed it, the urging to take care of herself and keep fighting.
I WOULD HAVE MISSED
I would have missed hearing the sound of laughter resounding throughout my house.
This seems like a small feat, but it is not. There is usually one of the six of us who needs repair at any given moment, each in our own way.
But for a brief moment the other day, we all were whole.
We were all happy.
At the same time.
I WOULD HAVE MISSED
I would have missed the anticipatory look on my daughter Jessica’s face when she knew it was Tuesday, and Tuesday is the day her friend Vanessa comes to visit her.
I would have also missed the glow on her face after Vanessa left.
A glow that would shine for the rest of the week.
I WOULD HAVE MISSED
I would have missed the meaning and magic of friendship being defined in front of my eyes.
I would have missed the pictures and updates showing Loriann dropping everything in her life in order to travel a few thousand miles to spend time with her life long friend MaryJane, who just had a double mastectomy.
The lesson that presence is the greatest present one could give.
And that friendship and love is the greatest healing agent.
Have you ever re-watched a movie for the second time and found all of the things that you didn’t pick up the first time?
Pain has had that affect on my life.
It has given me eyes.
It has given me ears.
It has given me a heart.
Happiness is 25% gratitude, 25% appreciation, 25% love and 25% awe of the ordinary.
Pain has taught me that.
In James Radcliffe – Everything is Broken blog, he talks about the Japanese philosophy of ‘Kintsugi’.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing cracked objects with gold.
These object were deemed to be broken beyond repair.
But instead of being discarded or thrown away the most valuable ingredient in the world was used to repair them.
I venture to say that in the real world, this ingredient is love.
Love is the gold that fills the cracks in our world.
To all the people who are the “Gold” that fill’s the cracks in these peoples lives – I salute you.
You are the most valuable ingredient in the world.
And Life is more beautiful for you having done so.
And seeing you do that – well, I wouldn’t miss that for the world.
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