Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Five

What is five years?

When I was five, it was irrelevant.  Time has no significance for the young.
When I was ten, it was forever. I couldn't wait to be a teenager and all grown up.

When I was twenty, it was a novelty.  I planned for great things.
When I was twenty-five, it was a sentence.  I was too close to thirty.

In five years you can earn a Bachelors degree.  In five years you can master a new language.  You can pay off debt or save up a small fortune.  

When my oldest child turned five, we rejoiced, at Disney World!
When our second child turned five, we celebrated, a new bicycle was in order!

Where will you be in five years?  What is your five-year plan?  Do you have a five-year term on your auto loan?  Five is a good, solid number.  Not so close as to be scary, not so far as to be imaginary.

Today my third child turns five.  Only he isn't here to celebrate.  I am hard-pressed to rejoice.  This did not fit into my five-year plan.  My debt of grief will never be satisfied.

In three weeks other parents will be packing up their kinder-gardeners and crying over their first day of school.  I'd love to have that cry.  I don't get to pick between Cars and Toy Story backpacks.  I don't get to pack an encouraging note with his first school lunch.

What I have for my five years is a badge of honor.  I am a bereaved mother, who lived to tell her story.  I am a mom to Five children, one of whom lives with my Father.  I have an advanced degree in grief survival, a master's in living for the moment.  I have learned a new language of compassion, the art of listening to what is felt, not what is said.  Of looking past the facade and seeing the heart.  I have something stored up in Heaven, a little deposit on eternity.

I have learned to love with abandon.  I have learned to live without regret.

Happy Birthday Ian - you are forever loved. ~*~*~*~
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