I used to wonder what would define me. I mean, sure, I had plans for myself. I was going to go to college, meet a nice guy, find a job I loved (or at least was good at), hopefully be a mom and grow old. Yup, no surprises there. I don’t think that sentence, or at least a subset of it, is too much different than a lot of women out there. Even with those things though, I often wondered, what would be that something extra to set me apart from those around me. I had high hopes that it would be some simple invention that would strike me one day while folding laundry. Or maybe that I’d beat all mathematical odds and win the lottery. I didn’t expect it to be the death of my son.
I definitely think of myself as the Laura before it happened and the Laura I am today. Aren’t there sayings out there like, you shouldn’t let tragedy define you? What’s so wrong if it does? That saying implies to me that I should sweep it under the rug, like it never happened. Move on. Well, that’s definitely not happening. Or maybe it translates to not dwelling on the past. Okay, just back up. Talking about my son and how I’m navigating life without him, is hardly dwelling. It’s called growing. In those early days after Chase’s death, my husband and I learned very quickly that life was not going to let us sit in the corner and find the off switch. Or even if we did choose that route (extremely tempting), life around us would continue to go on. So then the question became, how do we continue? This is where you are expecting some profound answer, right? You and me both. I’m still figuring that one out. Yup, growing.
I wish that this wasn’t my thing, because that would mean that my son was still alive. But since it is, I’m going to accept the things that the new Laura has learned and be open to what comes her way, because clearly life isn’t all about choices.