Today began as nothing special. But my nothing special day changed drastically when my car made the familiar turn onto my road after doing some shopping on my day off and I casually glanced along the macadam leading to my house. What I saw on the road made me do a double-take and tears instantly appeared in the corners of my eyes.
A random woman, a stranger, was walking her two small dogs, one black and one white, down my road and for a split second I could have sworn it was my mother. When she was still alive, my mother chose to park her car in my driveway and walk her two small dogs, one black and one white, on my road because it was a manageable, quiet street. When I came home from work, I would see the silhouette of my mother and her two sidekicks as they simultaneously pulled her in a myriad number of directions. It was a struggle for her but she walked those little dogs until she could walk them no more.
Before I realized it, I had come to a complete stop and simply watched this woman walk away from me. I don’t know how many minutes passed before the fading contour of her shadow turned onto the side road and disappeared. The clock of my nothing special day stopped and I couldn’t move. I could barely breathe.
The hopeful part of me anticipated that the woman would turn around and come back. The stubborn part of me was willing to sit in the middle of the road until she did because the child in me thought for a split second that my mother would be the one to round that corner on her way back.
Eventually I collected myself and pulled my car into my driveway. I was already on the verge of an ugly cry so I stood in front of the Birch sapling I planted three years ago in her memory and nothing could stop that surge of emotion from escaping. But the cry was much shorter than I anticipated. As I looked at that Birch tree, now almost double the size it once was, I realized that life does go on. We endure many hardships, we suffer through tough times, but beauty always has a way of sneaking back into our lives, even when we think the best things in our lives have been taken.
(this photo was taken in 2014, shortly after it was planted)
Life evolves. Life is about birth, growth, love and death. But life is also about remembering, cherishing, holding on to memories and carrying on. Life is about chance encounters, reconnecting with friends, deja vu and finding new things to love. And life is about knowing that you were once able love something so much that it physically hurts when you keep remembering that it is gone forever.
Life is about a lot of things but, good or bad, life still happens every day. I am just thankful that I am able to wake up each morning, engage with the people I still have in my life and spend time remembering those who have been able to emerge from their eternal cocoon and spread their wings in a new reality.
Life is about a lot of things. But most of all, life is about finding some happiness in the saddest part of your day.