Oh team. It’s a heavy heart day. I arrived at my parent’s this morning to deposit The Young Sir for the day with my mama and after a few minutes my sweet step dad was sitting on the floor saying that something didn’t feel right with the symptoms to support the feeling. That lead to a call to the cardiologist which lead to a call to the ambulance which lead to a day and night at the hospital. The brilliant news is that everything is looking good, so we are breathing a giant sigh of relief and saying thank you for his continued health. In the midst of the heart scare, I learned that we here in Charlottesville have lost a friend from our community to a car accident. A sad day, a heavy heart.
My mind is flooded with so many things to say, but the thing that I can’t stop thinking about is how delicate the line is between safe and vulnerable. I feel so grateful to love, to have so many to love, to live a life that is enriched so wholly by the people that are sharing this time on earth, and to find so much security in the global group that I call home. My community. My people. But oh. I can’t help but recognize the well documented truth that the more we have to love the more that we have to lose. It’s a beautiful conundrum, but one that I am feeling increasingly ill equipped to confront. Having a child has only heightened my sense of this incredible vulnerability because for all of the hours of the day that I walk around high on the intensity of loving this little man, there are those brief extremely dark moments of what. if. I know that this is a universal phenomenon, and I know that the benefits outweigh the risks, but for every loss that I hear about these days, I can’t help but think that is someone’s child, and I immediately feel my stomach tighten because I…I don’t know how to reconcile the truth between wanting to love so badly and the terror of ever feeling that love shattered.
I’m not going to lie, I had the crazy hermit thoughts today of wanting to tuck Asher away, wanting to find the nearest three bedroom rock to move under and set up house. I felt the crazy helmet impulse creep on, the fleeting day dream of never getting in another car, never trying a contact sport, never exposing my kid to someone that could push him, break his heart, break his spirit or any of the other ills that lurk around out there in the world. But the truth is, that’s not me. I want wild adventures for my children, I want the triumph of scoring that goal, the crazy abandon of falling head over heels in love, the freedom of driving down an open highway with the windows down and the music blaring. I want him to have whatever he wants from this world, and as scared as I am of the potential cost of that exploration, I’m almost as scared of being the person that is too afraid of the risk to let him go.
I know that this is it. This is the fundamental problem with love. It’s like building a house out of glass: it’s an amazing thing to live in until the tornado comes. Would we trade the incredible experience if we had appreciated the finality of it? Would we go for brick and mortar to avoid the shards? I don’t think so. It’s a cliche, but cliche for a reason, because it is better to have loved and lost, to brave a world of what ifs, a world that is flowing with nectar, and with tears. But as selfish as it sounds, I will confess this to you: one of the things that I ask for every day is please, please, please, keep the people that I love safe. Please. They’ve got a lot of living to do, and I know that I have a lot more love to give.
Yesterday that request was ignored, today I felt it tested again, and it’s night time and I’m filling my mind with an internal monologue of life-is-short-love-hard-live-for-today-chase-your-wildest-dreams bumper sticker thoughts because we all have to get up tomorrow. We have to brave all of the possibilities of this world, the possible highs and the potential lows, and we have to do it with a soft heart and open eyes.