Along the Broken Road

Change Your Perspective, Choose Joy

Earlier this week, I had to listen to my “Mommy Instincts” and make the last minute decision to pack up the car and drive Mason down to Miami to spend the next couple of weeks there. Things went sour at his daycare and summer camp at his new school won’t begin until June 12th. I knew it would be extremely hard to be away from him for so long, but his well-being is more important. I could have selflishly kept him at the daycare for another week so as to have him close to me, but chose to put his best interest ahead of my feelings, as any good mother would. I also chose to change my perspective on the situation and focus on how much fun Mason would have spending time with his grandparents, rather than concentrating on the time he would be away from me.

Perspective really is one of the most, if not THE most, powerful forces. We always have the ability to change our viewpoint, in any situation. It’s not always easy, but it IS always possible.

My late husband died tragically, during what could have and should have been the prime of his life. He never got to meet his only son, his flesh and blood. He wasn’t able to persue all the dreams he had for his future and fullfill the massive potential we all knew he had. There’s no way around it – it sucks and is completely unfair. Regardless of whether or not I believe there is a grander plan in place, an underlying reason that will one day make perfect sense, it doesn’t change that simple fact. It still sucks.

Here’s where perspective and gratitude come in, though.

I can’t travel back in time and somehow magically make Ralf’s brain tumor disappear. I can’t change the course of events leading up to his hemorrhage, which ultimately cost him his life. I can’t bring him back from the dead. I can, however, find reasons to be grateful for the way things played out instead of exhausting all my energy thinking of all the things that should have gone differently, when it won’t make any difference.

Maybe if Ralf hadn’t become a firefighter, he wouldn’t have been exposed to whatever toxins caused his brain cancer.

Maybe if Ralf hadn’t had that spinal tap, his tumor wouldn’t have bled out and crushed his brain stem.

Maybe if the biopsy could have been performed as planned, and he could have undergone chemotherapy and radiation, Ralf could have been kept alive for a few months to meet Mason.

Maybe.

But would this have necessarily been better?

I’ve done my research. The type of tumor Ralf had almost always comes back stronger and even more aggressive than before. He could have possibly had another 6 to 18 months to live if the tumor hadn’t exploded. But he would have very likely been unable to hear, to see, to speak, much less walk or continue his career as a firefighter. He would have been trapped inside his own body, very possibly with his cognition still intact, fully aware and tortured by the fact that his wife, his son, his family and closest friends are struggling to take care of him, watching him deteriorate.

In my humble opinion, the alternative would have been much, much worse.

True love is unselfish. It seeks what is in the best interest of the other person, whatever that may entail. It is not always an easy task to put one’s own feelings aside, but when that feat is accomplished, it allows one to reach a new level of empathy and gratitude that would otherwise be drowned by anger and resentment.

For as long as I can remember, Ralf always told me his greatest fear in life was to end up paralyzed or wheelchair bound. Had it not been for that brain bleed, that is exactly what would have happened. I know I speak not only for myself when I say that I would much rather have endured whatever pain necessary to spare him of that nightmare, which he did not deserve.

I choose to be grateful for the time I had with Ralf – for our love that will live inside my heart forever – rather than dwelling only on the future we won’t spend together.

I choose to be grateful for the daddy that Mason has been blessed with on this Earth, rather than focusing only on the fact that he couldn’t meet the one who waits for him in Heaven.

I choose to be grateful for being granted a second great love in my life with another amazing man, recognizing that many spend their whole existence without ever experiencing true love at all.

As I’m wrapping up this post, I’m sitting in the passenger seat as we head down to Miami to spend the next couple of days with our little man. We just couldn’t stomach a full two weeks. The weather is awful and we ended up taking a route we haven’t taken before. Instead of complaining, Vinnie says, “Well, it’s probably better we aren’t on the highway in this rain. Maybe we will avoid an accident.” Pretty appropriate, right?

 

IMG_4441

Reunited after a week apart and my heart is complete again!

10 comments

  1. I began reading your posts back in 2015 because they were shared so often by so many when your husband’s illness was discovered. Your story struck a chord with me because I am married and my first born son is named Mason and is about a year and a month older than your Mason. I found myself searching for your old blog a couple months ago and was disappointed it had been deleted. I just came across your new website tonight and read through every post. You have such a gift for writing. Your words are so beautiful, thoughtful and inspiring. I am happy you have found love again and that little Mason will have a father earthside. Thank you for sharing your story.

    With love ❤️

    Like

  2. Eimy

    How long is Mason staying in Miami ? How exciting I am sure his grandparents are full of joy awaiting to spend time with him❤️

    Like

  3. Linda Trujillo

    My dear, I pray for you often and hope that you find happiness and peace which you truly deserve.

    Best regards,
    Linda Trujillo (Peter and Raquel’s mom)

    Like

    • I don’t have the power to do that. You have to sign up to follow with that email if that’s where you’d like to receive post notifications. If you scroll down all the way to the bottom of my page, there is a section where you can do that. 😊

      Like

  4. Mary Cyr

    Yes, when life changing events happen in one’s life, the first thoughts that come up is: I should of, I would of, could of. At the end we find ourselves thinking how to proceed in future decisions. I believe your decision about your son was correct. The decisions aren’t going get easier as he gets older but your unconditional love will stir you to more wise decisions. Thank you!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: