It’s mid-January. Rough, rough time. Stupid cold with high temperatures in the teens. Snow every few days. The roads are treacherous to walk on. The holiday season is finally over. I’ve made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Shayna’s birthday. I’m drained, spent, exhausted. Kayla is heading back to school. We won’t see her again until nearly spring- probably eight weeks. So, I’ve got every reason to feel bad, but I don’t.
I’m feeling grateful. I’m grateful for the time we had with Kayla at home over the last month. I’m grateful for the extra week of Christmas break this year which allowed her to be here on Shayna’s 18th birthday. I’m grateful that, at 21 and with Shayna not being here, that she even wanted to come home. Having Kayla in the house is like a dose of sunshine. I’m grateful that, even though business sucks right now, I’m not out of ideas to try and we’re going to start this year with some new initiatives. I’m grateful we have the savings to live off of, even though I hate having to dig into them. I’m grateful that Tywana’s and my relationship has remained strong in spite of the worst than can be thrown at it.
I’m going through some counseling now that has me doing a lot of visioning of various pasts and reliving the trauma of Shayna’s death and projecting into the possible future. I’ve spent the last two years trying to get out of pining for the past. I’ve struggled with possible futures. The counseling has been grueling forcing me to go over this again and again. Kayla’s never seen The Butterfly Effect, so we watch it over her break. Then, coincidentally, I just got Hulu and got to watch 11.22.63 which is about a guy who finds a way to travel back in time and decides he’s going to try to prevent the assassination of JFK. The moral of the stories, in a couple of words. Don’t try to change the past. It doesn’t end well. What is is what was meant to be.
I wrote about the counseling a couple of days ago. I won’t rehash it entirely, but what I’ve discovered from it is that my belief that everything happens for a reason is pretty deeply entrenched now. Re-watching The Butterfly Effect for probably the fifth time (expecting a different ending, Brian?) and watching 11.22.63 reinforce this. Changing that one thing will bring about in the future. When our child passes, we play a lot of “what ifs” in our head. It’s natural. When the anniversaries and birthdays and would-be graduations, etc. come up we torture ourselves thinking how great it would be “if only” that one thing hadn’t happen. If only they were here, everything would be all right.
Everything else that has happened in my life, no matter how tragic it seemed at the time, turned out for the best. I have to stand firm in the conviction there are no exceptions to that rule, not even Shayna’s passing. It sucks now. Lots of things suck now. But I know, deep in my soul, that one day I will count it all joy . And, for that, I am grateful.