The “What Ifs”
As I get older, I find myself spending too much time on the “what ifs,” particularly during the current Covid crisis. While reflection can be healthy, helpful, and oftentimes results in personal growth, it can also lead me down the rabbit hole of despair if I’m not careful. However, it helps me to realize the many possibilities in life.
In the stillness of the early morning, I often wonder what if my grandson Liam had not been miscarried. He would be almost two years old now, and I imagine him running around and playing with his big sister, Winry. I envision them being close, loving siblings. While Liam is now an angel, we were blessed with a grandson, Rory James, some four months ago. I don’t have to wonder how Winry would react to a younger sibling—I see the love and caring in her eyes.
I often wonder “what if” I had been able to bear children—what they would have been like, how many we would have had, etc. However, doctors advised me not to get pregnant because I have a rare congenital heart defect, Ebstein’s Anomaly. But we were able to adopt two beautiful children—birth siblings. We were truly blessed with the gift of parenthood and it has been wonderful to watch them grow into strong, secure, adults.
I often think about the different paths my life could have taken—what if my dad was not killed in the service when I was six months old, what if I had gone into the Naval Academy (my acceptance was rescinded because of my heart condition), what if I married someone else, and so on.
But my faith compels me to accept that this is the life I am supposed to be living, for better or worse. In spite of the many challenges life may throw my way, I choose to make the best out of any situation and try to find the silver lining. I genuinely believe that each one of us was put here for a purpose. It has been my intention to find ways to use the difficulties in my life to help others. And in doing so I find I get much more back than I give. For example, while I hope others find comfort in reading my blogs, writing them has given me an outlet to grieve and remember Liam.
We all face uncertainties and difficulties in life. While it’s often hard to navigate through the rough waters, take comfort in the fact that calm seas will return.