"Some people only dream of angels; we held one in our arms."

Below you will find Austin's story in multiple parts in order to tell the full story of my pregnancy, his birth, funeral and the months following.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Meaning of Life

Never before have the topics and discussions we have had in class ever related more to my life. The past couple of class periods we have discussed the meaning of life, and how authors and those that wrote during the Romantic era, have a very profound and often very accurate depiction of the meaning of life. Today's poem in class couldn't be more poignant in my life right now, and I share with you the following verses.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, - act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead! (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

As I went over the verses with my class, I couldn't help relating this to my own life, and surprisingly, I had the courage to share with some of my students what exactly happened. (Of course, I spared them many details, but I did disclose how this has been a very "trying" time period in my life, and as Longfellow as suggested, instead of giving in to the sorrow, I have had to be courageous and brave to get through this difficult time. I have had to continue living in the moment, keep going to work, taking care of my kids, moving on with my life. Are there times when I don't want to do anything; of course, but as Longfellow suggests, time keeps going, and I have to make the most of this situation that I have been dealt.

As Longfellow states, we are born into this life not for pure enjoyment, but rather that both happiness and sorrow are two states that are inevitable in every human's lives. Of course, one of the most intense sorrows any person will ever feel is losing their child, but it is important to remember this outlook on life, in that tragedies happen on a daily basis, but what makes a person heroic is to live in the moment, and be courageous despite the strife and difficulties one is enduring.

Life is a beautiful thing that should be cherished and treasured. Does that mean that life is always going to be full of beautiful things; absolutely not! How do we get through these unpleasant times, I feel the last two lines are what I truly need to remember, although they are so difficult during my most painful moments. I know that I have to let go of the past, and letting go doesn't mean forgetting what happened to me. However, I have to let go and realize it is a part of life that has changed me, and go forth and live in the present. I need to continue to follow my heart, and probably the most important, Trust in God overhead. At times when the grief is so overwhelming, it is hard for me to let go and believe that God understands my sorrow, and that God is there for me. It is hard for me to become so wrapped up in MY pain and aches, and just yearn for it to be over, rather than turn it over to Him and allow Him to work it out for me. While I have gotten better, it is still a challenge for me on a daily basis.

As I am sitting here right now writing this, I am watching the coverage on the news regarding the Haiti earthquake. My heart aches for this country, that as a whole, has endured so much pain and suffering. Why? Why does this continue to happen to them, is what I immediately want to ask? Again, this poem resonates in that, tragedies are going to occur, and we must rely on the spirit within us, no matter how battered we are, as well as our Lord to help us overcome the tough times.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Haiti, as well as every individual that continues to endure the challenges and often painful times of Life. While there is deep sadness and tragedy, I still choose to realize the goodness of all tragedies, as often these unfortunate times truly test and show the beauty of the human spirit.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, life is a beautiful thing and should be treasured and cherished. I now understand that.

    My heart aches as well for Haiti. I wish that there was not any of this tragedy, but I know that is not possible.