Some years ago, I watched my little nephew step out of his plastic bath on the floor of the shower. He took such delight in stamping his feet as he squealed ‘Puddles! PUDDLES!!’ His bath was still full of water, and he could have easily splashed in that, but he saw something else and grabbed the chance to have a different experience.
I remember thinking at the time, when do we lose our ability to not only see other options or opportunities but to also have the joy he had doing something as simple as stamping in the puddles.
In just 8 days from now, the madness and hype of next Sunday will be over and many will move into a new phase of reflection and planning.
Whilst we need to live in the moment, we only learn by looking back… or reflecting.
This is my 6th season without my gorgeous Ben. How life has changed. How far I have traveled. How far I still have (and want) to travel. How many puddles I eagerly look forward to being excited by and splashing in.
What about you?
Do you want to splash in new puddles?
Are you immersing yourself in the right environment to even see new puddles?
Are you surrounded by people who inspire you? empower you? encourage you to think bigger?
I have learned that life is much more exciting when I walk with those who have walked the path before me and/or have achieved more than I have. I am inspired by those that inspirit me (how good is that word!!) to continually think bigger and cheer me on, to do things I haven’t done before, allowing me to make an even bigger impact and difference in the world.
My journey is my own but every day I walk with people passed and present who walk with me.
I have had a pretty good handle on the silly season (this year) so far and probably due to the strategy I put in place – keep as busy as I possibly can and keep my mind positively stimulated to avoid falling down a dark hole or drifting into the past. Oh… and when I think of Ben, remember how cool he is, not how much I miss him’.
So far so good…
Mmmm, so here’s what happened last Saturday.
I’m walking through the markets ignoring the fact that they are Xmas markets. The next thing I know, I hear banging noises behind me, I turn around slowly and am horrified to see fireworks being released. My heart starts pounding and my chest gets tight. I feel like I can’t breathe. Breathe, BREATHE, OMG BREATHE!! I order myself. I can feel I’m starting to panic.
I have successfully managed to avoid fireworks for 5 years now. You see, the last night I spent with Ben was watching the fireworks – Riverfire to be exact, (a festival in Brisbane that always includes spectacular firework displays), from Ben’s room in the pediatric ICU. The beautiful nurses had turned his bed around to face the window to get the best view.
The following morning Ben donated his organs, and I left the hospital without him in the hands of kind, but nevertheless, strangers.
Fight-flight kicked in and all I could think was, “I have to get out of here NOW“. Had it not been for two of Ben’s friends who were with me at the time, I would have hi-tailed it out of there as fast as I could. Instead, I pretended to be calm and made the excruciating slow walk back to the car (remembering the walk out of the hospital 5 years ago), with fire-crackers exploding behind me across the night sky. They seemed to go forever and the tears rolled in a continuous river down my cheeks.
Why do I tell you this?
Because despite this blind sighting me completely, afterward, I could see how far I have come. I was reminded again that grief is a journey not an event. And I know that because I will never stop loving Ben, I will never stop missing him.
I have survived the last 5 years – not just survived … but found an incredibly beautiful purpose in my life. I have found new puddles to stamp in. And in everything I do, Ben’s magnificent thread is woven through and he remains forever right beside me 💙
Having experiences like these, enhances how I can relate to many others and allows me to bring something unique to the difference I strive to make. I guess it was a training session of sorts for me and I am glad it happened. Despite the overwhelming and suffocating feeling I felt, I know I am better for having had the experience and overcoming the challenge… and knowing that once again … I survived.
To the beautiful person I have never met who shared this in a group chat recently – it means more than you know.
“Many of us feel like we know Ben because we know and love you, Dalya. You shine his light in everything you do.”
Dalya xx 💙