One of the hardest things I had to do after the tornado was list all of my possessions that I had lost. When I began, I was eating with Mom and Dad at Ruby Tuesday's. I started crying, of course; a headache began, and I completely lost my appetite. It literally made me sick to my stomach.
This morning I thought about the relationships, the people I've lost. Really, though, I thought about all the messes I've made of them - or at least the messes they've become.
The night of the tornado, some of us joked around about losing things that were old or broken, saying things like, "Score - new car!" or "I was SO wanting to get a new computer; mine was old!" I have to admit, I have liked getting so many new things; you'd think I was lying if I said I didn't. We all had things that were a little worn out, things that needed replacing, a lot of junk we never used.
What if there was a tornado that could take away all my broken relationships, the friendships that have fallen apart, the ones that break my heart to see so far away from all I could want for them? I guess pondering upon this is equivalent to wishing for all my troubles to be taken away, but I am thinking in more metaphorical terms. What I would like to be taken away is the scars from them. The apprehension that an "over-involved" friendship will happen again; the fear of not being able to handle a friend's choices; the worry that I will not fight enough for someone I love; the thought that I am too much for anyone to deal with; the knowledge that I would give my life for you but can seldom pick up the phone just to talk. Because those are what holds me back. They are things I will have to be careful of, get over, and do something about.
Over and over again to myself I have listed the people I have lost. So when am I done listing? How many times do I have to remind myself that so much innocence is gone? I should have never started. We should always move on, move forward - all the while remembering that these things have made us who we are, but we had a choice as to which direction the effect took. We are not simply spectators in this life; we are the heart and soul of it, living for something more than ourselves, and wanting... wanting to feel that we ARE alive. We are breathing, touching, feeling, seeing, hearing, being. So many times we wait for something to make us feel that way, to live, but we need to realize that a lot of that desire is up to us to fulfill. We choose to live for something that is worth living for, or we choose to just live because what else is there to do? We choose to take tragedy and find reason for rejoicing, or we choose to take it and ruminate on everything that is lost. Life is a choice - and so is love. Love is manifested in so many ways, and it is incredible to see how differently people love one another. We all live different, so why should we not love different? And as all good things, love is not easy and most of the time must be worked for. Such trials make love and life so much more valuable.