11 Aug 2011

Life Keeps Teaching Me the Same Lesson

16 Comments Personal Crap

It’s a story for another time, but today I was at the hospital visiting my cousin for the second time this week. It’s a cancer hospital. A place where research is done, people are healed, and others… Are not.

As I left his room to let him sleep and headed toward the elevators, I saw a couple I had seen as I was coming in. They were Asian and in their late 40’s, or early 50’s. When I first saw them, he was on his cell phone in the third floor lobby, possibly getting updates, possibly giving them. She was across from him, facing him in a chair about ten arm-lengths away.  She watched him intently. She was quiet.

Here I was, only an hour later walking through the same lobby. And she was with him again, her husband I think. And she was wailing as she walked toward the elevator. It’s a wail I have only heard within the last year or so, sometimes from my mom, sometimes from myself. It was the wail of someone who lost someone they could never fathom losing.

I didn’t want to get on the elevator with them, to interrupt this precious moment. See, grief is important. It’s private and beautiful and so very necessary. I didn’t want her to feel like she needed to cut it out, or pull it back or stop the pain. So I waited in the lobby, facing the window and I cried. I cried for her and her loss. I cried for my dad who was treated for nearly four years at this same hospital, and I cried for my cousin who is fighting.

I know I’ve been yapping a lot the last year about how I’m trying to live differently. I’m trying to prioritize and make every moment special. No one can do it all the time, but my percentage has certainly risen. And living in that moment today gave me even more resolve. This life is precious, people. And I don’t care if you get sick of me saying it. I’m going to say it a lot more.

Do things that matter to you. Take care of your people. Let your people take care of you. Don’t let your stuff define you. Reach out to new people. Hug someone so damn hard they lose their breath. Don’t waste time with shitty friends. Don’t be cheap. Don’t stress about the shit you can’t do anything about. Apologize. Accept apologies. Have some serious fucking fun every single day. Teach someone something you’re good at. Don’t be afraid to learn new things. Smile at a stranger.  Listen when someone is talking to you. Remember when your spouse was the person you were dating. Tickle your kid. Laugh your ass off. I’m doing all of that stuff a whole lot more. And it’s just the beginning…

written by
Lisa Arch likes being a working actress... but LOVES being a Mom!

16 Responses to “Life Keeps Teaching Me the Same Lesson”

  1. Reply Tracy K says:

    Amen sister. Amen.

  2. Reply AL says:

    You’re so getting it! Congratulations on learning the important stuff sooner than most! It’s a big thing, yes it is! Prayers and blessings for your cousin from here.

  3. Reply Lauren says:

    Truly inspirational. Thank you for having the guts to spill your feelings like that and give others (me) a much needed reality check.

  4. Reply Sherry says:

    You are so right! You are such a good person. I think people really don’t understand how wonderful being a good person is :). I will tickle my son tomorrow, even though he’s 15! I will keep your cousin and your family in my prayers. Big hugs, Lisa <3

  5. Reply Melisa says:

    Yes. To all of it.

  6. Reply Carla says:

    Thanks Lisa…You always seem to put things into the proper perspectives…Prayers for you and the fam.

    Grief is something I just push aside and ignore. I just find it easier that way. I cry all the time over my cat I had to put to sleep, but anything else id forbidden. I have just recently found a facebook group that is about the classmates we lost…and my sister was mentioned, so I am slowly reconnecting with people who knew her. I have blocked alot of the past….and this is a challenge. Thanks for this posty…it helps more thatn you know.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Oh, Carla. I’m so sorry to hear you lost your sister. My gosh. I don’t even know how you must feel. It means a great deal to me that my post helped you at all. Thank you for sharing that.

  7. Reply As Cape Cod Turns says:

    I may have to print out that last paragraph and hang it on my bathroom mirror. A family member with cancer sucks. Cancer sucks. Plain and simple. Sorry you are going thru all of this. However, watching cancer suck, does make us realize what is important in life. xoxo

  8. Reply krepthin says:

    Reading your post really hit home for me. After a really sucky 4 years (3 deaths of people close to me, 3 surgeries (mine), and being miserable at work) I started this year making some major changes in my life. And you gave me a list of many more things to think about and do. I had told myself for years I couldn’t get a dog until I retired so I’d be able to take care of it properly. I decided this year that life is too short and if other people work and have dogs, I could do that too. I got a puppy in March and although my life has changed drastically and revolves around him, it was the best decision I’ve made in years. I’ve lost 20 pounds with him (and Nutrisystem) and met a bunch of new people. I stopped obsessing over stupid stuff at work and leave at 5:00 on the dot to walk my dog. People at work have noticed a change in me, and my doctor told me at my last visit “You didn’t need antidepressants. You needed a dog.” Thank you for a great blog post.

    • Reply flawlessmom says:

      Well, Krepthin… You just made me cry. I’m so very happy for you that you gave yourself, and that dog, such a beautiful gift. I’m also grateful my words meant something to you. Please know your words meant a lot to me.

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