Sunday, November 23, 2008

One Little Victory

When it comes down to it, I think the little things are what make the strongest impact in our lives. To be sure, there are momentous, life-changing events, those ones that are marked down either on a calendar or in our hearts, those ones we always seem to associate with a date: beginnings, milestones, endings. These events most people recall most readily when discussing a particularly great or terrible time in their lives. For me, this year has been the kind of year punctuated by these dates, events marked in my mind and in my heart, and no doubt, in the years to come, I'll look at a calendar and begin a countdown to the anniversaries of those dates held so close to me, and the days will seem a bit more grey, life a bit more listless, time a bit more wearying. Those times will wear at me. Those times will be reminders (as if my life isn't a constant reminder) of all I've lost, of all we've lost, this past year, these past years. These events are like anchors in a soul, if not dragging one down, then certainly slowing him down, making it so terribly hard to move, to move on.

And then there are those events that will never appear on a calendar, never marked by milestones, nor celebrations, not noted by the date nor by some other sign so obvious. Instead, those events will be remembered and revered at the most inconspicuous times, triggered by the most minor of reminders, bringing out a feeling of light and life and love that just overwhelms that grey, listless and weary dreary existence. It reminds you that you are alive, and life, no matter how bad it can sometimes seem, is ALWAYS worth living. Where there is life, there is always hope. These little things, these ones that ultimately mean so much, can happen every day. It doesn't have to be much: it can be something as simple as having an unexpectedly deep conversation with your mom, spending a few minutes laughing with kids, of any age, or spending a weekend with your friends, just... watching TV, or going shopping, or going to a bake sale. Whatever! These little things will be those things you look back on, days or months or years later, and say to yourself "THAT'S when life got better for me."

I've spent this past year surrounded by death. What should've been a mental and emotional rebirth of sorts for me has instead been hammerblow after hammerblow to me, to my family, and to some of my oldest and dearest friends. I'd been so slowed down, so worn down, by all this death and loss, I hadn't even realized just what kind of toll it had taken on me. All those events marked on those calendars from now on, all those dates I'll dread to see coming up...

But now, finally, I've also seen all those events that get no marks on calendars, those little victories that take so much of the sting out of that loss and bring sweetness and joy back to life. I've finally seen and realized how important those are to me- just as important as all those losses I'm reminded of, I'll be looking back at those little victories and remind myself of all I have, and all I've gained.


Odd Voodoo said...

This is how Wars are won...through Battles...many, many Battles. And even the smallest of victories can turn the greatest of tides. See you in the trenches.

Steven Darrall said...

Amen to that, my brother.