Today's post is going to be a bit different than usual! If you aren't good with emotions, like moi, here's your warning, it is personal. However, if you love serious topics and somewhat sappy lessons, let's dive straight into the deep end!
So in the last year a half or so, I've gone through some very big changes in my life. On July 31, 2012 (2 weeks before I left for university) my older sister Mallory passed away, caused by Cystic Fibrosis, something she had all her life. But the funny thing about it is, even while going through a double lung transplant, you would never have known she was sick. She was, and still is, so incredible to me. I have trouble swallowing pills while here she is taking all these meds, getting all these procedures, and still having a normal life. She impacted so many people with the way that she lived such a positive life and cherished every day that she had. She never let having CF get her down and always tried to get the message out that no matter what, life is meant to be lived to the fullest and you can't waste it, no matter what issues or struggles you have to face, because we're all dying, it's just that only some of us realize that.
The reason this is weighing on me now, more than on an average day, is because on October 12th she would've been 25. It's strange saying that because to me that's such a big number. By then I'd like to be married (edit: reading this a year later and all I can say is HA HA HA to that 18 year old Sarah) with a good career and on my way to having a family. I'm not going to lie and say that I don't get angry and wonder why bad things happen to good people and question God and my beliefs all the time, but I do know that none of these things help. What I do find helps is finding hope and love in all the little things, as cliche as that sounds. I take the time to appreciate every beautiful day and clear blue sky. I am overjoyed when I get a good parking spot or when just the perfect thing I'm looking for appears just when I need it.
This Friday is my younger sister Hannah's one year anniversary of being chemo free. So yes, if you're doing the math in your head, my younger sister was dealing with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) at the time of my other sister getting a lung transplant and having all sorts of medical ups and downs. I am excited and so, so happy that this wonderful milestone has come for her. I am very proud of her, and I really don't say that enough.
You may be wondering why I've chosen to write and share this with you, and really, I don't know. I don't deal with emotions in general, and with big things I sort of shove them away and never speak of them again, but this little piece of internet space that I have is a bit like therapy for me, in the way that I can write it, deal with a bit of it, and then put it away again once I'm ready. Lately I've been so mixed up and very up and down emotions wise, and sitting down to write about it has helped a bit. I'm all over the place, I know, but welcome to my head.
People ask me a lot how I deal with those things and still am so happy and productive and positive, and in contrary to the title of this post, it's all the little things. There are so many little things that we pass up everyday in our rush to do the next thing, and when you stop to see them, actually see and appreciate them, your viewpoint of life changes a lot. In so many ways I wouldn't be the person I am now if these things hadn't happened to me. I had to grow up, very quickly, and in some ways I am harsher and more critical of people who complain about things that are so trivial to me. I get angry that some people's biggest problems are what they are going to wear when they go out and sometimes I get so frustrated with them that I want to scream at them, but really I'm a bit jealous. I wish that I could be as carefree and worry free as they are. I really am. But sometimes, I have a totally different perspective on life than other people my age. I know who I am and what I want, and don't feel like other people's judgements have to run my life. I know (for the most part) what the truly important things in life are, and why it is critically important that you cherish them while you have the time to. And to know these things at such young age is something I consider a huge blessing. I volunteer and get involved with so many things. I speak about organ donations and why they are so important. I do my best everyday to have a positive impact on each person I meet, even if it's just holding a door or smiling at them and saying "good morning" because it makes me happy. There's this quote that sort of sums it all up for me by J Nelson and it goes "All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy."
I never ever in my wildest nightmares thought that I would lose my sister. We always knew it was possible, so we made sure to make big things out of all the little things and make sure we knew how much we loved each other, but in the end, you never have enough time. I could've had a year's warning and I would not have had enough laughs and pep talks and trash tv watching and "i love you's". So take the time today to say what you feel and be who you are and love who and what you have, without all the worries. Because when it's gone, no matter how much you wish it back to you, it's gone. So I apologize for the bit of a downer that I just threw your way, but the fact is, time will run out, so cliche or not, you better start seizing the day!
P.S. - I do not say these things for your sympathy or your attention. I say it because it is true and it is my life, and also because this little plot of internet is mine to do with as I please, and today, it pleases me to vent.