In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost
1,536 days. Those are the number of days that have passed by since I’ve seen or spoken to my Dad. He is not here, but yet the world continues to move forward. What is even more startling is that somehow I found a way to gain traction and that momentum pushes me along in my own life.
I remember one particular moment though where the idea of moving forward seemed like abstract art. One night, during one of my father’s lengthy hospital stays, I volunteered to keep him company during the night. I stepped out to get some air in the hospital corridor and decided to use the restroom. As I attempted to reenter my father’s room, I stopped. In my head, I screamed, I want things the way they were before. I wanted no part of these things: white-coats guessing whether this treatment would work. tasting stale coffee in the puke-yellow painted hospital waiting rooms and offering false conversations of how things would work out. In that very second, I had no idea both my father and my family could or would ever move forward.
But all of us did. Almost 4 years later, my sister is married, on the brink of celebrating her one year wedding anniversary. My mother lives in her new apartment. She is learning to play poker and planning her next outing with her friends. This July marks 4 years of time spent in Arizona, a place I now call my new home. I’ve moved forward too.
This notion of pushing forward still continues to shock me in ways I am not certain I still understand. Maybe I don’t want to understand. Because I think we all believe that we are integral to our circle. That we are important to our workplace or to friends or to our loved ones. And that may be true when we are experiencing and living these moments. But what keeps the bookends between endings and beginnings going is the continuing.
Making peace with the these three words, life goes on, is perhaps the hardest lesson we all must realize.