"There are moments that mark your life. Moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same. Moments when time is divided into two parts. Before this and after this."
What are your moments? I know I have mine. I have some very distinct moments that at that time I KNEW life would not be the same. There are some moments that now looking back, I can say, "Wow, life really did change after one moment." Some are very small and some are obvious, smack you in the face life changing moments. So being the sharing person that I am, I'm going to expand on some of these moments, I guess the more obvious ones. (Cause I KNOW you are dying to hear about it….right? **just nod and smile**)
*07/19/1984 – This was the day that my brother, Justin, died. Life most certainly was not the same after that. People were not the same after that. Even though I was very young (it was the day before my 6th birthday), I can distinctly recognize the difference in my parents and myself after that moment.
*07/15/1993 – I won't go into much detail on this one, but it most certainly changed the path of my life.
*I think any time that I moved from state to state changed the path of life. That's how I categorize memories – "Oh, that was when I lived Houston, so it must have been around this time."
*10/17/1986 – There are also moments that mark your life in a positive way. I think we dwell quite a bit on the negative…. This day Jordan, my youngest brother, was born. A blessed moment, indeed.
*11/26/1994 – A moment some would find silly actually changed everything for me. Since you will laugh at me, I won't say what it is, but it kind of restored my faith in people.
*05/04/1998 – The day that I had brain surgery. This brought about both positive and negative changes in my life. I know that I am a different person now; I have a different perspective on relationships, health and life. It changed my faith and Christian life (for the better). I can't say that I realized it at the time and I'm sure it wasn't THAT day that made the difference, but the experience itself.
*12/23/1998 – My Papa died very suddenly. This marked a huge shift in my entire life.
*01/09/1999 – Now this is one of my best friend's wedding date, but that's not why it's a life changing day of MY life. This was when I went against my better judgment and entered into a relationship for the wrong reasons (I was grieving, he was there) and it most certainly changed the path of my life.
*Late June/early July 1999 (I know, you're shocked I don't know the exact date.) – Again, went against my better judgment and made the decision to stay in said relationship. I know now that if I didn't walk away at that point, I was never going to. Well THAT didn't get me anywhere.
*There were many moments in high school, particularly my 9th and 10th grade years, that changed me. I think at that time I became a more cynical individual and lost a lot of personal strength and confidence.
*January 2000 – A revelation rocked my world and the world of those around me. Lives were changed, people were changed and I became a different person.
*05/12/2001 – I graduated college….and realized I didn't have a clue what to do with my life. (For those of you reading this that are Delta Zetas and attended the alum academy in Dallas last year, this SHOULD have been my OSM!)
*07/20/2001 – My birthday. Something was promised to me that I did not receive. It shifted the relationship, not because it was material but because of what it represented, and it changed the view that my family had on the relationship. Trust was lost. Should have walked away…..but no, that just leads me to more moments.
*05/04/2002 – He comes home and drops the bomb. Everything up to that point was a different story from what he came home with. I had altered my life up to that point for him. Everything after that day was starting over and I, again, was changed. (So how many people have I been now???) All of those years were a total waste of time. BUT…the silver lining is that it didn't go any further, as I would probably be divorced with some kids now. Well, the kids wouldn't be so bad, but not with him!
*08/25/2004 – My 20 year old cousin died after brain surgery as a result of a head injury. Completely shocking and hard to grasp. He had only been married a year, had adopted his wife's son and had a little girl on the way that he didn't get to know about. Really opens your eyes to living your life and loving those around you.
*Fall 2004 – My grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer. Cancer had never really affected my life until this point and while I didn't know it at the time, it paved the way for me to find something I was passionate about.
*05/13/2005 – I graduated from Vanderbilt with my Masters. I think this was the first I really felt like I had accomplished something.
*09/18/2005 – I stayed with my grandfather his last night. I cared for him, I cried, I was angry, I was remorseful over things not said or done, I was so sad that he wasn't cognizant of who I was but relieved that he was not conscious of what was happening. It was the first time I felt like a "grown up". I was there with my family when he died. I had never witnessed a death, much less of someone I loved. It definitely left an emptiness inside and a need for something more in my life.
*01/30/2007 – The day I learned that I would be an aunt! This, of course, changed many people's lives….but certainly in a positive way. We probably didn't realize at the time what an absolute blessing the little baby would be.
*03/24/2007 – I gained a sister-in-law who has become one of my best friends. I saw my brother change into a husband and not just a kid. My family expanded.
*I don't know the date, but when I found out my dear friend, Meredith, had stage 4 stomach cancer. Mer was only a few months older than me and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It really made me think about my own mortality and I was amazed by her grace and strength and positive attitude. I never thought about the possibility of cancer at my age. It made me angry, it scared me, but fed into the passion that was growing for working with oncology. When she passed away on 11/30/2007, I have to admit I lost a little bit of hope.
*Fall 2006 – I reconnected with someone who was a close friend in high school. He had been through some extremely traumatic times. This changed me in many ways – I saw how he had persevered and how your outlook on things can really change how you deal with a situation. I saw that miracles do indeed happen. I also learned a lot about myself and recognized that I was changing into a stronger, more logical and self-assured person. (I know, you are laughing at me. Putting Heather in the same sentence with strong, self-assured and logical seems like a joke. Shut up)
*10/2/2007 – My perfect, wonderful, sweet and precious nephew, Jakob Thomas was born. I became an aunt, my parents became grandparents, my brother and sister-in-law transitioned into parenthood and there was a new life that suddenly I don't know how we ever could have lived without.
*Summer 2007 – Another touchy subject, but there is a clear before and after here. And it's ongoing.
Did you make it to the end? Gold star for you. It's kind of interesting to recognize that so many moments in life change everything. So I guess our lives are forever changing. And I even told you about it in a pretty collage of color.