I was going through boxes of “hand-me-down” clothes the other day. It seems like it was just yesterday that my oldest son was wearing these clothes, and I’m in complete disbelief that my youngest is ready to wear them. Life is so fleeting and momentary and it seems like if you blink, you will miss precious moments. I can’t help but swallow back a large lump in my throat and if I slow down to think about it, I’ll just fall apart and be a sobbing mess! My boys are growing up and growing up way too quickly!
Both of my sons are hitting milestones this year. Not the first of milestones, and definitely not the last but milestones all the same. One son is leaving preschool behind to start on his journey in elementary school while the other is moving onto middle school.
How did that happen?! As much as I try to dig my heels in and stop time from moving forward, it just does and I have no control over it.
While I can’t stop them from growing up, I can concentrate on the “hand-me-downs” that I’m passing on to them. So to my boys on their journey in life, I hope you learn from me…
- Perseverance. If you are determined and have the desire and drive, you can overcome any obstacle in life.
- Perspective. Take nothing and nobody for granted! Tomorrow is a completely different day and life as you know and believe it to be can change in the blink of an eye. Value everything and everyone you have in your life!
- Toxic people are not worth it. You want to surround yourself with people who support you and bring you up to a higher level. There are people out there who will suck your energy and life force and in the end, it is more than ok to let these people go. They are not worth it and need to find their own way.
- Compassion. Everyone is dealing with something and you may not be able to see their struggle. Be compassionate because you have no idea what someone might be dealing with.
- Flexibility. Life might throw you a curveball and things may not turn out the way that you want but there is a valuable lesson there. You may not realize it at the time but you will look back and realize that the experience made you a better person, and things turned out for the best.
- Choice and free-will. There will come a time when you have to make a choice of how you’re going to handle something. You can either let it weigh you down or you can choose to take back power and live the life that you want to live. We all have the power within us to make our life great despite any hardships.
- Personal responsibility. It is YOU and only YOU who controls your life. You will make decisions and you are the one who has to live with and be responsible for those choices. You are responsible for your happiness and for living your life the way you want to live your life.
These may be heavy lessons and I'm sure this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Ultimately, my sons will have to learn this stuff for themselves but I hope that when that time comes, they will have my example to think of, and to hopefully use to draw the strength they need at that moment.
While I know they don’t exactly understand my battle with multiple sclerosis, I hope that they are gleaning some of these important themes from my life. I strive to be the type of person that I’d like them to become, and I hope they know that my fight with multiple sclerosis is done as much for them as it is for me. I want them to know that nothing can defeat them and that they can get through anything in their lives.
“May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay