I was having a conversation about my mom with my oldest daughter a couple of nights ago right before bed. She asks me a lot of questions about her from time to time… what was she like, would she have been a good grandma, do I look anything like her (she thinks she does), etc.
Near the end of our chat she tells me, then asks, “I’m really sorry again about your mommy… do you wish that she was still alive?”
I’ve thought a lot about this question and scenario over the years. How my life would have been different if my mother hadn’t passed away so young. I often think about how much she would have loved my wife and my daughters; how much of my life she has missed since she left this earth. So of course, I’ve always wished she was still alive.
But I also believe that where you are in your life right now is due to the choices that you make and events out of your control that may also guide and influence those choices. I certainly made some very life-altering decisions after my mom died. Decisions that have led me to exactly where I am right now… at this very second.
I thought about all of this for a moment and for the first time on this matter – in my brain, my heart, and with my voice – I answered back to my daughter, “No, I don’t wish she was still alive.”
My daughter was quite surprised and confused by my reply.
Lying next to her, face to face, I told her, “You see, Tiny, if my mom was still alive… if she hadn’t died… maybe I wouldn’t be talking to you right now. Maybe I would have made different choices in my life that wouldn’t have led me to meet mommy. And if I didn’t meet mommy, I wouldn’t have met you…and I wouldn’t be able to share this beautiful life and this wonderful moment that I have right now with you… because you are amazing and although my mom is no longer here, I couldn’t trade THAT for any of THIS.”
I think she got it. And we smiled and hugged and fell asleep next to each other.
It’s a cliché to say that ‘everything happens for a reason’, but it is a cliché that rings so true in my life over and over again. I may not always be pleased with where I am at a given moment, but I can make choices and shift perspective… and I am ultimately happy with the life that I’ve created. I would never want to change my past or have regrets about the events that have happened, or decisions I’ve made, in order to have a different present or future.
Because I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Right now… and for this, I am infinitely thankful.
PS – If you are interested in beginning an Interview journey with your child, you can download a list of simple, age-specific, questions here.