Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Life is Good

As I reflect on life one thought comes to mind.... LIFE IS GOOD!

Austin's last Christmas with us (December 2009)
Life is full. It's full of experiences, full of changes, full of hurt, and full of laughter. I look around and see that, despite the pain we sometimes experience, life is good...

Life is good. As I look at my boys I am reminded of this. Even though there are moments when they frustrate the living daylights out of me, they are a beautiful gift to me. As I watched Austin, and am now watching his brothers grow into young men, I am filled with awe that I have been blessed with three beautiful sons. Lately, I keep thinking how Austin would get a chuckle out of his two brothers if he could see them now.

Life is busy and moves fast. My family is on the go most of the time, enjoying the time we have before the boys are off to college and I am left trying to fill my time with other things. Today Austin would be 26 years old. In 1-1/2 years my middle son will graduate high school, the youngest will graduate in 3-1/2 years. It's hard to believe!

Life is good. Although it's filled with bumps and bruises, it's filled with love and laughter. This Christmas, as I watched my other two sons opening gifts, which each had "prank-wrapped" for the other, laughing and enjoying the time with together, I was reminded how blessed I am. As I listened to them, I thought of how much Austin would have been part of all the shenanigans and would have loved it. While my heart ached for what was missing it was also filled with joy for what was present.

Austin's brothers enjoying life on Christmas morning (2014)
Life is a blur and continuously changing. When I think of the first couple years of each of the boys lives, all I can think of is it was a big blur. Sleep deprivation and the demands of newborns and toddlers is exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. I don't remember much of those years - it all blends into one big blob. Then I think of the first couple years after Austin died. Life was a blur. I don't remember much - I think I missed out on parts of my other two sons' lives. I was there physically, but my mind was not always. Sometimes I wonder how things would be if Austin was still here, accident not happened. but I don't dwell on it because that is life - we are thrown things that change our life in an instant - filled with disruptions that change our course. Life continues to change, so if we dwell too long on "what-ifs" we'll miss the here and now.

Life is good. As I watched my younger two boys walking into church the other day my heart warmed. Here were two six-feet tall "boys" laughing and pushing each other, enjoying life. I took a moment to take it all in, take a mental picture, savor the view. It's hard to believe how much they have grown. Part of me still thinks of them as little boys, but reality is they're growing up. My mind flashes back to May 2010, when I caught myself doing the same thing while watching Austin. Life doesn't stop, but we can slow down for even a minute to savor these times, to breathe in a absorb life.

Life is full of "life". Life brings us good and bad. It brings people in and out of our lives just when we need them (sometimes when we don't). Life speeds up, then slows down, then picks up pace again. Life makes us cry and makes us laugh. Life lets us grow and change. It takes experiences and molds us, sometimes for the better others for worse, depending on how we let it. That is why, as I look around I think...

Life is a camera. Each moment we have is a snap shot that makes up our life photo album. The memories we make along the way should be savored - both the good and the bad, because they ultimatly make us who we are. I found this quote and felt it sums life up: "Life is like a camera...Focus on what's important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don't work out, take another shot." Then remember...

LIFE IS GOOD...keep snapping those pictures!

The date on this photo is wrong.
I believe this was Christmas 2008,
based off of Austin's scruffy beard!