We go through life eyes wide open, yet somehow we miss so many things—important things. So often those missing things are the small breaths of fresh air that keep us moving forward. Some might say the only thing that keeps us going. Often we get caught up in living life—struggling to get through this or that—and we forget to really look around us. I have noticed that often these pieces find me. In the moment when I am caught up in my anger and frustration, or even when I am simply being an observer of the world around me, these things sneak up on me. Whatever the pieces are, they are a little bit of unexpected beauty. They feed my soul and make me smile.
The other day, as I was at a relative’s home, we were having a conversation about college. I looked at my son to gauge his reaction on his future when something funny happened—he smiled a crooked little smile. His hand in his pocket of his athletic shorts, his weight on one leg as the other was out in front a little and relaxed. That smile is cute and made me happy—what really made me happy is that is exactly something his dad would have done. It was his dad from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. That made it more precious. In fact, I’d say it was absolutely beautiful.
Tomorrow, his dad has been dead (that is still such a harsh word to me) for 12 years! My son was 3 days away from being five when my husband died. Brendan remembers very little of his dad. He does not remember what he liked to do or any of this favorite things. He remembers a couple of memories of him alive and he remembers all the activities surrounding his death—that’s all he has. Seeing his dad live on, through him (and the other kids), never ceases to amaze me. Through the years, each of the kids have smiled a certain way, or made a certain joke, or acted in a way that allowed me to see their dad again. That is beautiful.