I remember when I was in first grade and President Kennedy got shot. Our teacher walked into our classroom crying and told us what had happened. It is a memory I will never forget. Hence; “Kennedy Moment” is a caption that those of us who remember that day can understand clearly. Though I sometimes have wondered if the younger population truly understands exactly where the term came from. Since that day, there have been other iconic moments such as when the space shuttle exploded or the day 911 came to mean something different to a whole population than it had just the day before. And it has made me reflect on the moments in life that were my own Kennedy Moments.
When someone dies, when a baby is born, a fight, a celebration…we remember those moments in our lives when our own worlds changed forever. The choices we make in the moments we live. What is important. What really is not. We realize those moments as treasures and tragedies. But in embracing it all, as you live… you realize what truly matters and what just doesn’t. The relationships you let slip away, the ones you fight to maintain. It is all a series of lessons.
My daughter and I had the greatest converstaion yesterday about the past, present and future. She capsulized it by saying “The future really never exists except in our minds.” In essence she was sharing with me that our tomorrows are still in our imaginations. The events we plan may or may not ever happen or at least not the way we imagine them to. I am here to say that from the time I was very young. The future in my mind never really happened (in most instances) the way I imagined it back then when it was still just my future. Some of it happened better and some of it rolled out like a run away train that I had no control over but in the end the message here is to embrace today.
I remember the first time someone asked me to marry them, the first time I ever made love, our first fight, our last fight…
I remember breaking up with that person and thinking my life was over.
I remember meeting someone new, our wedding day… looking out down on my husband to be waiting for me and the feeling I felt as if it were just yesterday.
I remember lying in the hospital after becoming a mom for the first time. The feeling of joy I’d never experienced before, imagining my life as a mom and trying to imagine his future.
I remember all the pain that came after that. Trying to survive being married to someone who probably should never have married anyone.
I remember finding out that I was going to have another baby and wondering if I could love another as much as my son. having my daughter and knowing in an instant that God gives us all the love we need and more.
I remember my husband crying tears of joy when she was born and wondering if she would be the miracle we needed to keep our family together. Imagining all the hopes and dreams I had, still yet to come…when life was still unwritten for us all…
I remember certain “first days of school” for both my kids… and many of their firsts… first steps… first words… why did I want to rush it all?
I remember crying with my first husband as we held each other in front of the paralegal’s office we shared after deciding together to (ammicably) draw up our own divorce papers as all the dreams we’d once shared seemed to stop dancing through my head in one big fat Kennedy Moment.
I remember meeting my current husband and cautiously beginning to believe in happy endings again… but never really ever again in the same way. And the Kennedy Moment when I finally let go and knew that I loved him.
Today I think that as I look back at all my Kennedy moments…. the deaths and births, the iconic conversations and the forgotten ones… I understand more today than ever before that “TODAY” is all we have. Tomorrow is a gift God will decide if we get or not. So take today, this moment, this second and LIVE IT!!!!
Last night as my daughter and I had our conversation, I learned so much in our sharing and at that moment of inspiration… I realized that if THIS IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS…. it is awesome!!!!