Other things grief has taught me....priorities. Often, I find myself getting frustrated with either myself or other people (mostly other people) about priorities. For a lot of people (myself included at times), it's easy to focus on something trivial and not see the big picture. I have a much better understanding of what matters in life now. Yes, we live in a tiny house, in a town we don't really like, drive used vehicles and don't vacation every year...we do this because we have a bigger goal in mind and are willing to sacrifice for things like a comfortable house with no mortgage, reliable vehicles so our children are safe and the option for them to go to good, private schools to get the best education we can provide. Sounds better than that new car with payments equivalent to a mortgage, huh? Obviously, these are material things, but use your imagination and apply the same idea to emotional issues. I feel like I just don't have time for petty things anymore and the world is FULL of petty. I don't remember if I've blogged about it in the past, but this has bothered me since having Tyler...the petty. I don't have time in my day or energy in my heart for it. One of my best friends lost her dad before she even graduated high school, a boy I went to school with lost his mom when he was 15 years old, another friend is on her fourth pregnancy with hopes that she might actually be able to bring this one home and raise him...so when people want to complain to me because someone forgot to call them back about going to lunch, I have a hard time listening. Again, this started shortly after I had Tyler. While I was pregnant, it was tolerable but annoying. Unfortunately, it's often the people you'd last expect it from.
I've learned how to love deeper. I've always loved and respected Jim, but we have truly seen the deepest parts of each other. Until Tyler, I'd never seen him lose a loved one. I've never been to a visitation or funeral for his family. He, on the other hand, has seen me lose all 3 of my grandmothers. He knows me during loss. The day we got Tyler's diagnosis, our world flipped end over end. I didn't have the strength to comfort him and he didn't have the strength to comfort me. We hardly spoke all the way home. What do you even say? How are you supposed to react? What's the right thing to do? We learned so much about each other that week. For anyone reading who hasn't actually been through the worst part yet, it's hard...it's really really hard. Men and women are so different in every aspect of the word. We deal with stress differently, anxiety, happiness, excitement and grief. In dealing with your own feelings, you can't understand where your spouse is coming from but remember, they can't understand your feelings completely either. We didn't know what to say to each other for a long time. I wasn't going to say anything that he wasn't thinking and vice versa. We were both sad. We have different triggers. Jim gets really sad looking at the scrapbook I made...I get sad when I allow myself to imagine how different our lives would be if he were here (which happens A LOT). I try not to let my mind wander, but think about what a 9 month old does...there's so much to dream about. We have a stronger bond, much deeper, after losing Tyler. When we got together, we were separate people who blended. No matter how blended you are, there is still so much of your individual self. We were broken down to pieces, mere shadows of our former selves, but we were rebuilt as one...he and Tyler are as much a part of me now as I am myself.