Driving on the freeway to Costco with my youngest son, Say Something came on the radio. Normally that song has a sad vibe, but that morning I was struck by the simple beauty of it. I glanced back to see Kai, contentedly staring out the window, and I felt overwhelmed by gratitude for him.
Images from the morning swirled through my mind; my daughter hugging me tightly, then skipping up the pathway to school; my older son giggling as I caught him by surprise with a good bye kiss on the nose (a game we play); my littlest guy coming up to me with one sweet request: Can I hug you, Mom?
Suddenly, my life came to me in glorious technicolor; vivid, breathtaking, and overwhelmingly
beautiful. Life over the past year has primarily come to me in shades of gray, sometimes black and white, and, in rare moments, sepia. The colorful contrast filled me with a hope I thought lost, an unexpected collision with grace.
Tears streamed down my face as sweet emotions passed over me, my breath coming in shallow spurts. Then John Legend’s All of Me began playing and an image of my husband filled my heart. I saw his hand over mine, his face turned to mine, listening intently as I revealed my deepest fears. He never let go. He never looked away. In that moment, I knew with a certainty that he loved me. Not who I could be. Me. Just as I am.
Later that night, I watched About Time and my heart heard an echo as the main character, Tim, said (spoiler alert) It was the toughest decision of my life. Saying yes to the future meant saying goodbye to my father forever. A little girl in me, used to a gray world, said I can’t. A larger part of me, having glimpsed the world in technicolor for a day, replied, I can.
Tears overcame me as I heard my counselor’s voice saying to me, Our experiences don’t have to hurt us now to have meaning. They can influence who we are today and we can still honor them without having them hurt us now. And I believed her.
Every moment since then has not been bathed in technicolor. I still have my black dog, but I’m teaching him a few new tricks. And, most importantly, I’m learning to trust myself and not to feel guilty about the gray times. Instead, I take things one day at a time, soaking in the color when it comes; letting it fill me, encourage me, and give me the courage to hope.