"The one comfort that all of us can take is that we are not the
only people on the planet who have something to swim against.
We are not alone in our battle to disprove a statistic."
SIGNS OF LIFE
By Natalie Taylor
And it's good for each of us to remember this as we go through our daily lives.
It's so easy to view life through our own tunnel-vision... it seems quite second nature, in fact, to see every situation only as it might affect me: good or bad. I do this. Of course! Who doesn't?
I visited New York City for 2 days and man, if everybody wasn't in my way! There was somebody blocking my path at every turn. We went to the American Museum of Natural History, and my favorite exhibit was closed due to a private party. Didn't those people know that we were only there for those few hours and I wanted to show my 2-year-old daughter the life-sized blue whale? Why were they doing that to me? This is, perhaps, a petty example. But what I often forget to think about is that everyone is just trying to live their life, too. They have somewhere they need to go - and maybe I'm getting in their way. They might be celebrating a very special once-in-a-lifetime occasion at the museum. Who knows?
In Signs of Life, by Natalie Taylor, she loses her husband in a freak accident just over a year after they were married... and she was 5-months pregnant with their first child. Awful - yes. But one of the things I noticed as I was reading it was that she had incredible amounts of support and love from her husband's family and friends. Even though they were going through their own loss, their own grief - losing a son, losing a brother, losing a life-long friend - all of those people also looked beyond their own pain and saw Natalie grieving and helped her in whatever way they could, however they thought they knew how.
John Donne says "No man is an island..." and I couldn't agree more. There are so many parts of life that would be so much harder to get through without someone to lean on - or many someones! And there are hopefully an equal or greater number of things in life that would be so much less joyous if we didn't have someone - or many someones - to share them with.
It's easy to slip into the self-loathing or the "why me" places. But I'm continuing to learn that it's much better when I think of the bigger picture. Harder - yes. But better.
For more quotes collected from this book, visit Borrowing Wisdom.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Natalie Taylor's SIGNS OF LIFE to read and discuss as a member of the online book club From Left to Write. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. Click here to purchase your own copy of this book.