There is truly nothing new under the sun. Even the “Left Behind” book series is back after all these years in movie theaters across the nation starting this fall in October. With so many greats known and unknown gone ahead of us this year and even years prior, it really makes me wonder sometimes were we “Left Behind”? I know from a scriptural standpoint that ‘s really not the case but when our loved ones transition on it does give the feeling of being “left behind”. I’ve experienced it many times before. I lost both of my grandmothers and a high school classmate by the time I was a senior in high school. I lost my first best guy friend and a paternal uncle plus grieved my parents’ public divorce all by the end of my freshman year in college.
By my sophomore year of college, I lost a dear college buddy and Soror, Tracey Clay, who I once shared my writing dreams with and now I’m left behind with the blessing to be able to live my dream as an internationally published writer soon to be author for thousands and thousands of followers today. She was a great writer who didn’t get that chance. By my late 20’s I was married and abandoned with child in the same year of the marriage by my childhood sweetheart, now ex-husband of almost 10 years (almost ten years divorced) due primarily to the selfishness of his alcoholism further perpetuated by his inability to cope with being left behind by the death of his father by the time he was 18 years old.
So as you can see, the term “left behind” can mean so many different things to each of us. I just share these moments in my life to illustrate the point, not to belabor it. I truly am a living witness of the miracle of the ability to love in spite of it all–the good, the bad, and the ugly. I even lost my maternal grandfather before the age of 35. My paternal grandfather died before I was born to my knowledge. However, as I approach my 40th birthday this month, I have to say it was quite different this year when the whole left behind notion hit even more close to home after my father passed in February days before we were supposed to get together for Valentine’s Day. I was also Daddy’s primary caregiver and healthcare power of attorney. When I got the call and the facility manager said he was fighting hard and came back several times before paramedics took him to the ER– I thought my own heart stopped literally. For a brief moment, I believe it did and God kept it going because He has a purpose for me and my life and it’s proving to be more global than anything I could ever imagine. God is the reason I’m here to share this with each of you today. When I finally got there and the ER doctor said they “did everything they could” my life was forever changed in that one instant.
This year, the death of my father just months after he told me to “make sure I live my life’s purpose” made me re-examine my own life across the board. This month I will celebrate my first birthday without him. This fall and winter, my siblings will experience the same.
I look at life through a new lens altogether. I’m even more deliberate in my thoughts and intentions as well as my openness to what love is and what it really means to be loved. I take nothing for granted anymore not even the little things. People matter to me more than things. I’d rather have peace than to be right. I have finally eradicated most of the self-limiting beliefs my father actually told me to get rid of years ago, especially those regarding income potential which by the way is so unlimited. I pay attention to life more and I listen to everything even to what isn’t said. I talk less and observe more. #ObservationDeck #GreatView #Awareness You could say, I’m finally truly living my life’s purpose. I just hate that it took such a hard-hitting death to wake me up from my own life.
To anyone who feels left behind, know that you are not alone. It doesn’t feel good, it hurts sometimes, it’s confusing sometimes, it’s unbelievable sometimes and yet there is a way to find a better feeling and live your new life without the ones who hurt you or the ones you loved who are no longer with you. Focus on love and what you love so you can recenter and move forward in life one step and one day at a time until you have a new pace of success that works for you. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to miss the ones who have transitioned on. The key is to keep going on your journey to you can live your life’s purpose.
What I’ve learned the most from the transitioning of my father’s life is that death has a way of getting our attention unlike any other circumstance. The one thing my Daddy stressed is how he lived a full life and really did everything he ever wanted to do. I used to get so tired of hearing his stories and adventures but I’d give anything to hear him talk about them now for sure. His life was a really wonderful set of accomplishments. He was a former athlete, educator, businessman, public speaker, military man, motorcyclist, musician and so much more. I admire that about him and I think about how he retired early and really did enjoy his golden years even up to the time he was diagnosed with vascular dementia. He was not a perfect man but he was a man who learned a lot of valuable lessons that he was able to pass on to me and to my siblings. The most amazing thing to me was that somehow even to the very end, he somehow never forgot who I was and even remembered me by name. Even as I write this tears come to my eyes and are falling fast, but I promise you they are happy tears of reflection of a life of 78 years well lived.
When it comes to our lives, the truth is that each of us only gets one trip. Be sure to enjoy the journey. Life is too short to be anything less than happy and free to live the life of your dreams. You deserve the best life has to offer. Life is a series of decisions. We are the product of our decisions. Choose wisely. Your life depends on it. Love yourself enough to live it to the fullest. A ship is safest at the harbor but that’s not its purpose. It is time for your to pick up the pieces in spite of it all and live your life’s purpose today. I believe in my heart that those of our loved ones who have transitioned would not want it any other way. There is a reason we are all still here. Let’s make the most of it! #IGNITEyourLife #LiveLOVEdaily
This article is from my upcoming book for 2015 #40LessonsLearnedBefore40. This article is dedicated to anyone who was left behind or feels left behind sometimes in life. I am a witness that God is still here through it all, you can move forward without forgetting about your loved one and as aforementioned– you are never alone. Reach out to your friend, relative, or health professional about how you feel if you are having trouble coping so you can feel better. The better you feel, the more amazing you can become. You deserve it. Your life deserves it.
To your life of unlimited abundance and joy – Toy Parker