Lately, my daughter and I have not had the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Hectic work schedules have made spending time together a challenge. Rather than bemoan what we miss, we focus on the positive. A shared meal, even pb&j, has become a center point of our days. We laugh and catch up while enjoying our meal. Honestly, we have never been happier.
Life changes more often than we would like to admit. Human nature causes us to take for granted special moments. In our haughtiness, we simply assume such opportunities will always be available. Yet the winds of change continue to blow, and the hands of fate continue to drive our paths.
For me, change has been the only constant in my life. There are times I hate change and times I love her. Yet deep in my heart, I know change will be my constant companion. She has taught me to appreciate moments, to always be present, and that nothing bad will last. I am grateful for these lessons.
The closer my child gets to 20, the more I feel her slipping into her own life. As much as I know I will miss the times we share, I am so proud of who she is becoming and her tenacious spirit. She will always land on her feet, blaze her trial, and thrive in any situation. This knowledge makes it easier for me to let her go and to appreciate the moments we share.
A few weeks ago, her friends stopped by. She was giddy at their arrival. Watching them talk, my heart was filled with joy. Their inside jokes, laughter, and conversation filled our apartment. As a mom, I love these moments- I have missed the sounds of children and laughter. Slowly they all gathered in the kitchen, the heart of our home. I was able to listen to the joy in their chatter and see the happiness on their faces.
The few minutes they spent in our apartment filled it with the joy, laughter and love we had been missing. We have built a home, a sanctuary to heal and grow stronger. Our days are simple. We are finding great joy in solace and peace, respite in the quiet. Even our dogs appreciate the peace. Yet in the midst of healing we had forgotten the power of family and friends.
Life will always trip us. We will stumble, fall, and get back up. Challenges will always smack us in the face. The secret of life is not removing the negative, it’s learning to maintain our peace in the midst of chaos. Laughter is by far the best medicine for healing and fortifying a soul. Laughter brings happiness, peace, contentment, joy, and resiliency. A heart that can laugh in the face of a challenge, is a heart that will survive the worst break.
I am grateful for the gift B’s friends gave us. A glimpse of hope for the future, laughter, and love. Good friends are the most powerful medicine to fight the anguish and loss of life. They will lift you up, give you a push when needed, and always remember how to make you laugh. I hope I am able to spend more time enjoying their laughter and youth.
Sara Orellana lives in Oklahoma City and writes a weekly column for The Lawton Constitution.