When I was enrolled in a bereavement counseling class in grad school, my professor asked us how a semester's worth of discussion about death had changed our attitude toward it. My answer: it hadn't.
At that point in my life I was satisfied with my accomplishments. My relationships were solid. I had loved as much as I could. I felt that if I'd died right then and there I would be at peace knowing that I had lived a wonderfully full life.
But a year later, here I am with a ring on my finger. I'm someone's wife. And my answer to my professor's question has changed.
There's something about being married that makes me dwell on the sweetness of ordinary life and fear the inevitability of its end. Even more so than before I feel like I have everything in the world that I could ever need- and therefore, I have everything to lose.
I see a lifetime of love before me, a kind that I have not yet given or received. I see a yellow brick road that will lead me through some scary and delightful and crazy adventures until I discover that "home" is the relationship between Brian and me, and that I don't ever want to be away from it.
So today as all of us here in the U.S. celebrate Labor Day (Brian and I are doing so by moving into our newly renovated apartment - yay for feeling all grown up with our fresh paint and crown molding!), let us all remember that life is not yesterday's mistakes or tomorrow's accomplishments - life is today's relationships. Life is today's backyard BBQ, today's day at the beach with friends, today's niece's and nephews swarming you for attention, and tonight's warm bed with you and your special dude/ dudette.
Life is about finding "home" and fully being in it.
And if you want a weep-worthy visual experience of what I'm feeling today, here ya go:
Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.