Monday, June 25, 2007

What I Live For

The theme this week is to share an important quote and what it means to you. (Click on the pic to take you to others' quotes).

I guess I'm *loosely* following the theme, because in one book I read last Christmas there were two that really stood out. I'm sorry it's a bit lengthy, but I've bolded the quotes if you only have time to skim. It explains a bit about my journey with Tyler. Here you go:

I wonder if all people wish for a Walden, a philosophical retreat where the sounds of nature are the only accompaniment and meditation can rule supreme. A few years may be too much to hope for, especially for a wife and mother of a young family. A few minutes per day, maybe even twenty, now that’s realistic. Although I disagree with Mr. Thoreau on a number of points (that old people have nothing useful to tell us, the whole farmer thing, et al), I have found that reading Walden has me wishing for a new pair of eyes - eyes that can strip life down to its barest essentials, its plainest truths and revel in them. I know I will have to retrain my eyes to truly see and myself to truly live.

The section "What I Lived For" helped me to begin this process. Thoreau tells us, "To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." We can allow the day to affect the quality in us – there is no difficulty in this, but to seize the day and will it to be affected by us, and so affect its quality accordingly – that is when miracles happen. This is truly living.

Just twelve short weeks ago, our family began a trek through days that seemed to grab us and shake us by the spirit. At the same time I learned that my cancer was back, our eldest son was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive tumor in his abdomen. Although he is disabled, this condition appeared out of nowhere. At the time, I weathered the news well, but as his outcome became more uncertain, I began to let the circumstance affect the quality within me and hope faltered.

My days began to affect me more and more, I was overcome with grief and a lack of understanding – how could something so terrible happen to such an innocent child, to his family? This was no way to live, and I realized it even more by reading that simple section in Walden.

What do I live for? What does my son live for? What does anyone live for? I asked these questions and realized that the answer is very simple. We live to learn, to stretch and to grow, and most importantly to Live life (yes, live it with a capital "L").

I love this quote:

"…I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

A resolve formed in me to overcome the despair and reached out to affect the "quality of the day" and I began to live deliberately. To do this is to take the bitter with the sweet and see the beauty in both.

"If you stand right and fronting face to face to a fact, you will see the glimmer on both its surfaces, as if it were a cimeter, and feel its sweet edge dividing you through the heart and marrow, and so you will happily conclude your mortal career."

Standing off to one side, I might only see the glint of the blade that presents misery and grief; or on the other side, a denial of all that is happening, thus missing an opportunity to grasp the present moment. Facing it straight on, I can see that this is a time to cherish, a difficult time to be sure, but an amazing gift nonetheless. I have realized how important a role family plays in my life and the lives of my husband and children. I know how precious each minute is when the next might slip away as the last. Each minute spent with my son, holding him (even though he is 14 years old), talking with him, and loving him is deliberate.

In turn, my interactions with my husband, my children, and others are becoming more meaningful and real. I have shifted my focus from worrying about outcomes and relationships because it is only seeing people as objects or property. Instead, I am retraining my eyes to focus on each person that comes into my life and to love them genuinely for who they are, realizing the wants and needs they each have and responding with love. To love genuinely, this is what I live for.


An Ordinary Mom said...

Simply beautiful! What an uplifting and inspiring post. I needed to hear these things. Thank you so much for sharing. We all need to remember to live and love our life to the fullest!

Penless Thoughts said...

Life is what happens to us along the way. Oh that we might grasp and treasure every moment of every day instead of wishing it away.

Our Peculiar Life said...

I love this post. This is my favorite line: "We can allow the day to affect the quality in us – there is no difficulty in this, but to seize the day and will it to be affected by us, and so affect its quality accordingly – that is when miracles happen. This is truly living." I have to admit, it has been a loooong time since I have read Walden. But I liked seeing it through your eyes better. And you wrote so beautifully and heartfelt. Loved it, Corrie.

MommyK said...

Lovely. Many prayers for your health and that of your son.

randi said...

This is a lovely post, thank you for sharing from your heart. I will add your family to my prayer list as you make this journey together.

Dee Light said...

What an insightful post. You are so strong and so honest. We all have times when we walk in the valley, but you have taken this time to learn how to Live!!! Thank you.

Lana G! said...

May you walk through all this with your hand tightly wrapped in the hand of God! Blessings and prayers on you and your family!

Lei said...

You have such an incredible outlook! I also love Henry David Thoreau - you interpretation of his words is inspiring!

Montserrat said...

This is a very poignant post. I'm going right now to deliberately hug my children and Live.

Thank you, Corrie.

Tigersue said...

To love genuinely, this is what I live for.

What a beautiful and touching post. Thank you for the dose of reality and remembering what is really, really important today.

Gran - (Angela) said...

Your post is so inspirational and touching. I include your family on my prayer list. Thank you so much for sharing this special quote today.
May you have a BLESSED day!

Myrna said...

"We live to learn. . ." I like this. We are learning every minute of life whether or not we are aware of it. Your post is very thought provoking!

Morning Glory said...

This was breathtakingly beautiful. There is nothing so significant than when someone is faced with a real challenge in life and they face it head on and go for it. Thank you so much for participating with Lei and me this week. Your words were inspirational.

I've been on vacation and am just now getting around to all the links.

summershine said...


Christina said...

Your post is beautiful! It's so easy to take the beauty of life for granted. I wish the best for you and your son.