52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge [Week Twenty-Eight]: Your Past

When people talk about the past me, all I ever hear is that I was the perfect child. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, family friends, and other people connected to my immediate family go on about how easy going I was. As a baby and toddler, I was very content with playing by myself if needed and I barely cried…to the point my mom took me to the doctors to make sure my tear-ducts developed properly (no joke); our family doctor simply said I was just a good baby.

This kind of behaviour continued as I grew into a child and teenager. I was never that kid that went to parties, unless I asked and my parents agreed. I didn’t get into trouble with the law or bully others. To me, having that mutual respect between my parents and I was something to be cherished. Not that others don’t, but I guess I just never went through that rebellious phase.

Lindsey, the owner of The Penny Pinching Homemaker blog, is currently participating in the 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge. In her post, she talks about three very valuable life lessons from her past rather than detailing her life story. Since it’s such a marvelous way to formulate this post, I thought I would copy this idea.

Cherish the Small things

One of my favourite memories is going to grandma’s house. Since my parents were younger when Ty and I were born, they worked lots of jobs to provide for us. To help out, grandma would babysit us quite frequently.

We would go to the candy shop close by and pick out some treats, even though we really didn’t need them; Ty and I would be allowed to play in the garden with my grandma and her boyfriend Ken, enjoying in the vastness of their yard; and sometimes, my grandma would let me wear her high heeled shoes as the three of us danced to “Old Time Rock and Roll”.

The small things, such as these memories, are the ones I will cherish the most; not when I received big gifts or got to go somewhere fancy…it’s the things that seem so small that take up the largest parts in my heart.

Life doesn’t always go according to plan

I love my brother with all of my heart. He’s silly and a troublemaker, yet when he laughs, it makes you want to giggle with him. One thing we weren’t anticipating was that Tyler would never have a normal life, a life that I tend to take for granted.

When my parents found out he was diagnosed with Autism, it made life a whole lot more complicated. Not only is he non-verbal, but Ty later in life began having other issues. His life has been full of ups and downs, struggles I can’t begin to comprehend and wish he never had to go through.

I don’t think my parents ever had a set plan for Ty and I, but this was something that was definitely not in the works. To be honest, it’s still a struggle. But I still would never ask for another brother. Sure, I wish there was a cure to make his life easier, not just for him but for us; I won’t pretend to be fully selfless. One thing I know for sure though is that I love him larger than life itself, and I wouldn’t ask for another brother.

I think Ty has helped me see the world in a better light; I don’t think I would ever bully or be mean to those who are different, but I truly believe my understanding and acceptance would not be as rounded and comprehensive as it is since having Ty in our lives. For that, I thank you boo-boo.

Nothing Lasts forever

The passing of a loved one, family or friends, is always a big struggle. Unfortunately, I’ve known a few very special people in my life who have passed away, both young and older. When the first person I cared for passed away, he was still a teenager. Though I knew death wasn’t limited to the elderly and sick, it never occurred to me I would lose someone who had so much more to give to the world.

It’s a hard part of life, one that I don’t think ever comes easy. But what this loss made me realize is that time is precious, that we are not all destined to grow old and grey and pass of old age. So enjoy the moments, enjoy the now. Don’t let fear lead you astray, for you might not get a second chance. Simply love being alive.

all because something gone doesn’t mean it’s lost

One thing I struggled with growing up was making friends; I was a cry-baby and gullible, hence the perfect candidate to bully. When we moved though, I ended up making so many friends; it was weird to think I was once bullied and had none.

The biggest struggle for me was losing friends. This wasn’t through fights or anything of that sort; distance, education, differentiating interests, and life itself sometimes causes us to split apart. It took a long time to realize a very important lesson: all because we don’t talk anymore, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t real and that it wasn’t special. Though our time together has past, the memories and love and things learned are not lost. My friends taught me so many things: I’m beautiful and kind; being a bookworm is okay; daydreaming and a big imagination is a gift; that I am not a nuisance. Those lessons and values are never lost or forgotten, even if the friendship is now a memory.

What has your past self taught you? What things do you carry with you?

Happy Reading!

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