Everything happens for a reason?

There are times when people utter this phrase to me and my immediate reaction is to visualize punching them in the throat. My overly active imagination allows me to envision their facial counteraction as my knuckles make contact with their trachea, the surprise mixed with an onslaught of pain. I stand back, cross my arms over my chest, and smirk as I give them a dose of my world famous cynicism: “What was the reason for THAT, (insert expletive.)” Fortunately, what happens in my head is rarely out loud, and my actions are way less violent than this scenario might imply. I’m just not that kind of gangsta, regardless of what my rap sheet might state.

But, in reality, there are a few things that I can agree with that happen for a reason.

Two nights ago, I took my son to see the Colorado Avalanche play. I had procured tickets from a generous AVS fan (I met her in a FaceBook AVS fans group) who had some tickets to spare. They were in a higher section of the arena, but I am not one to complain. Any AVS game is a good game, regardless of where the seats are located. When Ben and I walked into the Pepsi Center, we saw a gentleman who (or is it whom? I never remember how that works) I recognized from a variety of hospital organized AVS events. I walked up to him and said “hello.” He recognized Ben and asked where we were sitting. I showed him our tickets, which prompted him to upgrade us to a suite. Well, who am I to turn that down? I honestly cried. Ben held my hand as we exchanged excited glances… we took the escalator to the coveted “special” floor where the club level and fancy people play. We found our suite and were greeted with sodas and nachos. The game was incredible… we won 4-3 in a tense overtime showdown, but that’s not what made it amazing. Ben, who usually loses himself on his phone or in a video game, watched the entire game. He was genuinely excited. He jumped up and down when we scored, he yelled for the players to get control of the puck… he was really into it. I’ve seen this phenomenon a couple of times, but this event was so special. He would occasionally look at me exuding an “Isn’t this GREAT?” expression. It was the second time I got teary at the same hockey game.

I want to mention here that we did not blow off our new friend who granted us the original tickets, we took her some nachos and thanked her for her generosity. Ben even gave her a hug. 🙂 She was understanding of us taking advantage of a “suite” opportunity.

And, like I said, our AVS won, but it was really my heart that won because my Ben said to me as we were exiting the arena, “This has been one of the greatest nights of my life.” And yes, I got teary-eyed a third time.

Now, as a child going through years of ridiculous amounts of horrible therapy, you might think that it would be easy to please Ben. I think it’s the opposite. He is plied with fun opportunities on a regular basis. Some of them are offered through the hospital or charitable organizations and some of them are just mom thinking “I’ve got to make up for all this baloney you’ve been going through, so let’s do something fun!” And, I’ll admit, sometimes that looks like Clark Griswold on his pilgrimage to Wally World, DEMANDING that his family have FUN. See the movie “Vacation” if you do not understand this reference. So, for this glorious event to unfold with minimal planning on my part – just accepting what came our way – THOSE things happened for a reason.

This, I’ve decided, is how it has to be. I worry too much. I look at the future and demand my feeble mind to make sense of stuff that hasn’t even happened yet. You would think that a woman in my situation would completely lose herself in RIGHT NOW. Appreciate the moment. Sometimes I do, but normally I fixate on what’s going to happen tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next. Which is completely out of my control.

And the funny thing about that is that over the last 10 years, I’ve realized that I don’t have the ability to plan like most people. I know a lot of type A personalities who HAVE to have a plan. Who HAVE to have an agenda. My life doesn’t afford that sort of luxury. But what I haven’t realized or appreciated to its fullest extent, is that I do, really and truly, have to appreciate what’s happening right at this moment. Life is going to unfold despite what I have planned.

Instead of worrying so much, I’m going to try to just let life happen. When I was skiing yesterday (which was absolutely fantastic, BTW) I noticed that I got caught up when I saw icy spots. I would immediately slow down and make the icy bits worse, trying to stop in the middle of the ice instead of just hauling ass right over the icy bit and moving on as quickly as possible. The ice definitely had the ability to trip me up, and if I thought about it too much, it made it worse. But as the day wore on, I found that if I just recognized that it was there and tried to avoid it, it worked out better for me. And for the times that I hit it, I just kept going. It was scary for a second, but I found that my balance carried me through instead of becoming paralyzed with the fear of falling. I did fall once, and guess what? I got right back up and kept going. I bitched about it for a few seconds, but ultimately, it was not a big deal.

I know. I’m a genius. But when I have moments of realization, I have to grab them. My life isn’t easy, and I’ve advanced to a level where there’s lots of icy spots (I’m referencing Ben’s video games here.) But despite my advanced level where things just get harder, that simply means that I have to be more nimble.

I can navigate this nonsense. I’ve had lots of practice and it’s getting better all the time.

Even when it’s worse.


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