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Past, Present, Future

Written by Nik

"I realize that when I start becoming depressed, I’m thinking about the past. I realize if I’m becoming anxious, I’m thinking about the future. But when I’m just kind of like ‘I’m right here with Barbara Walters,’ that’s just being in the present…enjoying the moment." - Robin Roberts

This really struck a chord within me. It is so absolutely true and relatable to me. I do not think you had to have lost your mother to cancer in order to relate to this but rather just lived through something very trying/traumatic in your life. Dealing with a life changing event changes your core. It changes how you think about yourself and others in your life. It changes what you believe is actually important and makes you reflect upon what your life’s purpose actually is. As Robin said in her interview, she is not the same person she was before cancer, how could she be. And although I am not the one who battled cancer within my own body (although everyday I wish it was me and not my mom), cancer changed me. It has opened my eyes to see things that I have never seen before. I am now more aware of the people and places that surround me. It is so difficult to express in words, but there have been many new people that have “floated” into my life this past year. It is amazing the connection that I have felt with many of these strangers. The deep conversations that I have shared are so uncharacteristic of me but seemed so natural all at the same time. I firmly believe that these people have entered my life for a reason. I believe, however crazy this may sound, that my mom has sent them to me. Just when I am starting to feel alone and begin crawling into my invisible cave, someone new enters like a scene from a play. It just takes one line to send a shock to my system and awaken me once again. These moments have come from a coworker, the contractor, the piano teacher, one of my “crochet warriors”, a distant family member, an old friend, and even a former student.

As Robin Roberts conveyed in her Barbara Walters interview, if I live in the present I will be OK. If I can stay focused on each day at hand and keep my eyes and ears open to share more of these moments, I will be OK.  But it takes practice. My mind wants to go back to the past and many times it HAS to go back to the past. Being with my mom was the past. And being without my mom is my future, which is where my anxiety is rooted. But if I can keep myself in the present, share these special moments with the people who have been sent to me, things will be okay.

Thank you to all of those who have helped me make it through this past year, whether you know who you are or not.  :)

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