Right now I stand between two women in very different places in their lives.
I am working with a dear friend to plan a bridal shower for her impending nuptials. Her utter happiness at the beginning of her life with her beloved is absolutely contagious. She is a joy to be around as she reminds me of my days as a bride and as a newlywed. In other words, she carries the glow of beginnings and love.
Tonight I spent the evening with a woman I love very much who is deeply grieving the loss of her life partner, her best friend and lover. The man who gave the days meaning and the nights peace. Her life and her love. She is hurting so desperately and there is nothing I can do to stop that pain. She reminds me of the great cost of great love. I cannot fathom her pain and honestly, I don't want to. I don't want to know that loss.
I stand here between these two worlds. Yet not two worlds. Really two sides to the same coin. The coin we flip everyday that we live and we love. If you love passionately, there is great reward. If you love mightily, there is equal risk. Whether that love is a partner, a child, a friend, or even a dream. Anything we pour ourselves into has the ability to devastate us.
So do we risk taking no risks at all. Is that the answer? No. We have to risk pain, failure, loss, even humiliation to really live.
I can't stand the thought of losing my husband but I wouldn't trade a single day that we've shared to avoid that risk. I'm clear on that. I think that is a lesson of life. Total security and passion cannot co-exist. Not fully, at least. And I think that I have always known that about the loves of my life. But maybe not about my life in general. I think that I have always held back a little trying to limit my disappointment, my embarrassment, my failure.
But no more! With 29 days, I am saying no more. So as I stand between the two, between widow and bride, between youth and age, between beginning and end, I say that I want to live 100%, fully, passionately. Risk or no. I am alive and I am going to live. Between the milestones.