I watched a little girl today while having a coffee at a Tim Hortons donut shop. She really was an image of peace and serenity, no more than five, as she sat with her mom in front of me, eating a sparkled donut, the kind that most kids like to eat. Her mother mixed a hot chocolate with chocolate milk, so that her drink would be just as sweet, but not so hot. I watched her sitting there so attentive to her donut. I remembered a time when I needed to be told to wipe my mouth and not slurp my drink, when I had to be reminded to take my shoes off when entering the house. When going out at night felt like going on a week’s vacation. You were completely absorbed in every moment and nothing else mattered, not yesterday’s failed test, not tomorrow’s trip to the dentist, not the biggest of snowfalls. All that mattered was the moment you were in, and what you were sharing with the people you were sharing it with. Growing older, I’ve realized that life is not that simple, and I found out the hard way.
Life is weird that way. You know, I never felt at any time in my life that I had it all, that I had everything. But I can say this. Whatever I did have, it was taken away from me quickly, quietly and abruptly without notice or even the slightest bit of warning. God, we never saw it coming; but when it came, it came hard and it felt like it would never leave. It never did leave and will linger for a lifetime.
You never really know what you have until you lose it. And I did. I lost my life, as it was, never to be the same again.