"Live everyday as if it was your last". I have realized that to most this means party like there is no tomorrow, or to the people who have more money it's taking that dream vacation to Europe before you pass.
Because I have a toddler and am pretty much broke, I've found myself unable to do neither. But this has forced me to realize that our view of this saying is more than misguided. Why is it that if it's our last day we think of pleasing ourselves? If we are gone, what does it matter? Why don't we think more about the people we are leaving behind, the regrets that have, or the wrongs we should have righted?
Getting to see my son after 5 days forced me to appreciate everything I have, including the small things. I realized that if today were my last day...spending the day at the pond with my son and feeding the ducks wouldn't be a bad day at all. Appreciating his smile, his joy, the cute little things that he does everyday, and most of all the love we have for each other. Funny isn't it, how a young child's innocence can bring such clarity. Kids are full of love, the spend their days living it as if it were their last and have no worries for the future.
I've decided that if today were my last I would want the people that have changed my life for the better to know, I would want the stupid fights to be reconciled, and each person that I love know how truly special they are.
So here we go:
Mom....I know you don't feels appreciated or feel like you're helping out just because you can't help me financially. But the truth is, you are my strength. There is no way I could survive right now without your loving supportive phone calls. Some people say "actions speak louder than words" but they're wrong because the words of wisdom you have given me over the years will always ring in loud and clear. You are the strongest person I know, you have a full time job, 2 crazy and wonderful little girls, and still find time to suck up all your own pain and focus on mine when it's needed. I know I don't always say it mom, but you truly are my hero and I will always be your Brittnee Boo who loves you the mostest.
To all my sisters: Shelby, Riley, Bridgette, Melissa, & Megan....Each one of you brighten my life everyday. My only regret is not spending more time appreciating you guys and spending more time with you all when I had the chance.
Dad & Kim....It's no secret that we have had our fair share of issues, but today we have push through it all to find a wonderful relationship I never would have dreamed of. Kim I love you for bringing out the best in my dad and pushing him to be the dad I knew he could be. While our relationship has been mended dad, I think there are a few things I still have never said but feel that I need to.....I'm sorry, I forgive you, and I love you.
Bilijo....You are an incredible person, I thank you for always being there for me. Most people wouldn't expect a step parent to treat you as an equal, especially after being divorced but you have always treated me as one of your own and I love that about you.
The rest of my family....As you know there are way to many of you to name, but to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins....I love you all. You are everything a family should be. You are all full of constant love and support that truly helps me survive day after day. Each phone call, text, and card has helped to encourage me to push on and I would have never been able to make it without you.
My in-laws...Again another group that is too large to name, but all the same is very supportive. You are always there to give a helping hand with Nathan and have never once blinked an eye at me when I was having troubles. Each of you have understood with more compassion than I ever thought possible and will always remain in heart, especially you Alisha. Thank you!
Luke...Yes, I'm sure most are confused by this including you, but the truth is I will never have a first love. And even though we may not have made it, I still had 4 amazing years you gave me the most wonderful son in the world. I have never hated you, nor will I ever. I've learned that even if the love doesn't last doesn't mean it was all for naught. I am sorry for any pain I have ever caused you, but you will always have a piece of my heart and have been a monumental part of my life. Always and Forever.
Morgan & Krystle...you 2 have been my own personal guardians. Neither have ever failed to be there for me when I needed it. We have been friends since 7th grade and each time we get to visit, its as if now time has passed. You have both endured many phone calls, texts, and fb messages at all hours of the night and have always been there to help me out as soon as you could. I know a friendship like ours will beat the odds and last forever because the love you have for family never dies and that's what you 2 have become, my family. So to my sister and the cat (still don't know if you were the cat & i was the hat or vice versa but oh well) I love you 2 4eva!!!!
Michelle, Krissy, & Amy.....my little trio! You three crack me up every time I see you. You also try your very best to rearrange your schedules as well to ensure we can all at least get together for dinner. I know you have back if I ever needed to call you and Nathan's back as well. I know you three will continue to amaze me, but just in case...never stop being yourselves!
My fruitloop....I know we have lost touch over the past few years, but you have always been a great friend to me. You are the girl that goes through sooo much, but always has a smile so you would never know it. & in that you tend to focus on making others feel better, or included and it's a great quality that I hope you never lose.
Drama pals.....Amanda, Chrsyta, Derek, Julian, Jessica (Lipsky & Senden), Nicole, Samantha, Andrew, Jillian, Ashley, Brianna, Cassandra, Colleen, Alana (Mini me), Greg, Kristin, Jacquelyn, Kylea, Maddie, Lital, Maria, Paola, Megan....well I don't really know what to say about this wacky, outrageous group. Each of you have always made me feel at home and included, even if I never actually performed. I always felt appreciated and many of you helped me through my Army days by sending me letters. T
his is a group that I will truly never forget. I wish everyone the best and pray that you never change because each one of you is incredibly amazing in their own unique way.
My Teachers....Woods, Calhoon, Haar, Tisa, Mccoy, Donovan, Pence, Hinds, Belizaire, Giebler, Bezinque, Mock, Cuny, & Hammond....Each of you have taught me at different points in my life. Some of you I still see on a daily basis and the others I still try to visit when I can. Most of you may know the influence you have had on me, but it's never bad to remind someone, especially teachers, how truly amazing they are. Each one of you made me excited to learn, I would never have gained the knowledge in school or in life that I have with out you. My only hope is that you all remember what amazing teachers you are and that you have truly helped me to change my life for the better as I'm sure you have done for many others.
My Battles....Brenna, Mississippi, Florida, Gloria, Lucie, Jessi, Janetta....No one will ever understand the bonds that we have made, but none the less you all are a kick ass group of female soldiers that I know will always have my back. We have all had our fair share of sisterly fights and devious moments, but I know for a fact that if I or Nathan was ever in need you would be on the next flight to me. I think that's what makes our bond so great is that we would stop at nothing to protect each other, and I would die for each and everyone of you.
OTB Crew.....Heather, Kayla, Jimmy Bear, & Rachel....You have always made me feel a part of the group. Most importantly none of you have ever flinched at the fact that I had a son and many times offered to watch him to help me out so I could work. Kindness like yours is hard to find and is much appreciated.
Pool Crew...Last summer was amazing, can't say much more than that. You reminded me what it was like to actually be 23. It may sound funny but I do tend to lose myself in responsibility and getting to act like a kid in between guard breaks reminded me that I don't always have to be so intense and serious.
My Abercrombie Mamas....Mikka, Mandy, & Nicole....You made my Abercrombie experience. I never would have stayed so long if it weren't for you three. My favorite part abut each of you is that you never treated me life a low life employee. You treated me as an equal and valued my opinion. I miss you all and will never forget my mamas!
My Nursing Family....This one I am going to do a little bit differently because while I love most you (lol! jk!) I want to recognize a few people that have been truly amazing to me.
Cindy...You have been like a rock, you always ensure that I get study time in and found a way to include Nathan in that. Most of what I have to say you probably already know but I wanted to add something you may not...I wanted to let you know that I love the way that you understand and feel fr my situation and even better you always have an open mind and never pass judgement. Most of all in this past year you have brought me closer to my faith than ever, this has been an amazing journey because while having the amazing friends and family that I do you have brought me something that none of these can do, a trust with the Lord that in the end I have nothing to fear that everything will be ok.
Lisa...You are truly supermom in my eyes. I know to you school is important and that your kids are a priority but to say it and juggle all that you do is completely different. You are a wonderfully dedicated mother and somehow you find the time to open your heart to the rest of us. I love that time and time again you ensure our class that we will stick together and that no one will ever be left behind. You are convinced that I will make it through and because of this confidence I work that much harder. You are such an amazing person and I pray that one these days the whole world sees how big your heart is.
Jessica...This semester has been an eye opener for me. I have always known your situation but until now have never realized how much alike our lives sometimes are. Your strength of succeeding so your kids can have a better life inspires me everyday. I know that you will be one of the best Peds nurses out there, never give up.
the rest of you....if you were not named please don't feel like I don't love and appreciate you because I do. If it weren't for our loud, obnoxious, outgoing class I would have never made it this far. I love you all almost half way so never give up!
Many of you may find this somewhat morbid but as a great teacher once told me "writing can be cathartic". I do not plan on leaving anytime soon. In fact I will fight the world for as long as I can. However, if anything were to happen to me I would want these people above and the many others that have made my life amazing know that they are all great people who should never give up.
I think the saying "live everyday as if it were your last" isn't suppose to be about yourself. I think the focus should be less on fun and more on what and who you are leaving behind. I may not always do this but this is me trying. I also want to start volunteering more. The feeling of helping out can be just as amazing as a party or a grand trip because I think every time you help a person whether you know them or not you are leaving a piece of you. A piece of your heart is given with each task, and isn't kindness and warmth better to leave behind than a messy house or a depleted bank account? Think about it!