As the New Year has just begun, I sit back and think about last year. I have been able to do some very exciting and interesting things. I have been able to reach out to people who have lost loved ones. I have been able to encourage them as I was encouraged after my husband was killed. This has been more fulfilling than I ever imagined. I believe that this is my path. I do not like the circumstances that led me to this place, but appreciate that I am able to do something positive after my life was turned upside down.
In a previous post I shared I have been presenting material in training with law enforcement individuals on the severity of driving intoxicated. To be honest I didn’t think much of it before. I think I was like so many others and thought “oh, if they think they’re okay to drive, they are”. After my husband was killed by a drunk driver I take it much more seriously. I wish I had this passion before.
This is one example of how a tragedy can change your perspective. Our life experiences mold us into the individuals that we are today. There are typically two paths we can choose after an event happens to us. Those are the hardest decisions we have to make. We may even veer off the path a few times before sticking to what makes sense for us. I believe that is okay.
I am a person that needs answers, I need to know who, what, where, when and why. I have learned we may not ever get all those answers and I need to be okay with that. You can waste so much time looking for answers instead of focusing on the solutions. Solutions are where we can create something great… sometimes something even bigger than ourselves.
For example, I look at my children and I see so much potential in them. I see who they were when they were just babies, when they lost their father and who they are now. They are such capable individuals and I wait for the day they are old enough to see their endless potential. I am not a patient woman so waiting is not going to be easy for me. I believe with my encouragement and telling them how proud I am of them they will have the confidence instilled in them to conquer whatever lies in their path.
Last year I began volunteering with an organization that works with families and co workers of fallen officers. The people in this group are so passionate about what they do. They inspire me to move forward and support as many individuals as I can. We held a holiday party and being a part of that was amazing. Seeing the faces of so many people who have lost loved ones is ground breaking for me. Sometimes you don’t get to see how many people one person touches in their lives until they are gone. It reminds me of my husband’s funeral and seeing all the people in one room that my husband touched.
This makes me even more conscious of the conversations that I have with each person. Relationships are built one conversation at a time and when you lose track of that, you lose track of the relationship. I am learning to really listen to what someone is saying to try and understand what they might need or what they want to accomplish. At times, that can be difficult, because they might not even know yet. Just as I sat lost for many months, but I let myself be lost. This is when I began recreating myself to move my life forward. I am not the same person I was. I have a lot of the same characteristics, but a lot of my perspective has changed. Once I realized that, I was able to get to know myself again.
I sit here eagerly waiting for the events of this year…the ways in which I will be able to continue to support others and hopefully inspire. The changes that I hope will happen with one conversation at a time.
“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.” -Bob Proctor