Thursday, October 29, 2015
Life Is Not Fair
“Life is not fair.” I think we all have uttered those words at some point in our life - when we lack the ability to comprehend the life that has been given to us, its meaning, and when we lack the clarity to see ourselves within our own reflection. Those simple words knit together encompass so many sentiments and mean something different to every person. Those words quietly seep their way into our thoughts, stirring wildly within us, continuing to build until pouring themselves out through tears of despair or overwhelming gratitude. These words have escaped from my own lips upon a whisper through a torrent of falling tears. I’ve seen them written upon my face as I look into the mirror.
I have found myself consumed with these simple, yet powerful words this past month. They’ve relentlessly stirred within my inner dialogue embedding themselves between every breath that gives me life. It’s the very breath itself that reminds me of their true meaning. I’ve had moments laden with agonizing despair, wishing CF never existed in my life - the words propelling themselves into thoughts of “what ifs” filled with a deep yearning. But most of all, the words “life is not fair” have been filled with an overwhelming disbelief. A disbelief founded upon humbled gratitude.
A Month of Meaning
This October has been filled with such reminders of how unfair life can truly be. First being the annual fishing tournament my family hosts every year for CF in northern MN. The people that attend every year have become a large extended part of my family. It’s always like “going home” every year – embraced by a familiar and loving warmth. As I stand amongst them on one of the most beautiful days October has ever seen in northern Minnesota, I think to myself, “life is not fair.” I see the pains of the past year reflected in their faces. I feel their heartache as they mourn the loss of loved ones, a diagnosis, or uncertain future. I feel it within their warm embrace that is hesitant to let go.
Two weeks later I was graciously honored by my alma mater, Augustana University, with the Horizon Award - an alumna achievement award for an individual who has graduated within the last 15 years. Days leading up to the celebration were laden with whispers of the words “life is not fair.” As I stood before a crowd of people I so greatly admire and respect receiving the award, I felt those four simple words linger within every breath I took.
How could I possibly be here receiving this award? What have I done to deserve such recognition? Again, these words were built upon disbelief and gratitude for the beautiful life I’ve been given. Those words, “life is not fair.”
Lastly comes during a CF event in which I feel so privileged to have been a part of called "Corks and Kegs for CF." An event made up of some of the most generous and passionate people I’ve ever had the good fortune to know. People each affected by the devastating realities of CF. As I put on my dress for the event this past Friday night, the words, “life is not fair” rang through my body with a deafening force. I stood in front of the mirror doing my best to hold back the tears of gratitude that filled every one of those words. That night, as I stood in front of hundreds of people sharing my gratitude for such an opportunity, the words “life is not fair” lived within every breath as I verbally relived and painstakingly shared the past 12 months of my life living with CF. A journey in which grace led me back to that very stage I stood on a year ago sharing my story. Life could have taken such a different course those 12 months ago and I know for some that same grace I've experienced is not given. Life is not fair and I feel a deep seeded guilt bound together with gratitude for those such words and all they mean. Every life-giving breath reminding me of the grace I’ve been shown.
A Life Built Upon Gratitude
At the end of a month filled with such memories and meaning the words “life is not fair” resound with a tone of thanksgiving and gratitude. A gratitude for the very breath that sustains this incredible life. I wonder why I have been gifted a life filled with such goodness, with such meaning, the deepest friendships ever imagined, and a support of people who believe in me even when I do not. I do not know, nor will I ever understand. I do know, however, everyone deserves such goodness and beauty in their life. As I think back to each of those memorable events this month I think about the people who shared every moment of them with me. Those memories and moments would mean nothing without each of them.
I do not sit and ponder the fairness of life, because none such exists. The fairness that does exist lies in the beauty of every breath that we have each been given and how we share that beauty with the world. Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey with me. You all mean more to me than you’ll ever know. I am filled with such humbled gratitude. Love to you all.
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