Have you ever thought about how we count life? When we’re pregnant we count life in weeks. Full term is traditionally 38-40 weeks. When we are firstborn life is counted in months. My 3 new great nieces are each 9 months old. When we live life we count life in years, I am 37 years young. When we are dying it feels like it starts all over again. Sometimes it’s counted in years like the 10 years dad lived past his first expiration date. Sometimes it’s months like the 3-6 months he was given on his 3rd and final expiration date. Sometimes it comes down to weeks like the 6 weeks my Dad ended up living after that “big family meeting” talking about how it was different this time. And finally, days like the 2 1/2 days dad lived after his “Surge”.
Now that dad is gone I find myself counting again. First it was two days since Dad died, then two weeks since Dad’s been gone, today it’s been two months since Dad passed. Happy Valentine’s Day to me.
So I think today what do I count now?
I have many choices in dealing with my grief and I choose to continue to count! Today is my new day to be. Yes I’m sad. Yes I’m still tired. But I still choose to count! Count the times I go to bed smiling. Count the times I get to talk to one of my 8 siblings. Count the days that my husband tells me he loves me. Count the letters I receive from students saying thank you in some small way. Count the days that I can love myself the way my dad loved me. Count the days that I can wake up and workout focusing on making my body stronger and healthier. Count the days that I cook for myself knowing that’s one of my many skills and love languages. Count the days I really practice what I preach and take time for self-care.
So now I count everything because everything counts. Dad had surpassed all trials and tribulations while sick and so when he was given 3-6 months I knew something was different and yet I still thought I had time. I’ll never forget how those 3-6 months turned into 6 weeks. Six very, very quick weeks. So now I count everything because everything counts! Every year, every month, every week, every day, hell every minute counts!
Every time I don’t love on me I feel like that counts against everything Dad instilled in me. Every second he loved me I have a chance to love me too.
As the great Muhammad Ali said, “Don’t count the days. Make the days count!”