"Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels, and what one achieves." ~ Jawaharial Nehru
Time....when you time about it, really think about it, it is a funny thing.
What is time?
We waste it, we set our day by it, we let time make decisions for us.
But today....today is a day that marks time for me and my family.
August 20, 2004...one of those days that changed our lives.
A day we refer back to....the before and after date.
I have a few others of those in my life - August 21, 1987, June 10, 1989, February 21, 1995, February 19, 1998, August 21, 2003 being others....the day I met Brian, the day we married, and each day another one of my children entered our lives.
Each one of these milestones is used as a point of reference - what life was life before and after we married, any of the kids were born. We all do it, don't we?
Well today marks the anniversary of one of those days. August 20, 2004...the day Brian passed away.
Just as the day I met Brian changed everything for me, the day he passed away changed everything too.
I am a much different version of me since that date.
Just as Brian made me a better person when he entered my life, he made me a different better person when he left my life.
It is strange thinking about how different we all would be if he were still alive. How different our life as a family would be.
Since August 20, 2004, I have taken up running. Something I had not done since high school. I have raced in over 20 half marathons, 5 marathons, and countless others.
I have risen from bed at 4:30 am to meet new friends (after Brian friends) to train in the dark.at 5 am.
This is a version of me that Brian never knew. Running a marathon was never in my bucket list before Brian passed. It was after.
I took up cycling. Yes, I knew how to ride a bike but never cycled. Since then I have cycled across Iowa twice (while camping), ridden numerous times in the Texas Hill Country and tackled the hills of Philadelphia with my LIVESTRONG pals.
And the LIVESTRONG connection. Well all those friends I have made through this wonderful organization, the community I have become a part of.....none of that existed before August 20, 2004.
I parachuted out of a plane.
I have traveled more.
I decided not to put life on hold anymore.
One of the things Brian and I talked about when he was in the hospital those last few days was all the things we had "planned" to do when the kids were older.
Well, August 20, 2004 changed all those plans.
I vowed afterward never to "put off" anything that really didn't need to be put off. I have lots of dreams, we all do. Many can't be accomplished right now.....but many can. So I began ticking those off my list.
Am I a better version of me? I don't necessarily think so. Just different.
It hasn't been easy these past 9 years. And I certainly could have made better decisions about a lot of things.
So today is a day of reflection....of a man we all miss and a life that has changed forever.
But this is also a week filled with new beginnings....our oldest is heading off to college.
He is ready to move on.....and I think so because since August 20, 2004, independence became a way of life for all of us....and helped prepare my son for life.
This milestone in his life reminds me that his dad and I met when we were just a few years older than he.....and that this chapter in his life is beginning......
.....a new "the day everything changed" is just around the corner for him.