Someone said something really wise to me a little while back. He was telling my husband and I about how his son broke his arm in two places while attempting to do a 360 spin off the monkey bars and onto the slide. After two ER visits and a surgery, the boy was fine and ready to be playing again--but his mom and dad were still a little shaken up. Everything had turned out okay--but it might not have.
He finished his story by saying, "You know, we spend all these hours and days laboring to raise our kids and do everything right, and it just takes a few moments to change everything."
I've often thought about defining moments in life. Although the way we are raised plays a huge part in who we are and the decisions we make--those defining moments really set the course for where we go in life.
A friend of mine lost her son in an accident last year around Thanksgiving. His name was Chase. I think of Chase almost every day. His death was a defining moment for me. At the funeral, my friend said, "We don't regret one moment we had with Chase. We loved him and spent his whole life showing him that." It made me think about my kids and how I was spending my time. If they were to die suddenly, could I say that I had no regrets? Had I done the best I could? Did they know how much they were loved?
I am a different mom because of Chase. I am a better mom because of him, and I will never forget him and his sweet, chubby-cheeked smile.
A lot of defining moments are things that we have no control over. These families couldn't control what happened to their children or the outcome of these accidents. I think we find out who we are, what we're made of, and what we really believe in the wake of these moments and in the years that follow.
When I think about who I am at the core--I know a lot of those come from moments where I've had to make a decision that could change everything, or moments when something has happened and I have to choose how to react. Moments that other people may move forward from, but I'll never forget. These have been defining moments for me.
I'd love to hear some of your defining moments.