My grampa passed away back in July of this year. July 21st to be exact. October 8th would have been his 95th birthday. A milestone indeed. It was definitely a bittersweet day remembering his legacy on his birthday. To say I miss him is an understatement. There was definitely an emptiness in my heart when he left us.
As I was pondering his life, his legacy and the memories I have of him, it occurred to me that over the past 5-6 years, we have experienced a lot of loss in our family. 3 of my grandparents, 2 of my husbands, our nephew and a friend who was taken far too young nearly a year and a half ago. That’s a lot of goodbyes.
In the spirit of thankfulness and in my daily struggle to find it in my every day, it struck me how much of an impact we have on one another when we bring ourselves together in community and really take the time to do life together. In a digital age where face-to-face contact is more common through a monitor or a phone screen than in the same room, it’s easy to lose sight of how we can and should still live among one another.
In my job, one of the key components is relationship. That may sound odd that as a group fitness coach (in training), the relationships I have with the clients and coworkers that come through the doors every day is a priority. After all, in a typical day, we have up to 7 group classes with up to 20 people in each. That’s a lot of faces and a lot of stories. And yet, aside from keeping them safe and engaged in sessions, getting to know them is one of the most paramount things that makes us good at what we do. We need to bring in the human factor because in so many ways, that’s what is sorely missing from our every day. As I’ve pondered my relationships in life and also the struggle with learning a job that takes me so far out of my comfort zone, it’s become crystal clear that relationships are foundational to doing life in any capacity and is ultimately what we thrive on.
I’ve been blessed with relationships in my life. Some have gone deep and others have found meaning in other ways that haven’t necessarily translated to vulnerability. I know without a doubt that any time I have invested myself into a relationship, I’ve grown richer. Any time I’ve given a bit of myself away, I’ve received something better in return.
Are all relationships this way? No. Unfortunately it’s not always the case and we occasionally encounter something poisonous in life. It’s never easy but it teaches us a lot about the people we want to surround ourselves with and also the people we want to be to others. I know this has definitely been the case for me. I’ve been both the recipient of the poison and the creator of it. Neither is a particularly great position to be in.
So as I think of the people in my life, both living and that have passed, I am eternally thankful of the impact they have had on me. Of the way they have shaped my perception of what it means to be a decent person, a loving friend/wife/mother/sister/daughter/co-worker, and how I want to continue to grow and become that light in someone else’s life that so many others were and are in mine.
I am thankful for those people who have come into my life and the impact they have had in shaping the person I am. My prayer is that I never take that for granted and that I also never stop working to be a better person myself. Someone that can maybe create a spark in someone else.