Reflecting on days past, I pull out pictures of time gone by. All sorts of moments frozen for me to remember. A chronology of events…celebrations, holidays and special occasions.
Smiles…remembering the laughter. But I look a little deeper into my eyes. In each frame I can see something insidious and frightening. It’s subtle at first…lurking just below the surface…a gnawing…I wonder if anyone else notices…I can see it growing with each year as I thumb through memories…eroding just a little bit more…
A hole inside me was getting progressively larger but I couldn’t see it at the time…all I remember feeling was emptiness without purpose or direction. I remember thinking I couldn’t keep it together any longer…so lost…so tired…so afraid.
Then the pictures stop.
This is the gap…the period we don’t talk about…for about year’s time the pictures cease. Truth be told, I was sick much longer than a year but somewhere between 2007 and 2008 I was unable to show up for life at all. My illness had finally overpowered me. The familiar person I had known so well just disappeared. There are no pictures, the only reminders are scars burned into the lives of those I love…sorrow, regret and remorse…time lost that can never be recaptured.
I used to feel guilt and shame over this gap in my life. Seconds stolen from my children…missing minutes turned into days and weeks…months…gone. But I refuse to live in this gap any longer. If I am to live then I must be free…we must be free.
I can never make up for what I cheated my loved ones out of…for what I robbed from myself…but today I live my promises and show up for life.
We heal and we grow…we move forward from this moment with new beginnings and new dreams…new pictures and new memories…love and laughter…
…And no more gaps.