Last Thursday started out like most mornings....I got to watch a snippet of the Today show before the TV channel would be changed to cartoons. And in that few moments of news a story about Dr. Jerri Nielsen popped up--the woman who found, biopsied herself and diagnosed her own very aggressive breast cancer in 1999 while being stuck at the Antarctica station. Months later she was rescued and successfully beat back her cancer...until last year where is was found to be, well, everywhere. She died on June 23 at the age of 57. After her inital cure she wrote a book and toured the country giving talks of her experiences and perspective on life. One quote really struck me. She said, "It doesn't matter how of when you die. We're all gonna do it. What's really important is: Did you every really live?"
Wow. I found this to be very profound. I told everyone at work. It really got me thinking about my own life. Was I doing everything I could do, or needed to do--to live fully? What more could I do? How can I make a positive impression on the world, that survives me and lives on? So, with all this running around in my head....
I hear Farrah Fawcett dies. And then, seemingly out of the blue, Michael Jackson. Two people that were pretty popular for most of my life. And I started to think about their lives and legacies. I admit, I puddled up quite a bit listening to Michael's music on the radio. Like someone said recently, "His music was the sound track of my life." At least for a few decades it was. Farrah and Michael certainly made an impression on the public and changed lives in some manner or another. I thought they were both a bit peculiar, but they were also brave in putting themselves out there and taking risks to express themselves and also help humanity. Farrah with her choices of dramatic acting roles (I will never forget The Burning Bed) and recently with her documentary on her cancer diagnosis and the road it took her on to the elusive cure that wasn't possible. And Michael with his unique music, style, dancing and humanitarian efforts to help hungry children and heal hearts after 911.
Well, OK. I'll amend that "peculiar" word to down right "weird" at times. Who knows why, but I guess that's part of Hollywood's elite. Maybe weirdness comes with unusual artistic talent.
But I've digressed. (I never really talk this way in real life...don't know why I use it when I write but it seems to fit.)
This week's events have really spurred me to look at myself and try to figure out if there's anything more I can do, that is true to myself, in helping make a positive, lasting imprint after I'm gone. I keep thinking about the song, "Man in the Mirror". And then I hear the song "Gone too soon" and I feel a sense of pressure. Where to start? What to do? I know that what I do for a living is pretty awesome--helping those with arms that ache to hold their own child. Creating families for those that desperately dream of being parents. I was there. I sure know what that feels like. But, I still feel like I could do more.
Now, if I could just get to the point where I would feel less guilt for thoughts on wanting to be more than just a mom. Is this just a 'single mom' thing or do all mothers feel this way to some degree? Is it selfish to want something more? Maybe, I should concentrate solely on raising my child first. Childhood is so fleeting and has SUCH an impact for the rest of a person's life. Plus, to do anything solely for myself makes my chest ache, especially if it takes away from time I would/could spent with T. But still--to be a person that not only he can be proud of, but that I can also be proud of--that's what I wish for.
I think introspection is always good. I'm going to think about this for a while--and we'll see where it brings me and what more I might come up with.