I am always searching for those moments that I feel define a life. The ones that make you humble and let you see your truth, even when it’s that last thing you want to admit. I have learned just as much from the loving and joyful moments as I have from the moments that met me with deep sadness, and tremendous pain. At any given time my within my head is a screenplay begging to be written, that plays out as what I like to call the soundtrack of my life, and I have been known to recite the soliloquy of said soundtrack, in my kitchen, as I see it unfold. I mean literally, as if I am in front of an audience as I am performing my grand life. It is not a conscious thing I assure you, it is the party inside that sexy brain of mine, that keeps me in check and humbles me to my core. Hey Emeril has his Bam, I have my kitchen performance art, what can I say?
I use to obsess with morbid thoughts of what my eulogy would sound like. I know I am dark sometimes. Would I have loved enough, was I kind enough, was I generous, was I a good mother, a good friend, did I bring other’s comfort, was I funny, did I leave a legacy of love and empowerment, did I make a difference in my world? I promise you this went on for many years and still does, sometimes. You see early on in my youth I saw the impact of positive people in my life, my mother empowered my beyond what anyone has, my Dad was always brutally honest, maybe too much at times, my sister Patti, her wit and keep sense of knowing just what to say in any situation did that, my Aunt Dottie, whom I just loved and adored, did that, my drama teacher in elementary school did that, Mr. Konci who was always so supportive and giving, and taught me so much about theatre and go me to love acting, Mrs. Silverman my high school English teacher who always pushed me and believed in my writing ability and was my rock Senior year in high school, Ms. Vitale, my high school gym teacher whom I adore to this day, who always pushed us for more because she knew that we had so much more to give and wanted us to recognize what we were capable of. It is the foundation of those influences that made me strong, gave me confidence and molded the woman I am today.
You see, I decided a long time ago that living in regret was doing nothing positive in my life but to keep me stuck where I was, and was keeping me in the past. The moment I began to shed the shackles of regret, I began to let my true light shine and began to appreciate the life I was creating, and began to see the life I was creating as my great opus. My children being the center of it all, my role as a wife, an aunt, a God Mother, a daughter, a sister, my talents as a writer, and my immense love and joy of cooking. And to be honest why shouldn’t it be? It’s unique to me my opus yes, but we are all creating our great opus every time we align ourselves with our life’s purpose.
I think one of the reasons that people get stuck and become disenchanted with life is that they have a picture in their head of how life is supposed to be, not able to accept that life is crafted exactly the way it is supposed to be. We just can’t escape what we believed our lives would be. No one expects that you will get divorced, or that you will lose your dream job, but the reality is, these things happen. Maybe it’s not at all what you planned for, but the reality is that it happened, and I do believe that when things like this happen it is because something better is on the horizon and we are supposed to be on this path.
Several years ago I read a book called “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” written by a wonderful Rabbi Harold Kushner, who wrote the book as he was grieving over the loss of his son who suffered from the rare disease Progeria. In this book Rabbi Kushner seeks to explain the most unimaginable grief that I believe there is, the death of a child. He wanted readers to understand that God cannot always prevent the unthinkable, and that does not mean that he has abandoned you or your loved one as a result, and is in fact, with them in their departure even if he cannot prevent it. That is merely a brief summary. If you have not read it, and you are grieving or questioning, or want a better understanding about why bad things do sometimes happen to good people, this book offers comfort. As I first read this 21 years ago, after I suffered a miscarriage, and was told that I may not be able to carry a baby. It was a crushing blow, but I knew that if I was meant to be a Mom I would be, even if I had to adopt a child to do so. Thankfully, I found a wonderful obstetrician who understood why I miscarried and helped me carry to term a high risk pregnancy, who is now a beautiful 19-year-old woman. God also blessed me with two normal pregnancies and two sons who are amazing young men. But when I was going through those dark times, I was angry, hurt, and questioning why this were happening to me, but I stayed in faith and knew that whatever God intended would be what was, and I would be ok.
So if we are in a constant state of orchestrating our life, wouldn’t it behoove us to orchestrate our “opus” with love, compassion, kindness, beauty, philanthropy, and reverence for life? It’s never too late to rewrite the script and seek joy, peace, and contentment, to change the path you are on, or just plain start anew. When you are not on the path, and your soul is not in true alignment with that path, you will experience anxiety, depression, fear, anger, a haunting knowing that you are not fulfilling your purpose, when you follow your bliss you will be in glorious harmony with life, you will see that what you are doing feeds your soul and in turn you feed the soul of others.
I believe we are all seekers of our purpose and want to find our truth, sometimes we get afraid, we make excuses, or just plain get stuck. In those moments if we can just begin to see our “opus ” starting to take shape, and appreciate the beauty and simplicity in the spaces between the notes, we will see that we are creating a life that is authentic, and beautiful, and is our perfect “requiem for a life.”