Tuesday, 21 April 2015

So Much More


I have my husband's ashes at home, packaged in a cardboard box, sitting on the top shelf of a bookshelf in what was so recently his bedroom. I keep looking at that box and wondering how such a small container can possibly hold him. He was, in so many ways, so much larger than life: big heart, big enthusiasms, big spirit. How could all of that fit in there?

My fella roared through life. He embraced it. He was childlike in his enthusiasms. He ate too much, he drank too much (until he didn't), and goodness knows he talked too much. When he loved someone, he loved them with his whole heart. When he was interested in something he gave it his entire attention.

Sometimes his enthusiasms drove me nuts - like when he filled the garage with more than 100 homemade clocks and every one of them ticked out of sync - but often (and for me these are the times that count) his enthusiasms demonstrated the sweetness of his spirit. He adored so many of the good things in life, and he celebrated them loudly and long. He swept those around him along on the tide of his delight.

So, why am I telling you this?

Because what's in that box fits in there because it is just a single, small part of what my husband was.

We are all much more than the sum of our parts.

Our bodies are just vehicles. They carry us through the experiences of our lives but they are just a means of transportation. They need to be maintained, to be sure, and kept in good working order, but we need to live both in them and outside them. We need to adventure, and love, and enjoy, and admire. We need to laugh, and to cry. We need to imagine, and to dream. We need to see wonders in the small things around us, and in the great. We need to grab onto all that life brings us and experience it as best we can.

Bodies break down.

Goodbyes are inexpressibly hard.

In the end, memories and experiences and love are what carry us through.

So take good care of your vehicle but don't obsess about it. Don't miss the journey because you're worried that you might break down along the way. Grab life two-fisted, mistakes and hurts and annoyances notwithstanding.

You are more than the sum of your parts and you always, always will be.