No Guarantees

I'm in a season in my life where God is teaching me that there are no guarantees. I'm a planner and a security craving woman. I like to know C will come right after A and B.

When my husband's company closed down last November I was devastated. Devastated for Mark because he had a work family not just co-workers. They were more than supportive through infertility (with his ability to get away from the office, kind words, etc). They rode the roller-coaster ride with us when Declan was thought to be ours, then not ours and then ours again. Selfishly, I freaked out because of money and insurance as well. Fortunately, in our craptastic economy, Mark still had several job offers and seamlessly started his new position when his old company closed.

That job seemed okay. Every day I asked him "do you like your new job"? He'd reply: "I can't complain, I do at least have a job." I sensed he didn't like it much but chalked it up to missing everyone from his past company. Out of the blue, 6 weeks after starting this new job, he was terminated. He wasn't a good fit. I won't re-hash the annoying details and lack of reasons given for this firing but it was very unwarranted. My husband was hurt and I wanted to stomp up there and let them know what a big mistake they made. Mark is the kindest, most laid back, smartest and amazing person I know. AND- he turned down 2 other positions for this! UG.

It would be another 7 weeks before he found new employment. In those 7 weeks he had the amazing opportunity to be a stay at home dad and hang out with Decs. I wasn't thrilled about going from 2 days a week at the office to 5 days a week at the office (plus I always work nights and weekends...it's just the nature of the real estate beast). What I observed was priceless- Mark was amazing with Declan. He never complained ONCE if Decs was a crabby monster or didn't nap or woke up too early.

[Hanging my head in shame]

You see, I tend to wear everything on my sleeve and if Declan puts me through the ringer, Mark hears about it. There are days that I can't wait to leave for an appointment. It sounds horrible, but if you knew my spirited son, you'd understand the pure exhaustion he leaves in his path. Let me be clear--that is not always bad, and, for the most part Decs is a joy. It's just those days. Anywho, all that is to say, Mark never complained one bit. He actually loved being home with him. Now, he is now back at work. It's a job that will take some time before we can tell if it's where he needs to be, but it's a job nonetheless.

This gets me back to my point: there are NO guarantees.

I would never have predicted the depths of this "no guarantees" lesson my husband and I are in. But, the lesson would get more tough. This past Thursday I watched a man die. A young man- only 54 years old. He had a heart attack while driving and drove in to my office nearly killing a co-worker of mine who was 1 foot away from where the car flew in to our building.  We called 911 and ran out to try to help. That's when we realized it must have been a heart attack- he was already on his way out. He gasps his last couple of breaths in front of us. There was nothing we could could do. He leaves behind a wife and 3 kids. He was seemingly healthy and played basketball and ran half marathons. Regardless...

...there are no guarantees.

So with this message hitting home more than it ever has, how should it change the way I'm living my life? This is what I'm constantly mulling over in my mind. There are several things that "float to the top" when I think about this.

I want to love people. Simple sounding. Always simple? No way.
I want to be an example to my son of a caring, God-loving, joyful, honest, and patient mama. That last one is my weakest point. 
I want to be a better wife. I love my husband. We are best friends. Am I giving him 100%? No. Life is busy and I have an egocentric toddler (egocentric defines toddler, so I'm not just being a meany) and it's easy to float through life without remembering that my ultimate role is wife. We have a great marriage but it could be even greater.
I want to be a better friend. In the same vein, when life gets crazy it's easy to forget friendships need nurturing. I want to be more thoughtful and intentional. 

There are no guarantees in life, so how does that change the way you're living yours?


birthmothertalks said...

Wow!! How scary that must have been for you.

Mrs H said...

Wow Ashley! So much to think about and process. I'm so glad you and your co-worker are uninjured.

I'll be thinking about you, Mark and Declan as well as the poor man who passed and his family.


Mountain Girl said...

You have been through alot lately, huh? It shows what is important and that there are NO guarantees. I'm glad Decs is such a joy for you and that you have him and Mark.

Denver Jen said...

This post resonated with me so much. A 2-year-old family member passed away in a car accident this week and it really has impacted my outlook.

I'm so sorry you had to experience this and I feel for the man and his family as well.

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing great thoughts. I'm with you on loving more, being a better wife, mom and friend.

Simply Complex said...

Thanks for this. Really. I mull this over frequently, sometimes with more vigor than others. I needed a reminder just about now.

Stacy Anderson said...

Ash...this is a beautifully written reminder. It reminds me that I long to live for that which matters, will last and is eternal. Which usually means rearranging our lives to invest in people (like you're doing with Mark and Decs). Love ya girl.

Lane said...

What a horrible way to gain perspective, but thank you for passing it along to us. Hang in there.

Melba said...

Hugs! That is a crazy story and definitely one that makes you stop and think about the uncertainty of life and the inevitability of death. I'm sorry you had to experience that but I'm glad you weren't hurt.