What I have learned so far about life and the future

Life and the futureYour life line runs from the edge of your palm, between your index finger and thumb, and curves down to your wrist. Mine is broken. Two distinct lines joined together with feathery strokes. That broken line has haunted me for much of my life.

I discovered it when I was about twelve. My father is deeply religious and my mother is deeply curious. My childhood home was full of books. Amidst the illustrated bibles, devotionals and C.S Lewis, there were books about Nostradamus, tarot cards and the paranormal. It was those books that held the promise of illicit knowledge and those were the books my twelve year old self would linger over. The Book of the Hand taught me about my broken life line and the threat of it stayed with me. It seemed inevitable that some terrible event would shape my future. There are some childhood ideas that cling. Memories and the memories of memory that stay with you. Even as my life progressed along a fortunate and predictable path, I never shook the feeling that Damocles sword was hanging precariously over my head. When all was well with my world, I would be anxious something would have to come undone. Joy came with a glance over my shoulder.

When my son died at only two weeks old, the tragedy I had been holding my breath for eventuated. My life shattered. Does the broken line on my hand signify Xavier’s death? I have no idea.  But I now realise that it doesn’t matter. Life will happen, whether we are fearful or not. Terrible, beautiful, wonderful, crazy, amazing and mystifying things will happen. I can search for signs or try to peer into the future, but it won’t change anything or give me any power over things I cannot control. I have shaken the feeling that life is a balance sheet where the credits and debits must align. Some people have better fortune than others. Now when life is great I just enjoy that. I don’t imagine some phantom looking to extract payment for my happiness. And when things are not great, I have the knowledge that the future will be brighter. No one has a perfect life, but there are moments of perfection in each life. Those are things I hold to. Holding my two living boys, tickling them and hearing their boyish giggles. Catching my husband looking at me, when he thinks I haven’t noticed. Laughing with my friends until my belly hurts. Sewing with my mother. A movie with my sister. A perfect cup of coffee. The book I cannot put down. Sunshine days. Lying in the grass.

I promised to tell you what I have learned about life so far. So this is it. My future is not written in my hands. It is both in my hands and out of my hands. I can choose to seize adventure and opportunity. I can choose a path, even if I cannot know exactly where it leads. I can go ahead and do something scary without waiting for a sign. I can choose my attitude. I choose to embrace the future fully and without fear – the terrible and the beautiful things that will come my way.

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I write about my grief and parenting after loss at Chasing His Sunshine.
If you have experienced the death of your child, or if you are supporting someone through the loss of their child, you might find comfort in the words there.

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This post was in response to a writing prompt given in one of the Blog with Pip 2.0 lessons.  It’s a fantastic course, aimed at those who have either completed Blog with Pip or already have solid blogging knowledge and experience.
I love Pip’s courses because they are full of real, soulful, practical advice.
You can check out Pip’s courses here

10 thoughts on “What I have learned so far about life and the future

  1. Maxabella says:

    I had no idea that you had been through such an enormous tragedy, Robyna. I’m so sad for you, despite the wonderful positivity of this post. I agree with you – the future is both in and out of our hands, not written in them. We can do so much, but the rest we need to surrender to and agree to just let be. x

    • Maxabella says:

      PS – I also see that you are not a ‘newish’ blogger at all! Just new to this particular blog. Sorry for introducing you as such a week or so ago!!! x

      • Robyna says:

        Please don’t apologise – I actually do view myself as a newbie blogger, in terms of writing a blog that I would like to be ready more widely than my family and friends. Chasing His Sunshine really exists as somewhere I can mother Xavier – I am very happy if people find those words and take comfort in them, but I am just as happy for no-one but myself to read it. xxx

  2. Dawn says:

    Beautiful take on the assignment Robyna. I ended up getting pretty deep & introspective with mine too. Our children teach us more than any lesson, any class or any book we could ever get our hands on. I’m glad you are able to keep Xavier with you, and with us.

  3. Dadinator says:

    I have a similar pattern on my lifeline, and apparently it’s replicated in my heart line. I only know about it because one of my dad’s old colleagues was into palmistry and had a look at my hands when I was about 14. I always remembered it but never paid it much mind.

    You’re right. There’s no balance sheet, there’s just an endless rolling of moments that happen. Some perfect, some awful and much of it is simple whatever we make out of it.

    I’m sorry for your loss, glad you found a way to come to terms with it and I’ll just go kiss my own babies now. Might get me one of those perfect moments out of it….

    • Robyna says:

      Thank you so much – your kind words mean so much. And you are right – it’s up to us to string those moments together and make something magical from them.

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