When my daughter died 7 1/2 years ago, my perspective and priorities changed forever. I began to realize that those little things were not that important. My priorities became different. I was determined to do the things I thought Lauren would expect me to do: take care of her dad and her brother; attend Mass and participate in the parish through our music ministry; continue to be a part of our community; take care of myself... All of that was understandable. I knew she would expect no less.
What I didn't expect was my reaction to other people when they went on living their daily lives. When others made mountains out of molehills I got restless and angry. I could not fathom how, in the midst of my grief, others could talk about "having a bad day." Once I told someone who said that, "You have no idea what a bad day is." I know now that God did not want me to act that way.
As time went on, I realized my attitude needed to change. I began to thank God that people did not have to live my grief, and that being able to sweat the small stuff was actually their blessing. They did not have to experience the feeling of things being so out of whack and so surreal that you could hardly make it through the day. On top of it all I knew in my heart that Lauren would not have wanted me to be bitter and angry. She loved life. She was not that kind of person, and neither, thankfully, am I.
The "recovering" me knows that sometimes sweating the small stuff is normal. Its ok, to a certain extent. The "Catholic" me knows the truth: God is in control whether we make mountains out of molehills or sweat the small stuff. No matter what, he is in the driver's seat. He expects us to minister to others, to forgive people of their shortcomings, as he does ours, and to treat all his children with respect, love and care. He expects and longs for us to strive for one thing: to have a heart like his.