Everything Happens For A Reason - By Cammy Nelson
There are moments in life when you question why things have to happen. I am a firm believer in the phrase “everything happens for a reason”. Everything really does happen for a reason, but, sometimes, it just sucks. Yesterday, I received news that one of my best friends and favorite people in the world had been given not-so-great life-changing news. Luckily, it is not life-threatening and everything should be fine after a rather intrusive surgery. But it was still heartbreaking and infuriating as I listened to one of the most beautiful, strong, brave and kind people I know slowly begin to sob as she shared her news. Listening to her, I couldn’t help but cry, myself. Why did this have to happen? Why did this have to happen to HER?! Why, why, why???? Unfortunately, there was no person I could run to and get a direct answer from. Instead, I got something much more miraculous.
As my friend and I shed tears together, she, being the bulletproof attitude of positivity that she is, found a way to make us both laugh. As strange as it seems, laughing through tears is one of my favorite things in the world. In this case, it meant that we knew that there is hope and that it will all be okay. More importantly, we knew that we had each other. This may be one of the times in our friendship through which I have to carry her, but I can guarantee there will be times when I will need her to carry me. In fact, there already has been. Miracle #1 – friendship that celebrates the best and is stronger than the worst.
As I hung up the phone, sending her off to tell the next member of her support system, I quickly turned to mine. There I was, sitting in my little cubicle trying not to completely break down and sob so loudly I’d make the Minnesota nice come out of EVERYONE that works in my office. I decided to get on Facebook in the desperate hope that my sister (who moonlights as a teen mutant ninja turtle, for anyone who will know what that is) will also be on. A sigh of relief that resulted in an even stronger urge to cry washed over me as I saw the little green dot next to her name. Now, I will spare you the full details of the conversation, but she offered me an explanation to what was happening that I believe I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Her words were “don’t you need bad things like this to happen every now and then so you can understand how amazing your life usually is?” I am still soaking up the beauty and power of that statement. Bad things happen so we can truly appreciate the good. Now, there is also a choice in these moments between focusing on the bad or searching, with everything you have, for the good, but that’s a story for another day. Miracle #2 – a support system that is always there with the perfect words to make everything, or almost everything, better.
After what seemed like days, it was time to go home. I had sent my mom a text earlier in the afternoon that was asking for a mother-daughter night. The little known fact about our family is that these texts are essentially glorified 911 calls. They are few and far between, but when they come around my parents jump in the bat-mobile (it’s really a Pacifica, but the bat-mobile sounds cooler) and make things happen. There doesn’t even need to be a discussion of what’s going on until we’re ready, but a difference is made. For my mom and I, that difference is typically a trip to the movie-theater and pasta for dinner. This may be simple, but it was exactly what I needed. Not to mention a drive home from work with my dad who knew what was wrong but also knew I wasn’t ready to talk about it. He asked if I was okay, I replied with the female version of yes which really meant “no, but I don’t want to talk about it right now”, and we drove home listening to the music we both love. Miracle #3 – The most amazing parents I could ever ask for. Or just the most amazing parents ever.
Now, the final miracle. As I got out of bed this morning, I was still feeling irritated with the world. As my dad and I have been making our commute to work this summer, I’ve come to notice and appreciate the stunning and vibrant beauty of the sunrise each day. Today, however, it hit me with greater force than any other had. Trying to really describe it wouldn’t do it justice, but there was a color contrast between gray clouds in the distance, the bright blue sky that fell above it and the insane strength of the sun as I could see the rays bursting through the clouds and burying themselves in the hills we drove through. Then, to top it all off, I was singing along with “Sooner or Later” by Mat Kearney. For those of you who don’t know that song, it’s about keeping the hope and believing that “sooner than later, I swear, we’re gonna make it.” If you haven’t heard it, I encourage you to go listen. As I sang the lyrics, I couldn’t help but feel the tears overwhelm my eyes again and begin to run down my cheek. There was such strength in the simplicity of that moment that I knew that I had the strength to get through such a difficult time and that my beautiful friend is going to be just fine. If anyone can make it through anything with a smile on their face and gentleness in their heart, it’s my best friend. Miracle #4 – a Universe that has an interesting way of telling you not to worry and to have faith in the plan that’s too big for one person to understand.
My story may not be very original or unique, many people have received news that changed things, but it’s my story and it’s my world. My best friend was shaken and I wanted nothing more than to take all the pain and fear away from her, but I couldn’t. That felt worse than I could have imagined so I began to lose heart and understanding. But, it took all of thirty seconds before the universe swooped in and the miracles to get me through started lining themselves up. The thing is, I had to notice them. Getting lost in the hurt and frustration would have been the easiest thing to do. I could have spent the entire day mad and bitter, but I didn’t. Now, I’m not trying to pat myself on the back, but I am trying to point out the fact that happiness, hope, love, faith, friendship, positivity – everything we all label as good and something to be admired, they are all a choice. Negativity is the easy choice in this world. It’s easy to point to the bad and say that life sucks and want to give up, but that’s not what we’re living for. It takes effort to see the beauty in each moment and to build up the strength to get through, but it is possible and it is essential. If you want to live in a beautiful world, you have to see it that way. I’m fortunate enough to be blessed with people who help me get there, are you? If you’re not, let me tell you, you can do better. We all can. You just have to make an effort. But isn’t happiness, love, faith, friendship and positivity worth it? I think most people would say “Yes.”