Sometimes I wonder if we do justice to the "firsts" in our lives. In our house we have a lot of firsts this year. First Christmas and New Year in a new home. Tucker Bear's first Christmas. First time sleeping under a lovingly made quilt.
There are other good firsts to look forward to and remember: first car, first kiss, first job, first home, first love.
Kid firsts are easy to recognize and remember. First Christmas, first word, first steps, first day of school, first sleepover, first date, first school dance. We assign emotions and space in our hearts for our firsts, each memory taking on its own color like a well preserved Polaroid.
But then there are the firsts we never saw coming. First broken bone, first time on unemployment, first heartache.
When we lose a loved one we start measuring the world in firsts. First night and then weekend without them. First holiday, first vacation, first birthday, first walk in the woods, first anniversary of their departure from our lives. How and where do we file those firsts? They matter, they weigh on us, their existence deserves recognition.
Those firsts, the hard ones, the ones that catch in our throats and make it hard to breathe, the ones maybe no one else can see... those firsts feel like they will wipe out all the other wonderful firsts stored in our hearts. They're heavy, burdensome, and they stop us in our tracks while the world inexplicably turns on without acknowledgement. They loom huge over our hearts and threaten to swallow us in a whole new collection of horrible firsts.
But they don't. Those aching firsts can temporarily distract but can never remove and replace the wonderful firsts. We plow thru them. We cry thru them. We beat our fists against the world and scream thru them. And we get thru them. In the end they may change the color of the wonderful firsts but they can't replace them. The treasures are still there, they just mean something different now.
And that's ok.
In the end, it takes all of those firsts to make you the person you were meant to be.
Today is someone's "first". It may be a big one or something relatively small. If you see them, hold out a hand and become part of it with them. That might be just enough to change the color of that first as they file it away, and maybe you can make it just a little lighter to carry.
Smile at the world with your whole being, it's the Toby Way.
Tucker (pomeranian) is an author of marginal famou'nicity. Catch his Tucker Tuesday farm pupdates here and on the Toby Way Farm facebook page.