Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bumped out of first place

I recently came to the sudden and somewhat stupidly stunning realization that I am no longer the most important person in anyone's life.

I don't mean that I'm not important to or well loved by many dear friends and extended family. And I don't mean to imply that I think I should the most important person in their lives. It’s just that all those people have others in their lives who have top priority: their spouses, their children, their parents…

What suddenly occurred to me was that while Chris and I were the most important people in each other's lives and I was the most important person in my parents' lives, but they’re now gone from me and I have no siblings or children to fill that role, to take that cherished and honoured place of ‘most important’.

By important I mean that person(s) whose existence and presence is the most precious thing to you, whose day-to-day life causes you worry and pride and that indescribable warm glow; that person for whom you would give your own life, your own happiness to secure theirs – without thought or second guess; the person you first turn to in times of joy and sorrow.

Maybe it seems self-centred or self-pitying or both. I’m an orphaned, childless, widowed, only child. That’s a state of being but it doesn’t have to be a state of mind. I guess it’s part of figuring out my new life - something to come to terms with, to roll about in my mind. I just have to be careful not to let it take hold somewhere deep within me where it will take root.

1 comment:

Shelley Long said...

As a half-orphaned, childless, single, only child, I can identify with your feelings quite well. I worry that soon there will be no one left who remembers what I was like as a child. I think about the time when I will not be the most important person in anyone's life, even though, like you, I have friends who I know care about me.