Monday, February 21, 2011


Barbara Ward-Finneran

What Matters? What really matters?  What matters today and right now, can change in an instant.  No matter how hard you try to live a good life, follow your conscience and consistently do the right thing, bad things happen to good people.  We have personal failures, relationships implode, people get sick, suffer and die, people die tragically, accidents happen, disabilities exist, people disappoint us, hearts get broken, jobs are lost, finances go to ruin, foreclosures run a muck, the list goes on and on.  WHY?  WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

Life can be trudging along of so happily and then in an instant the life that you knew and embraced ceases to exist.  My first taste of this was when my grandfather died.  I was twenty-three at the time and it was the biggest loss of my life.  Little did I know at the time that it was nothing in comparison to what would follow about 18 months later, a few days after my wedding shower, when my Dad went to sleep and never woke up.  The shock was so horrifying
the next morning when my mother broke the news to me, that I spat at her,  ”Mommy, stop joking it’s NOT funny”!  At twenty-five, pleading “No, Mommy, I spoke with him last night, he told me he mailed the wedding invitations for me.”  In an instant my world moved off it axis.  Nothing was the same, nor would it ever be again. The details of the weeks, months and years that followed could fill endless blogs.  For grief is a journey. One that never really ever ends. It behaves much like the ocean - ebbs and flows, embraces you with it’s summer warmth of memories, then chills you to the bone, and at any time waves attack sending you tumbling out of control and stealing the air from your lungs with such brutal force that you have to remind yourself to breath. Suffice to say, this “Daddy’s Little Girl” was devastated.  
Recently my social networking circle (as well as my "real life" circle of family & friends) has been knocked down by one wave after another.  With this ocean of tragedy and  waves of grief running a muck in our fourty-something lives.  Flags should be posted on FaceBook saying RIP TIDES - Swim at your own risk.  You can hardly scroll a days status quotes without reading that someone in your circle of friends, a high school classmate, a college buddy, an friend from an old job, has had their world tilted off it’s axis.  If you have lived any type of that earth shaking loss in your own life, you become overcome with empathy.  
I cannot answer why bad things happen to good people.  I can however muster the faith to believe that it is not for us to understand while we walk this earth.  I can be eternally thankful for the blessing of a dear friend who told me when I was lost in grief, “Barbara, you can’t look for sense where there isn’t any”.  I’m not sure that truer words were ever spoken for I have since called them to mind countless times in my life.  I know that if you are blest with faith, that when it is hardest for you to believe, to have courage and pray - that those who love and care about you will do it for you.  I know that when I can’t find the words for my most needed and pleading prayers that God takes my tears and translates every drop.  
When we hear about someone else’s loss and pain it tends to make us focus on what really matters in life.  It makes your perspective flip to see life in it’s raw and necessary elements.  It makes you take the time to be thankful for your blessings and hug those you love a little bit harder.  So if you are needing some insight to what matters, some perspective in the chaos, here’s my Cliff’s Notes version...  embellish as you so desire!
What Matters:
Faith & Prayer
Family & Friends
Happiness, Hugs & Laughter
Doing your best and making healthy & thoughtful choices
Keeping the promises that you make to yourself
Creating your goals & dreams rather then chasing them
Embracing life knowing each moment is a gift

For my friends, who were in my heart as I wrote this, know I continue to send prayers your way!!!


  1. Know I will always be your lifeline sista. Very well written kudos bella

  2. life is strange...but I am thankful for the path I am on, as it brought you to me :)

  3. WOW. Your words are so powerful. Thank you for reminding me to appreciate all the wonderful people I have in my life.

  4. Too many times everyday life distracts us from what really matters. Thanks for a reminder of what is really important.

  5. Your love, care and friendship when I suffered my own loss is something that I will always cherish. Thanks for being in my life!

  6. WOW!! Very moving and powerful!!

  7. <3 <3 Thanks everyone - it means a lot! <3 <3