Since Rip passed away, I've heard many versions of , "If you could all of your problems in a pile with the rest of the world's, you'd take yours back."
To be honest, most of the time it made me furious. Why would I take my problems back? Rip was gone and nobody else could possibly have to deal with the kind of pain I was dealing with.
The other day, one of my grief books put a different perspective on the saying. The author pointed out that our problems make us who we are...without our bad, we can't have our good.
It made me realize that although I would give anything to have Rip alive, I wouldn't trade my problems. Rip's death is my reality, it's part of who I am. Trading that fact of life would mean I would never have gotten to be his mother. Trading my reality would be trading every part of my life that I love...being Rip's mother, being Parke's wife... being me.
So yes, there are definitely things that I would change...if the saying was "throw your problems in a pile and have them magically disappear", sign me up. But my problems are my problems, and in throwing them away I might lose some of the things that make this all worth while.