I am tip toeing into this weekend, feeling a little bruised and battered. Today is February 22nd and there is a pit in my stomach knowing in four days I will wake up and know Tony has been gone 5 years. I am dreading it and stunned at how powerful his loss feels still. It’s funny how losing a child forever marks you and changes everything you think and feel about the world. Someone said recently “it must be getting easier “and I just stopped in shock at how wrong that statement was, No it is not easier, every day you still mourn even when you are smiling and happy you still feel the emptiness. There are so many things people never tell you about grief. About the way you’ll feel and act and think and live after you lose a child. What I have learned these past five years is to forgive myself, to love fiercely those around me, to worry less about what others think and focus more on enjoying the moment, to hide less and explore more. Grief has taught me to dance with life and embrace each and every day.
Every great personal story you have to tell involves overcoming adversity. If you shy away from adversity, you take away your ability to tell new stories. – Farrel Droke
I have heard often, what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. So how do you define “strong”? For me, “stronger” means looking back at the person I was and comparing it to the person I have become today. To do this I have had to look at myself and realizing that the person I am today couldn’t exist if it weren’t for the things that have happened in the past or for the people that I have met. Everything that happens in our life happens for a reason and sometimes that means we must face heartaches in order to experience joy.
These past 3 posts have truly been for me a vehicle to clear my head and embrace everything which lies ahead. This journey called life built on memories, obstacles and resilience is an amazing journey. Every day is a gift and a treasure as this year creeps closer and closer to its inevitable end I intend to fully embrace each and every day and enjoy the ride.
I hate cancer, I hate how unfair and cruel it is. I hate how it not only leaves physical scars but also how it leaves emotional and mental scars. I hate how wears down the survivors and their family. I hate watching someone I love suffer and battle every day. This being said I am in awe of those who do battle this killer. For years I have watched my mom fight and she continues to do so every day. I know how much she has wanted to give up and how close she has come to doing so but still she fights. I have also watched my dad stand by her and give her unconditional love. I know how hard it has been. I see them at their best and yes at their worst. I am so blessed to have been able to walk this journey with them and see how for better and for worse looks. It is beautiful even in the face of cancer. So to my mom I love you and will fight with you every single day we hold the enemy at bay. You are the portrait of a fighter, a winner, a survivor.
I took a vacation this summer. A slow down, stop running, enjoy my life vacation. I definitely had some wonderful experiences. My first race was a blast. I spent a whole day laying in a tube floating down a river camera safely tucked away in the car. I wandered around downtown Knoxville one evening just taking in the atmosphere and enjoying the company I was with. A vacation, a real chuck the timetable lay on a sofa and de-stress week. Why don’t we do this more often? It is sad we work till we are burned out, exhausted, numb and at the end of our ropes and then we plan a week off filled to the brim. Never again, I liked this slower pace experience and as I reenter the rat race today I am already reflecting on a slower and gentler end of summer. Lying on a tube all day just might be the best of all worlds.