Friday, August 17, 2012
Courage, Time, and the Number 20
It's an interesting overlapping universe. I sat in my kitchen with my new husband of 6 months on the day that would have been my 20th anniversary with my late (usually late actually ;-) husband. It didn't feel wrong, in fact it felt oddly right. My life was changed radically by cancer and then again by a horrible early death....and yet, I am still here. I am still alive and I'm making it the best life I can make it.
I don't know that I would have ever described myself as courageous before this experience. Watching Daniel's courage and determination in the face of ungodly odds inspired me in a way I'll never be able to adequately describe. In my darkest days I would tell myself - "he struggled with every breath to live - you won't honor his battle if you waste your life or Grayson's - he'd come down here and kick your ass if he could." Sometimes it was the only thing that could get me going (although I will admit to thinking "bring it! go ahead and come down here and kick my ass - at least I'll get to see you!").
Meeting and talking to so many new widows at camp, I was transported back to a time when I was so raw in my loss and so incredibly horribly sad. I don't have to imagine it, in meeting some of you, I felt it all over again. It was a powerful emotional reaction. Those first years are such hard work. It makes me cry just thinking about it. Had it existed, I don't know that I would have had the courage to attend Camp in the first couple of years, even though I desperately needed it. I'm in awe of the widows who came from everywhere, you my friends are courageous!
I don't usually brag on myself, but I'll admit I'm proud of how far I've come. It's only been possible because of my widow friends and our daily acts of courage - just getting out of bed! It's been quite the journey and I know it will continue to be challenging - it's life and death after all. I'm just glad I'm here, living every day with as much energy as I can and appreciating it for all it's worth. I'm glad that Carl saw all the bags I had packed behind me and had the courage to take it all on!