I have never been more grateful to do things differently than this past year. One being we tend to celebrate holidays… like Christmas… a week or two before. Sometimes we celebrate long after. It gives us time to be together and to enjoy the holiday on our own schedule. Then my mother passed away and my world fell apart. I no longer cared about the holidays. Everything was rushed. The funeral. The grieving. We had to hurry back and get my husband ready for drill school. There were resources to delay the orders… to allow us to recover… and those in authority would not hear of it. There world was not our world, so it didn’t matter. I suppose they had more pressing matters to deal with. What it boils down to, is that they didn’t care and the message was received loud and clear.
It was too much.
I have been at the bottom of canyons in my life. Somehow I found a way to recover. Somehow I found a way to climb back up and out… back on to a safe path to keep moving forward… with my dignity and character intact. Each time harder than the last.
This time there was no consideration for what our family was going through. Anyone living the military life know this is how it usually goes. Do we have the right to expect anything more? For the first time I wonder why we as a society do not respect those who are grieving. I have never needed so much in my life and I desperately wanted help to recover from the loss. I thought deployment was hard, but compared to this… it was nothing. I needed time and I needed the one person who knew me, and I was denied both. So many uncertainties arose… I decided if I care about my loved ones and what may happen to them tomorrow, than it’s probably a good indicator that life goes on. So I made the choice to get up and live each day the best I can.
Then while my husband was at drill school, he was ran over by a safety vehicle. Among the many incidents that occur on all the previous deployments, like surviving falling off a 20 foot cliff and a vehicle rollover, it was ironic that he could have lost his life so close to home.
Why is there so much unneeded stress in our lives and all at once?
It seems when everything is thrown at you, you have two choices. Either succumb to it… or grow and rise from it. There are no glorified rules to guide you anymore than this. You can use religion, you can use your family, you can use community resources, and you can use your inner strength. I certainly will not judge you for living your life in the manner that helps you make you stronger. As a society I hope that one day we will see it as our basic duty is help each other to become stronger. A society where with open hearts we are willing to help restore those who need it. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. When we each learn to live our lives the best way we can, we all become stronger
* We are in this together *
Even though I went through this alone, I know that there are those who went through this similar experience with far less resources. When I started sharing this chapter in my life, I found other people who also went through it alone. It helped me to realize I am not alone. I realized when we share our stories, they become a part of us…. they stories are what makes us human. How we choose to respond to these stories help define our individual characters and what it means to be human.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
I do not dare to say survive…. because that creates a poverty mindset. It creates an identity rut that is hard to break from and denies who we really are. I say grow… because it means we have the potential to become more than what our circumstances would force us to be. It gives us a choice to heal.
I hope that by sharing some of my experiences that others who haven’t had to go through it will have some understanding, and hopefully compassion, for those who do. For those going through it, I hope you are know you are not alone. I hope that if I can find a way to embrace my circumstances and have the courage to rise above it, then maybe by doing so it will give someone permission to do the same.
Our future is depending on us. Waiting to see what we do. How we invest in our time and energy. I have my reasons to live and my reasons to heal and I think they are worth the choice. Where ever you are and what ever you are facing, I hope you find the courage to make the choice.