“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really step to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.’” –Eleanor Roosevelt
I have faced several events in my life where I have wondered–endlessly wondered–how I could, or if I would, survive it. No one’s life is free of trouble–we all have our share of turmoil. Some have more than their fair share and some sail through life with few derailments.
Whatever our path is, it’s ours to travel. And, no matter how we would like to climb in a hole and hope it all goes away, life just doesn’t work that way–it doesn’t. Often I have had people ask me how I have faced Randy’s death and continued on. Often I tell them the kids were my courage–and that’s true. They were definitely the reason I knew I had to stay a whole person. The honest answer to the question is I didn’t have a choice.
The good news is, with each experience you slowly muddle through and come out the other side, you gain life skills to carry you through the next difficult experience. It’s these events–the ones that challenge us–that change us. If we do it right, we allow it to change us for the better.
There is no better time to stand up and face fear (nearly every fear you have ever had all at once). I don’t know that we ever heal completely. I am fairly certain we will never say that we are glad it happened–no, I’m completely certain that will never happen. There is a middle between happiness and climbing in a hole to wither away. What you will be able to do, in time, is be thankful you made it through and proud of the person you have become through a situation you once thought would consume you. You will be able to enjoy life again. And, whether you believe it or not, you will find blessings along this unexpected and painful journey.
Had I not lost Randy, I never would have gone to college. I also wouldn’t have ever discovered my true passions. I will never be glad we lost him (and I still miss him), but had it not been for tragedy I might have never have discovered who I am–what I was born to do. Beyond the obvious blessings, I would say learning how much strength I really have was amazing. I know now, there is little I cannot overcome. I also know even when situations bring me to my knees, I will stand again–no question–I will stand.