Monday, October 26, 2015

     My daughter writes about pain. She and I have been very fortunate in the physical pain category, but not so lucky in the emotional category. We have both faced what felt like insurmountable pain. We thought we would not be able to wade through it, but we both did, each in our own time, each in our own way. How? I’m not sure. I’d like to tell you it is profound faith, but that would be stretching it. I’d like to tell you we had an incredible support group, and although we both have a wonderful network of friends, that wasn’t it either. It goes back to the Bob Marley quote that my student posted a few days ago, “You never know how strong you are until strength is all you have.” It comes from some unknown source, and it raises you up just when you think you are going to sink into the abyss.

     I am so proud of my two daughters whose strength far outshines my own. They are way beyond me, as their strength has saved others not just themselves. They are both giving beyond what I could ever have imagined. I cannot take credit for teaching them that; but I can light up in the knowledge that they continue to do so for friends and family month after month, year after year. 

     Below is a post from my youngest daughter who is enduring her own stresses but who feels the pain of her friend, Heather, and who although living far away is
an anchor for her friend who means a great deal to her.

From Katey, single mother of four:

"She needs to stay in front of the pain....."
That statement was made in reference to my friend Heather's surgery this week, and it has resonated with me for the last few days.
Sundays are the day I reflect and sometimes write if I can squeeze it in.
As I sat down to write today, I thought about how we all try to "stay in front of the pain".
There is value in it. 
Distractions and diversions.
Avoidance and denial. 
All beautiful places of which I flit in and out of, and sometimes where I actually choose to live.
BUT, I have found there is also value found in leaning into it, battling, scratching and reaching through it as well.
For on the other side of the pain, comes perspective....good, bad, or ugly perspective. Forever changed, for you're never the same are you?
I looked around this weekend and thought what would this life be without pain? A breeze? A glorious moment after moment? A series of "everything is awesome!"
Perhaps. It certainly would make things easier that's for sure.
Certainly everyone's pain is different, even when dealing with the same situation. When researching tips for Heather, I had many friends who have had breast cancer give me many different pieces of advice. Their journeys that allowed them to stay ahead of the pain, perhaps for one second, one minute, one day.
So I guess as I wear this idea of staying ahead of any kind of pain around some more, I rest on the thought that without the "downs" we wouldn't see the "ups".
Without the wtf moments we wouldn't recognize the moments that truly count.
And without each other, we’ve got nothing, and I mean nothing.
Whatever your method of staying ahead of the pain is, keep at it. Make it healthy. Make it wise. Make it yours.
As my Mom always says, " You're the only you you've got”.

     As a parent, we don’t always remember what we say, but even if we but model the empathy, that’s good.