Strength vs Courage

I follow a blog on FB called Mitchell’s Journey. It’s about a father who shares the story of the journey his family has been on from their son’s devastating disease to his untimely death. He continues to share their story as they move through their grief. One particular comment he made struck a chord with me and I felt like I wanted to share it with you. The excerpt below is quoted from his FB Page:

I was raised to accept the reality life is tough, because it is. And at some point the world tells us we have to suck it up and take it like a “man” or a woman, or a lion or a bear. But I also realized in the privacy of our bedrooms or the quite of our minds there is often an unspoken dimension to us . . . a part of us that is vulnerable and mortal; a part that loves deeply and hurts honestly. Years ago I stopped pretending to be a lion or a bear. I decided to be human – and that has been liberating.

I too was raised to expect life would be tough and while I’m a woman, I was raised with five brothers so the reoccurring theme was to “buck up” and be quiet. I saw a great deal of hurt growing up. I won’t go into any details; however life was far from easy and there were times I wondered if we would make it as a family. I grew up believing that I had a sense of responsibility to help my mom raise my brothers. Because my mom chose not to hide much from me, at an early age (8 or 9) I saw and heard things a young girl should not see or hear.

So when people tell me that I’m strong or that I have shown great strength, I have a hard time understanding that. Life has been hard and I’ve learned to just “buck up” and deal with it. But like Mitchell’s father, when I’m in the quiet of my mind, I understand that I not all that strong nor do I have great courage. What I have is faith. A faith that helps me rise above all that is negative so that I can see the positive. Not easy and I don’t profess to say that, but it is a choice. I’ve never known any other way to live. Life has just always been rocky for me.

That is not to say I don’t have things happen quickly or exciting going on it just means I’ve worked very hard to be where I am today. It’s never been a gift. Just plain work. I do believe that my life’s experiences has prepared me for the losses of my mom, grandmother and lastly my daughter. Losing my mom during my pregnancy was a hard blow to me. I took to an angry stage for a long time. My daughter was not like your normal every day child. She had disabilities due from a high fever she had at 11 mos of age. Years and years of therapy, medications, doctors and tests she ended up with severe epilepsy and crohns disease. I grieved not having a normal child. But now knowing the amazing young woman she became – I would have never traded her for anything. She was simply an amazing spirit who was sent to me for a reason. I told someone the other day that I truly believe she was sent to earth for a job and she got it done very early and then departed back to Heaven and God saying “well done my child”. That makes me smile.

So yes, I am strong, but don’t mistake my strength for healing. I’m still hurting. I’m still missing my girl beyond belief. I celebrate her life this week as we move into the 8th anniversary of passing. But I weep for her physical being because she was a part of me a part of my story.

Until next time,




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