When I was at work the day before the two year anniversary of my father’s passing, I tried to sew a word onto what these past several years have been like. Sure, they were the most challenging years I have ever had to experience and came with more heartbreak and anger than I knew my body could feel. But were they the worst two years of my life?
Everytime I tried to convince myself that they were, there was a voice in my head that said, “how could you think that? What about every good thing that has happened to you since dad died?” The more I listened to that voice, the more that I realized that these two years were, indeed, not the worst two years of my life. The most difficult, yes, but not the worst.
Even in the midst of surviving such a great loss, so much good has come my way. My blog, for example, never would have happened if my father was still alive and well. The opportunity to be on CBS and share my story would never have been an option because there would not be a story to tell.
And how could I forget about the little (and sometimes taller than me) rugrats that make my days that much more fulfilled? Their little voices, never ending stories, and crazy conclusions paint some of the biggest smiles on my face. Yesterday, my co-instructor asked me to glove up and train with one of my students. As the two of us sparred, I kept saying to him, “hey, if you keep staring at me, I am going to hit you.” He laughed and I laughed and when he apologized for coming in too strong, I responded by saying that I was totally fine and it comes with the territory. You get hit and I get hit; that is just how it goes.
I also had another kid ask if he could throw me through a window or lock me in the bathroom and shove me in the toilet. Mind you he was young but I was like, “wait, what? Come again?” Just to preface, we were doing take downs and each of my students were going to tackle me on the mat. That one kid clearly had a much larger imagination.
Everyone has an image of what they want their lives to look like, including myself. In my mind, I pictured my father walking me down the aisle and holding my children as they wept. Having to erase those images of my mind killed me.
Guys, the reality that I live is so far from what I imagined it to be, but would I change it? Would I rip away all of the good that I have in my life? Would I let go of the little voices, never ending stories, and crazy conclusions? To be honest, I don’t know if I would.
Believe me, I have spent a long time wishing that death was not my father’s outcome. I have spent so many nights with my head on the pillow, tears in my eyes, and a scream trying to claw its way out of my throat. I have further broken my heart with the thoughts of, “how was I not enough? How could he have left me behind?
However, for the first time in a very long time, I am content with my life. It is not perfect and it is not what I initially wanted, but it is my life. My therapist expresses to me almost every session about my resilience, and as I listened to my favorite podcast this morning, I realized that it was forced. I had to become resilient, otherwise I would never heal. I would never get out of bed in the morning and would never smile. If I was not forced to get back up, even when my body cried out in agony, I would never be okay again.
Also, please tune in tomorrow at around 8-9AM to watch my segment on the CBS morning show!!! I cannot wait for you all to see it!!!