Snow fell last night. Not a lot, just enough to dust the world with a fresh shimmery coat of white. It was the fluffy kind of snow that takes no effort to clear away from steps and sidewalks, though it did blow around causing a bit of a commotion during the morning drive to work. That didn’t manage to bother me because it was fresh and crisp and I found myself able to appreciate the simple beauty of it. I love how fresh snow will coat the branches of the trees making them look almost regal. They look tall and proud in their fresh blanket of pure white.
When I find that I am struggling, even a little, it can be the simplest of things that help to bring everything back into perspective. We work so hard sometimes to get the things that we want in life that we can often forget to stop and take in the simple beauty around us. I find myself focusing so hard on the goals I have yet to achieve that I sometimes forget how far I have come in a short time. I forget to celebrate where I am now.
I don’t want to sound like a hallmark card tonight but I know that I do. This is what I need right now. This simple quiet thought is my focus at this moment.
I smile through my struggles
My eyes hold back my fears
My hand stays strong and steady
And my heart holds all these years
Your eyes can see a picture
A sliver of my time
Through all the social noise
One verse of a lengthy rhyme
Show great care with my kindness
It’s my journey you don’t know
It’s only but a piece
Of what I choose to show
I saw this and it spoke to me. It shouldn’t have, though it did and quite loudly. The solitary image and the few simple words here are incredibly powerful. I have debated posting this because I simply do not want this blog to speak to this part of my past. My writing tends to lend clarity to me though and I decided to share this.
This image is not a reflection of where I am now, but where I once was. Emotional abuse can leave scars that last an incredibly long time. I “stepped away from” or divorced the man who verbally abused me me 4 years ago and I find myself still recovering now. I doubt myself in ways I never used to, but I am aware and working on getting better at that still. Waking up and realizing that you are no longer welcome in your own home is a terrifying feeling. The truth is that when asked about this part of my life, I have provided mainly socially acceptable anecdotes and referenced the cheating instead. Perhaps I found it easier to refer to this rather than to call it what it was. It seemed to feel more socially acceptable to provide only a portion of my story.
I am aware of how incredibly lucky I am to have the support and strength I needed to leave. I am grateful to my incredible husband for showing me what love really looks like. I am grateful for my family and friends who have been my source of strength at my worst moments. As I sign off for tonight I will be listening to God Bless the Broken Road and I will let it heal me like it always does.
You are not here
But you are so loved
And you may never come
From your place up above
Tiny and perfect
I imagine you are
Trying to reach you
Is like reaching a star
Wishing you were here
Held tight in my arms
And making me laugh
At all of your charms
I hope someday
We soon will meet
And this piece of my heart
Will be finally complete
I have seen some beautiful stories lately about the impact that nurses have on their patients. Some people have been lucky enough to find and thank the nurse responsible for their care. I would love to have this opportunity some day for a nurse that has touched my life in an incredibly profound way. I can’t remember her face exactly anymore, but I remember her kind eyes and her reassuring way.
March 13, 2007 I was brought by ambulance to a hospital in Florida. I will never forget that night and the amazing staff who got me through it. I was injured while out nearby and was in need of emergency surgery to save my life. When I arrived at the hospital, the first person I met was the nurse who would be with me until I was brought into surgery. She was calm and unbelievably good at her job. What took me some time to realize was that she kept me turned so that I could not see how severely I was injured.
This incredible nurse chatted with me about what brought me down to Florida and she kept me talking. She brought me a phone so that I could give my parents the 1:30 am call that no parent ever wants to get. She helped to keep me calm then even as well. When I spoke with my parents, I wanted to make sure they knew how much I loved them which sent all the machines monitoring me beeping alarms. She did not seem shaken by this and put a hand on my shoulder. She calmed me and helped me through one of the most horrific nights of my life and she made it seem easy. That simple gesture may have seemed small to her, but it was everything to me in that moment. While I was scared for my life, for my family and in a great deal of pain, she was able to give me a moment of calm.
I feel blessed and incredibly grateful to have had my path cross with hers that night. I am grateful to her and the surgeon on call because if it were not for them, I would not be here to write this thank you.
The tears have not been earned to cry
Feeling hot behind cold eyes
The air out there is shaking within
From nothing to something that passed bye
The pain is not earned to feel
Nor is the heart to break
This journey never happened
That chance they didn’t take
For years I have said that I can’t run. I have always had reasons to back this statement. My knee surgery when I was 20 years old is a reason I have used for over a decade now. The fact that I grew up with asthma is another reason that I have given. Both of these things are facts about myself but they are simply obstacles to overcome and not reasons to confirm that I cannot do something.
I don’t know that I could pinpoint why I started this up, but I have had a general desire to get and stay in shape. A great deal of walking with a little jogging thrown in is a reason I lost 25 lbs over 3 years ago and it worked because I enjoyed it. While that was a positive experience, it is important to me to stay active and healthy now so that I am not repeating that again down the road. I enjoy the simplicity of running and that it requires very little more than a good pair of shoes.
I got started and bought myself a good knee brace because let’s face it, I have absolutely zero desire to see another surgeon in my life. While they are incredible people, I have personally been seen by three and that is simply too many for my taste. I started this little journey slowly. I walked with a little jogging here and there as before. I ran with my mom who quite frankly whooped my butt when this whole thing started. I gradually added in more and more jogging to see how far I could go without stopping but it was still a fairly short distance. This is when I decided that my first goal would be to run a mile without stopping. If it is a 12-13 minute mile, so be it, but a mile with zero walking was the goal. I was starting to think I was not going to get there.
I am fairly certain I have said the words “Oh I could never run a mile, I don’t know how people can do that!” These words are no longer true. With a little over 11 minutes to my time, I ran without stopping, my first mile ever at 33 years old. What arrogance I had to say I simply can’t without giving the endeavor everything I had first. The reason I did this is as simple as this, I was tired of saying that I can’t so I focused on the goal and I made it happen. The thought of stopping at the half mile mark was tempting but I told myself that I could do this and I pushed on. I threw my hands up one day and said I can instead of I can’t because I was sick of saying that this was not something I could do.
To ensure that this was not a fluke, I went ahead and did it again for the second time and I intend on keeping this up. What I have learned so far is important as well. My legs can get sore, but it is not my legs that are holding me back, it is my lungs and my breathing. While I have to be careful of my knee, it is my lungs that complained the loudest when I gave this a go. Running has a tendency of bringing out the asthma in my lungs but in this area I am well versed. I know not to push myself where I shouldn’t. I will continue with caution and work on some better breathing while I run, but I do not have to let it stop me. My lungs did much better with a little help the second time and with some better breathing. I felt empowered. This may be a small accomplishment to many, but to me it was a step towards removing that pesky word “can’t” from my vocabulary.