There comes a period of time in this world of grief, that you begin to emerge. It’s doesn’t happen within a day, a week or a month. It’s more of a slow roll, an evolution as you rise from that deep pit of unfathomable pain.
I remember days when I would wonder out loud “How will I make it through this?” and a year later I can look back on that day with respect for who I was and who I have become in this journey. If I could go back and answer that question to myself I would say “All you ever have to do is put one foot in front of the other. Eventually we will get somewhere.” which is a quote from my Dad.
As difficult as the past year has been, and we can actually expand on that to include the previous two, as I stand here on the other side of it I can say, you really can move forward through what you once thought was unimaginable.
I heard this quote the other day on a podcast: “Don’t try to boil the ocean“. The podcast was an interview with the man who coached the current Ironman World Champion and can be heard here, it’s a great insightful; episode).
That quote resonated with me, and truly applies to all areas of our lives.
We don’t have control over a lot of things in this world. We only truly have control of how we react, and how we conduct ourselves. We can’t tackle everything at once, whether it’s grief, grad school, an athletic event. A lot of us try to boil the ocean but we can’t. We have to focus on our little piece and what I am interested in, is how I can cultivate my little section to make a difference.
After a year of working on my Dad’s medical malpractice case, I learned that while we do seem to have a claim, it wouldn’t be settled quickly (these cases take 6 years), and in 6 years the potential monetary reward would come with preventing me from telling the story. My Dad’s life was worth a lot, and his death due to a medical error has the ability to help make things better. He would advise me to tell the story, use it to help, use it to teach, use it to affect change. So that is my aim.
Recently I began a podcast with the aim of telling the stories. My stories, stories of my Dad, my fellow nurses who are facing unimaginable things right now, and the stories of people who I find fascinating and inspiring. We have released 2 episodes and have a 3rd on the way this week!
I have a long list of amazing people who I will have on the show. People whose stories will bring you to your knees. As the saying goes, nobody rides for free.
I don’t have the magic answers for how to survive that first year. I can say that I have emerged from this first year wiser, better, stronger both physically and emotionally, and that came with a lot of work. I didn’t have the ability to see long term and learned that long term thinking is not more important than the here and now (in most cases).
On the athletic front, I am deeply in love with the evolution of last season to this one. Every now and again I sit on the verge of a season that light me up inside not just because of the finish lines I am chasing, but the people around me who I get to chase with. This past year has deepened my connection to my small community. After 25 years in this community I feel like these past few years have been the richest.
I have been carried by love the past year and that has been the gift I never saw coming.
When I wondered aloud last year “How am I going to make it through this”, I never thought I would be carried, that I would be able to glue my heart back together, that I would be able to turn this unfathomable tragedy into something that could make a difference in this world.
Without even knowing it I started small. You won’t believe what is coming. I certainly can’t. But it’s something spectacular. Stay tuned.