Received this from a friend today who knows the value of journaling thoughts that come to mind in the midnight hour. She’s given me permission to share on this blog. POWERFUL!
I am a parent and I am an airman. I struggle every single day to balance the two…by myself. I am alone and I am scared, often. I became a widowed mother of 2 at the age of 24, and then a widowed mother of 3 again at 27. I lost my first husband to a battle with drugs that stole his life and the memories that my children could have had with him before they were old enough to even remember him.
I lost my fiancé to a motorcycle accident on Thanksgiving day that obliterated the possibility that he would know what it felt like to hold his first child in his arms surrounded by our little family that adored him.
I have very few friends; when I am not working I am cleaning, cooking, helping with homework, paying bills, grocery shopping, tending children, or attempting some form of hygiene of my own amidst my chores…on the days I’m not utterly exhausted. Oh, let’s not forget…volunteering and education are key in the whole person concept these days.
I am a coordinator for a volunteer corps for the base I am stationed at and I am slowly working on my Bachelors degree because it’s getting harder for me to be judged only on the quality of my work. How you ask? I cry myself to sleep some nights, others I’m too tired and am not even sure how I made it into my pajamas let alone to my bed. I wake up and do what I was always taught to do…keep going, don’t give up, push harder.
Nobody likes to fail, and failing would start by not getting out of bed. Why do I keep going? I can honestly say I have lost count of how many times I have been so tired of it all, and so exhausted in the last few years that I wanted to just stop and give up. But then, every single time, I couldn’t do it…I couldn’t give up. I reminded myself that someone else had it worse, there’s always worse and there’s no way that I wanted my children to see me give up. After everything that THEY have been through, they were watching ME. They were learning how to cope through ME. I reminded myself that I will show them that even through the most devastating times, that they CAN be strong, that they CAN get through it. I could not let them see me give up if I want to instill this quality in them. The humanity and compassion they have learned as they dried the tears running down my face. And then I realized, they were not the only ones watching me.
While we may not be able to put onto a performance evaluation the real life success of struggles that truly makes someone a leader, I sleep so much better seeing my resilience help someone else bounce back. We think our struggles no matter how big or small are our own, and they’re not. While we may feel the the heavy burden and the root of that instance, our branches touch so many that can relate. It may not be just our children that we are teaching these qualities to but our friends, our families, our coworkers, and even our friends that we may or may not ever even talk to on social networks.
I get up every morning and I tell myself that I have no other choice!! I will succeed today! Today is not the day I am defeated by myself or by life! I will not be pushed down off this mountain I have worked so hard to climb because I want to reach the top; and I don’t want to do it alone, but I will if I have to!