Skip to main content

August Blog Challenge - Day 16

What are your five greatest accomplishments?

Getting a bit tired of writing about myself.  Looked ahead and the next challenge days involve that, too.  Bleh.  But I promised I'd do this so....

1.  Supporting Dave in his battle with cancer.
In sickness and in health, I promised.  I didn't really know what that would mean.  Or how hard it would be.  It was a privilege to be with Dave, to be his helpmate, to give him what he needed, to make sure that we had done all we could, and when we had, it was a privilege to walk with him to the end of his life, to let him know he was loved, to care for him, to reassure him, to help him die with dignity, surrounded by love.  I honored my commitment, until death did us part, and I never considered doing anything but.

2.  Raising my kids without Dave.
It's been almost 11 years.  My children are almost all grown.  There were hundreds of times each day that they needed Dave.  And I tried to be there for them, to give them what they needed as best I could.  There was no way to fill that gaping hole in our lives.  Many people helped me.  Any shortcomings are entirely my own.  And while it's far from perfect, far from good, even, Kenny, Zach and Kate have grown into these astounding human beings.  I don't know that I actually had a part in that, but at least I didn't screw it up.

3.  Finding a way to battle Kenny's autism.
I spent countless hours on research.  I talked to people all over the country.  I raised funds and got UCLA trainers in to work with Whitman students who devoted 30+ hours every week to working with Kenny.  I stayed up all night to review video tapes.  I slept not at all.  To the point I was hallucinating from lack of sleep.  I worked and worked to make sure his every waking hour was productive and engaged.  I read book after book, went to conferences, talked to teachers, created programs.  Spoke at conferences, started support groups, educated doctors. I was frenzied, but dedicated.  And look at that kid.  It paid off in spades.

4.  Staying open to life after having been hurt so much.
They say that what keeps you from enjoying life is the picture in your head of how it's supposed to be.  That you can't embrace what you have if you're still stuck in what you lost. This resonates with me on a deep level. So many times, the life I thought I was going to live has been ripped away.  My life as I knew it was gone.  It takes grit to decide to keep going when it seems like everything is not how it's supposed to be. But somehow, each time I have survived. And found a way to let love into my life again.  Gosh, that sounds trite.  But it does take courage.  Because caring about someone, loving someone, is always a risk.  If you care, then you have something to lose.  It's far from easy to open yourself to that.  It's easier to shut it out. It's harder to decide that love is worth the pain. But life without love is like living in a grey world.  You can't numb the bad without also numbing the good, so I have learned to keep breathing, keep feeling, keep loving,

That's all I got.  I know it says 5, but this is all I can come up with.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

August Blog Challenge - Day 9

List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

Okay, on this blog you've read a lot about my mom and dad.  And Dave, Doug and Kyle.  And Kenny, Zach, Kaitlyn and Kailee.  These people are my family.  Everything I do, I do for them.  It would be impossible for me to adequately describe their influence on me.  And I've talked about them a lot.  So I'm just going to say a word about each of them and what they've taught me - and then I'll go into 10 people outside that circle.

Mom taught me to think of others.  Dad taught me to work hard.  Dave taught me to love unconditionally and out loud.  Doug taught me to never give up and to enjoy each moment.  Kyle taught me to be a mother.  Kenny taught me to embrace the life you have and to laugh.  Zach taught me to think things through and go 100%. Kaitlyn taught me about honesty and that there is always sunshine, even when you can't see it.  Kailee taught me new aspects of faith and faithfulness.

1. Denise - De…

Tattoo

So.
I got a tattoo.  Christine actually wrote on my facebook post, "You??"
Yeah.  Me.

I've been thinking about it for six years.
I finally decided that if after six years, I still wanted it, maybe it was time.

The writing is Dave and Doug's.
Taken from notes they wrote me.
They always signed their notes the same way.

I thought I was doing it in memory of them.
To mark the way they are always on my heart.
To have a visible reminder.
A permanent keepsake,
always with me.

And while it is that.
It is also more.

I didn't realize it,
until afterwards.

It's a marker.
A closing of a chapter.
Closure, if you will.

I don't know how to explain it.
The minute it was finished,
I knew.
I knew something inside me was different.

Dave,
and to a lesser extent,
Doug,
have been part of my every thought
every day
for over 10 years.

Daryl saw the Dali Lama this summer.
One thing he learned:
Interrogate your truth.

I've been thinking about that a lot.

Interrogate implies a…

Memory Lane

Magic Penny - Dave Meyer
Melt with You - Dave Meyer
Growing Older with You - Dave Meyer
Don't You Know that I Hear? - Erik Haroldson
Friends - Dave Meyer & Erik Haroldson