The warriors who inspire me come in all shapes and sizes, each fighting a unique battle on their own terms.
The past three months have been therapeutic, painful, frightening and freeing.
For the past 62 days, I’ve shared soul scars, laughter and memories with you. I find it ironic that the three month anniversary of my public ramblins’ is the same date as my 45th birthday.
This post however is not about me, perse.
It is about you. Those of you who behind the scenes have taken the time to share pages from your story with me. Ever so eloquently written but private. You, worried about what others would think and who you might offend. Or maybe, you just aren’t ready for the world to thumb through your pages yet.
Others of you, sharing in the open but guarded when responding via social media. Realizing that people judge but also understanding that vulnerability is the the cornerstone of confidence.
A few of you have shed tears when sharing your souls in person. Me crying with you or after we part.
A person engaged in some kind of struggle or conflict. A soldier. That, friends, is the Webster’s definition of a warrior.
I, however have found a more personalized definition of the word over the past eight and a half weeks. Much more personal than the handful of words haphazardly strung together like those in the Webster’s online dictionary.
I have known heartache, struggle, physical pain and inner demons. The warriors I have encountered are my strength and inspiration. Many of you have been there in my peripheral, me knowing that you were struggling but blinded by life, not truly seeing your pain.
My eyes are open and my blinders, off.
Oh how I wish that I could write your stories for the world to read.
Again, the warriors who inspire me come in all shapes and sizes, each fighting a unique battle on their own terms.
A woman who sits in a cold, stark hospital room, watching as the poison that has to be stronger than the disease that wreaks havoc on her body, is dripped into her veins. God’s got this. Keep fighting. A Warrior.
A close friend, a sister if you will, redefining herself after 25 years of what I think she realizes were stifling and soul sucking. You, my friend will be just fine. I love you. A Warrior.
A mother who yearns to smell her daughters hair or hear her laughter one more time. Keep her memory alive. A Warrior.
A friend from junior high, a great athlete. Playing each game hoping to see her mother in the stands, only to be disappointed time and time again. I bet you kicked ass. So proud of you for striving to be a different kind of mother than you were accustomed to. A Warrior.
A woman who I thought was much younger than I, only to realize as of late that she is not that much younger. She is the backbone of her family. Her love for her husband is remarkable. You are so strong. I admire you. A Warrior.
A father who would give anything for one more day at the softball field. Hold tight to all of your girls. A Warrior.
A woman who has a heart full of hurt and possibly regret. He forgives you and so does she. Forgive yourself. Thank you for your insight. A Warrior.
A friend from school who misses her husband, taken too soon. Your strength is admirable. A Warrior.
The daughter of the father taken to soon. Wishing for one more day on the field. Swing for the fences kid. A Warrior.
The daughters of one of the most precious women I ever met, who is now in Heaven. Thank you for sharing your momma with me. I miss her. Warriors.
A mother, who raised three kids by herself, and made it against all odds. I am proud of you. Don’t give up on your dream. A Warrior.
Three children who suffered at the hand of a monster. Don’t harbor anger, make sure you deal with it. Warriors.
A friend who beat breast cancer. Who walked with unending grace throughout the process, giving God the glory day in and day out. Now, a grandmother basking in the glory of God’s mercy. Your example and strength continue to inspire and influence me. A Warrior.
A couple caring for an elderly parent with dementia. She appreciates it, even though she might not be able to tell you. Warriors.
A friend, living in constant pain. Feeling worthless and useless. You are not useless. You just have to find a new normal. Love you “wonky” friend. A Warrior.
The man who supports his wife who feel worthless and useless. Proud to call you a friend. Tight lines! A Warrior.
The mother who is brave and has enough confidence in her son and trust in her Savior to let her that boy of hers make a life changing decision. Good job, momma. A Warrior.
A woman who is full of self doubt stemming from words spewed by her mother. Forgive her every day if you have to. True joy is a choice. A Warrior.
A woman who watched time and time again as her mother was taken away in an ambulance after failed suicide attempts. You are my kindred spirit. A Warrior.
A woman who has stood beside a physically broken man for than twenty years. Thank you. A Warrior.
A physically broken man. My heart hurts for you. I wish your life would have played out different than it has. A Warrior.
A woman who “rang the bell” this week. You are a badass. The support from your friends and family is awe-inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story and giving God the glory. A Warrior.
A soldier who harbors years of pain only she can comprehend. Who puts up a front to cope. I understand. A Warrior.
A young, single mom trying to go to school. I’m so proud of you. A Warrior.
The supportive parents of a single mom. You are both amazing. Warriors.
A woman, body stricken with MS and failing eyesight. You are a stronger than you think. You’re attitude is beautiful. A Warrior.
A mom, by the side of her once healthy son, as he suffers from seizures. God gave him you as a mom for a reason. Never forget that. A Warrior.
A young man, once healthy, now suffering. You are freaking amazing. You’re strength is inspiring. A Warrior.
A husband and wife, assuming the role of parents to children not their own, in hopes of breaking the cycle of craziness. Those girls are blessed. Warriors.
A woman who thinks often about the addiction of a mother that robbed her of her childhood. You are a great mother and wife. I wish we would have been there for eachother all of those years ago. A Warrior.
A young mother, cancer free, just trying to survive. Keep on keepin’ on youngen! You inspire me. A Warrior.
A young husband who stood by the side of his young wife with cancer. You da man! A Warrior.
A man whose father took his own life. Tight lines, friend. A Warrior.
A young woman who rejoices in sobriety. Keep sharing your story through your music. A Warrior.
A mother whose son took his own life. You are loved. He is not forgotten. A Warrior.
A mother who suffers from mental illness. I forgive you. I love you. A Warrior.
A little girl with a painful disease that has severely altered her day to day. You are my hero! A Warrior.
The parents of the little girl with the painful disease. You two are something else. Warriors.
The daughter who deals with the lifelong effects of sexual abuse. I’m sorry. A Warrior.
The mother who cares for her young child with multiple neurological disorders. My heart hurts for you. I am here when you need me. A Warrior.
A daddy’s girl, now grown woman, who misses him so much. Cherish the memories, friend. A Warrior.
A wife who tirelessly cares for her husband who is slipping away, stricken early in life by Parkinson’s Disease. I watch you in awe. A Warrior.
You are all now a part of my story. Some of you can be found in my pages early on. Some fill the pages of chapters that came later in life. Regardless of what chapter or how many times you appear, you are in it and I am a better person because of your struggles and pain. Twisted reality? Maybe, but true. I watch and learn. Thank you.
I draw strength from your stories daily. The pages that you have shared with me are dogeared in my heart for easy access and tattered in my soul from being thumbed through time and time again.
Stay the course warriors. Others depend on it.