A year ago this week on my now retired blog I wrote about a story of a family tragedy. It was hard to write and I literally felt not only like crying, which I was doing, but also very much like retching as I wrote. You see, a year ago, a cousin I’m close to lost her 37-year-old husband to a very freak accident.
My cousin, newly pregnant with her third child, left for work as a teacher and thought nothing of sending her husband off to a routine outpatient rotator cuff surgery with his father. What she didn’t expect was a phone call minutes after the surgery informing her that there had been a grave accident. You see, when they began the block of drugs to numb his shoulder, the needle did not go into his muscle, it went directly into his bloodstream pretty much killing him instantly. Although for hours they kept him on bypass and attempted to revive him, he was gone.
And she was left alone. With two little girls under the age of 5 and another on the way.
This post is not about the sadness, the heartache, or the explaining you do to two little girls who do nothing short of idolizing their Dad. This is not the story of how wonderful he was, or how his funeral commanded two thousand people to attend, or how his employer (Budweiser) had a highway banner with his name on it for weeks in honor because he was THAT guy, the one who everyone loved, everyone adored, everyone wanted to be friend with and like. Yes, he was that wonderful, but this is not about him today.
This is about her. About a 37-year-old woman, who although deeply heartbroken and extremely lost, did it when I am not sure I could. I think of her in awe every day. And I wonder where she gets it.
I think about her when she comes up with amazing ideas to include her children in his life, even after he has left us physically. How she lets her now first grader write him love notes and puts them in a balloon to send to heaven. How she gave birth without the aid of drugs so no other freak accidents would happen in her family leaving her children orphaned.
This is a story of how she runs and pounds out her grief and anger and lays it all on the pavement in a Nike streak of healing. It is also a story of hand holding and how she gently allows you in to aid her in her need for understanding and healing. It is also the story of how she is not letting anger and revenge, nor all the lawyers knocking on her door, to overrule her right to grieve.
It is a glance into a life of a woman who teaches her children to remember their father every day, so when they age they won’t forget because they are so young. About how her daughter says “I feel my Daddy every day, he is all around me. He even helps me when I put on my jammies.”
How she just does it. Even though full understanding is not there, and the grief is still so raw.
This is a post about women. About how women just do. They do what they need to do, even when they don’t know why or don’t know how. Women like her. Women who persevere and keep moving. It is about the strength women have, that she has even though she may not know it. Today I honor her.