It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot outside a Safeway store in Tuscon, Arizona. I remember it clearly. One moment, I was in a car arguing with a friend to stop procrastinating about purchasing eye glasses. The next, I was witnessing the aftermath of an apparent massacre: 20 injured, 6 dead, 1 recovering.
Choking back tears, my mind raced to similar man-made disasters: the school shootings at Columbine, September 11th, the drunk driving death of my girlfriend Shana when I was 18...
So sad and seemingly pointless.
When bad stuff happens to good people, I die a little. Little bits of me float to heaven on exasperated tears...
The coach inside me knows it's not what happens to you, but what you create from it that matters.
The impacted part of me grieves for motherless children, empty dining room chairs, and damaged souls who live to inflict pain on others.
Last night, as I watched Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly's interview with Diane Sawyer, I couldn't help but reflect on my own journey...dealing with Chronic Lyme Disease and trying to make sense of the nonsensical.
It's been a rough 16 months, full of setbacks, and baby steps. This time last year, I questioned my sanity, while desperately searching for something, somebody, anybody to make it different, better, or bearable.
Now, disease is present, pain is present, but there's peace in the process...
I am where I am.
I'm not where I'm not.
All there is to do today is what there is to do today...even when the "to do" is to get out of bed, wash my hair, or get a colonoscopy.
I am proud of myself. I'm proud of the person I am becoming and proud of all of the people who--literally or metaphorically--take a shot to the head and keep on fighting.
Life is messy.
WE are messy.
We are also strong, capable, amazing individuals with a profound ability to make a difference in this world...regardless of our circumstances.
Perhaps Edward Everett Hale said it best when he said: I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
Whether that something is tying your shoes, speaking a sentence, or writing a blog post, as Gabby Giffords reminds us, do it with passion, love, and courage.
After all, you never know who might be watching.
Altered Today: Heroes, Pride, Appreciation