2014 … BRAVE indeed …

Before every New Year begins I come up with a new one word mantra. Not to be confused with my birthday mantra or my life mantra. My New Year mantra is a word that is chosen to snap me back into the feelings I had when I first thought of if. An instant motivator to keep me on track.

My 2014 mantra is BRAVE. I was not super excited to experience what 2014 had in store for me. On top of it being the 20th anniversary of my mother’s passing, it is also the year that I turned the age she was when she died. Talk about a DOOZEY.

But, finally, on the 28th day of December I feel I can confidently say, I MADE IT THROUGH.

The anniversary of her passing was in February. February 2nd, Groundhog Day, to be exact. I got super sick at the end of January and stayed that way for a hideous three weeks. I am pretty sure my emotions got the best of me. I ran a half marathon in Ventura on the actual day of her passing. I was feverish and coughing the whole way. To put it in perspective, I was on an inhaler for the first time in my life! Yet there I was … running a half marathon in the cold. Good. Lord.

As MISERABLE as I was the entire time I was there, it was my first opportunity to, in fact, be BRAVE. Typically on Groundhog Day, I can hardly move. Yes, even after 20 years without her, it still hurts THAT bad. I oscillate between the couch and my bed all day. I call it, “My pink fuzzy robe coma” … and it’s awful. Although I promised myself that I would NEVER again force myself out of the house on that day and be away from my family, the race proved to me that I am much stronger, emotionally and physically, than I ever give myself credit for. But I am still not doing that again. Nope. Not. Ever.

Throughout the year the opportunity to be BRAVE reared its’ head a multitude of times. Truthfully, too many to count. But none probably more poignant than facing down my birthday. The day I would turn the age she died. Forty-six. Wow.

Sure I know people MANY people who have lived far beyond the age of 46. But the person I identified most with … didn’t. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to explain how that feels. Words don’t seem to serve it justice. But I can tell you this: it’s scary, nerve-racking and sad. It was up to me now. I had to lead the way for myself. I had to write my own story and live without her example. At times, the thought completely overwhelmed me. But I took everything she taught me and forged on.

Here I am, over 5 months into 46 and I don’t think I’m doing too badly. I’ve faced a lot of demons this year. NONE of them went down without a fight … and many, I know, will soon return to try to break me all over again. Will it be hard? Absolutely. But this time I will do battle knowing that if I can survive the emotional warfare of 2014 … I can survive anything.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you prove to yourself that you are BRAVE!!!

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