When the inevitable becomes reality
Although for years, deep in my gut I knew this day would come, I hoped, fought and prayed differently. Although I prepared myself for this time and this process, it still feels sureal. I knew we would lose her, for years I knew this. But now that I have, the emotion and reality of it is overwhelming. How can she be gone? How do I live without her? My sister, my best friend, my warrior is somewhere I cannot follow right now. I have always been able to follow. I could fly across the country to hold her hand after surgery. I could drive hours to sit with her in treatments. I could send her pictures and funny text messages and wait for her humerous response. She can’t write back anymore. Thats what hurts the most. Thats the deep down ache I can’t quite seem to shake.
And thank God for that. That ache is what gets me up in the morning. That ache is what forces me to tell stories to my children about her. That ache is what has me reaching for my running shoes. That ache is what motivates me to make a difference. I don’t want any other sister, friend, husband, parent to have to feel this ache if they don’t have to. Thankfully, she left me with a goal, a mission, a fight. I’m not naive, I know that many other families will undergo what we have. But, what if some day just one person doesn’t. Or some day, one person’s struggle is a little less. That is how I fight this for her. That is how I fight brain cancer after it robbed me of the strongest person I know.
The biggest question I get lately is, “how are you being so strong?” My answer is simple. Because I have to be. I can’t fight and carry on a warrior’s legacy from my bed. I cry, I get angry. I don’t feel like getting off my couch. I am human. But, I’m a firm believer that we are not defined by what happens in our lives but instead by how we react to it. I am not the girl who lost her sister. I am the athlete that has continued her fight. I am not the girl whom has lost a friend. I am the girl who has a mission. And most importantly, I am strong because she taught me to be strong. I saw her strength and fight and will always carry that with me.
So, that is where I am. I was compelled to write this post about where I am right now and why, because I have made Jill’s fight public, my fight public, in hopes of helping someone. In hopes of motivating someone. So, here I am. I am real, I am sad, I am distracted. But I am also motivated, strong, brave and driven. And if in some way, that helps you get motivated than Jill’s fight has made a difference and our story has purpose.