13 Reasons Why Not
Trust me, I get it. My life has been full of pain...physical pain, emotional pain, psychological pain. I. Get. It. Sometimes it seems so much easier to simply give up than go on. Well, it *is* easier. But who says it's better? When life is hard and the pain is too heavy, make a list of reasons "why not." Read them. Read them again. Read them over and over to remind yourself why you must go on despite the pain. My reasons are below and I'm sharing to show you that I, too, struggle with those scary thoughts. But these reasons alway have and always will help me survive. I'm not challenging you to share your list (unless you want to), but I am challenging you to make one. And read it. Read it again.
- Mom is first because she has endured so much. Not that anyone else's pain will be less than hers, but because she has experienced so much pain in her life, I don't want to be the cause of more. Sometimes I think it would be easier to leave because of all the heartache and headaches I've caused her by living. But I know from experience that leaving her would cause infinite more pain than living ever could.
- TJ had never really experienced much pain before he met me. When I walked into his life, I came dragging a huge, heavy bag of ache with me. I struggle with thinking his life would be much brighter without all my baggage. Why is he a reason why not? He hasn't had to experience loss yet. Do I want to be the one to show him the darkness of grief? Heck naw!
- I saw what losing a child did to him. I saw what almost losing me did to him. I don't remember much from my accident three years ago, but I remember the tears and fear in my dad's eyes as he was telling me to keep looking at him. Keep fighting. I never want to see that fear again.
- He's my baby boy. Tyler was always the happy one. He rarely got angry and was always even-tempered when he was upset. He has brought so much joy to my life...especially when it snowed! When Clint left us, his brightness dimmed and has struggled to shine as bright ever since. If I leave, who's to say that light won't go out completely?
- I often feel like Daniel's life wouldn't change much if I left because we don't talk much anymore. Those thoughts are straight from the devil's lips to my ears. He uses my insecurity about our relationship to bring the poison of depression into my body. None of us have been the same since one sibling left. How could I ever make it two siblings? Daniel loves me, devil! Get behind me!
- While my students' day-to-day lives may not change, my influence over them would. I have always been an advocate for perseverance and hard work. I have always tried to be a witness for overcoming adversity. If I were to do the unthinkable, all of my testimony to them would be destroyed. It would have all been for nothing.
- I feel like William and Easton are young enough that they wouldn't remember what the loss of a family member would feel like. But because of Andrew's age and inquisitive nature, he would. Never will I EVER intentionally be the cause of pain on those boys. Neva!
8. God's purpose
- I have had cancer, a staph infection, and a 25 foot fall. If God's will in my life was over, I'd be gone. I still have more to do.
- Not that I think that any of my other friends would hurt less than Anna, but I know Anna naturally feels things more intensely than others. She loves deeper than most and hurts deeper than most. I also think that she would carry guilt. Even though it would not be her fault, I could never be the reason to hurt her like that.
- While they will go on, they will also hurt.
- Same goes for my friends.
Jax follows every step I take. I don't do anything in my home without Jax, so I think he'd come with me. But Brees? Brees would wonder where I was. He would mourn the loss. He isn't your average pup. He's quite human. He remembers. He'd grieve.
- How can Clint be a reason why not? He's actually the #1 reason because... I felt it. I felt the loss, the grief. I felt complete darkness and loneliness. My life forever changed and will never go back to how it was before. I would never wish that hurt on anyone, so I vow not to be.
Make your list. Read it. Read it again.
You may or may not have heard my story. Spoiler alert...it's one of survival. I started my own little celebration day three years ago when I survived a 20+ foot fall down an empty shaft. Each year on May 17, I like to celebrate the survivors among us. This year, I am celebrating these two precious beings.
Charlie and Chris were born at 28 weeks and spent the first few months of their lives fighting, surviving. Chris spent three months in the hospital to finish developing his sweet, premature body. Little Miss Charlie had an even more dramatic debut into the world...women are like that sometimes. We need to keep everyone on their toes.
While in the NICU at McLeod hospital in Florence, SC, it was discovered that Charlie had a narrowed aorta and had to be transferred to MUSC NICU in Charleston, SC. She needed heart surgery, but had to be at least five pounds before the doctors would operate. So fight she did. She fought for weight. She fought against her underdeveloped heart. She fought for survival. Once ready, one heart surgery wasn't enough for our Fighter of the Year, she had to go under again for a heart cath...but a SURVIVOR was born.
When a small child fights for survival, I know from first-hand experience that his/her parents suffer most. Chris and Charlie will not remember those days in the hospitals. They will not remember the surgeries, doctors, poking and prodding. They will not remember the long nights and traumatic days. But Mom and Dad will. Mom and Dad, Abby and Wade, will always remember the moment their children were born. They'll remember the fear and helplessness they felt as their children fought for their lives. They'll remember the financial burdens and the long travel between Chris in Florence and Charlie in Charleston. They'll remember their pleas to God to help their precious babes. Chris came home a month before Charlie, so these newlywed parents had to split their time, barely sleeping or surviving themselves.
But the joy comes with the morning.
When Chris and Charlie entered the world, a whole family of survivors was born. Wade, Abby, Chris and Charlie, all had to learn to survive. And they did. On Christmas day 2017, Charlie came home and the Reynolds family became whole for the first time. Today, we celebrate this family of survivors. We celebrate your tenacity, your love, and your witness. Thank you for sharing your story.
"Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5