The roller coaster of life...

We never know how crossing the path of another may change our own life.

Today I opened a card from an old high school friend. A thank you card of sorts. This friend of mine has been battling breast cancer and she thanked me for my blog, for talking about my youngest, for giving her strength. I am both touched and in awe.

We all are given burdens to bear. We never really know to what heights we can rise until we are put in the position where we have no choice, wither or rise.

I love roller coasters. When I was pregnant with my youngest, we took the kids to Disneyland and I rode all the roller coasters knowing that it would be the last time I would ride a roller coaster for some time. At that time, I had no idea that years would go by before I had the opportunity again. Life can be like riding a roller coaster with your eyes closed, filled with twists and turns, never knowing what is coming next. We are continually jostled around, sometimes feeling weightless and the bottom drops out below us. We show our true selves in the times of the most difficulties, whether we stand up and take the issue head on or turn our backs and run. You never know how much you can withstand until you have to make this choice. Sometimes it is a choice of life or death.

I think about the times when our youngest was spending a lot of time in the hospital. I blogged every day as a way to deal with the larger issues and process what was happening. At that time, although others read and kept up with his trials, it was a way for me to think and process. I knew that there were many times that his life was at stake. I had many friends with children affected with the same disease that had to hold their children while they drew their last breath and gained their angel wings. I know this is a potential reality in our life, although I hope to never be in the position where I have to make a choice about my son that doesn't involve life.

We are all confronted by our own mortality at some point. Whether it is something as simple as thinking about what we would do with our property and making a will, or something more profound. What do we do when life isn't turning out as we expected?

Think about a time when you were young, you had a vision of your life as an adult. Whether it was to be a fireman or a ballerina, in your mind, you could imagine what life would be like. I try to remember my vision and ironically, I have no memory. Maybe it was because my life was so crazy, I couldn't imagine something beyond, or maybe it's just my memory is bad! Needless to say, at one point I remember wanting to have children and have a life I could be proud of. Everything seemed to be on pointe until my youngest was born. That was when I had to learn, as an adult, what I was really made of. Others, confronted with the same decisions, may have chosen something different. Maybe they would have felt that it was too difficult caring for such a medically fragile baby. I am not saying that one intentionally gives up, but rather they don't believe they have the strength to fight. This turn on the roller coaster is so sharp, they can't compensate.

Finding out what you are made of is of the utmost importance. If you aren't challenged in life, then you may never know what you can withstand. I know now that I can handle anything. When push comes to shove, I can stand on my own two feet, I can advocate for myself and those I love. If you are never confronted with your won mortality or that of one you love, you will never know what you were built to bear.

We all have an inner strength inside us...whether we access that strength is often determined by our mind, if we think we can "handle" it. We have to retrain our mind to believe what is really true. We are stronger that we believe, we can do things beyond what we know...we can process things in a new way. The strongest organ in our body is our mind...we can retrain it to believe we can handle difficult things. Only then will we truly have peace.

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