Strong enough

As I got home from the gym this morning, I opened Facebook and another one those “here’s your memory from years ago” popped up.  Another one from “before”.  Before Zoey.  This morning it was a run four years ago.  Recently, I’ve seen memories of past vacations.  And other races including a few sprint triathlons.  When I was much thinner and faster.  And clueless about what life was about to bring.  I look at those pictures and sometimes it bothers me that I don’t look like that anymore.  I’m heavier, more round in the middle.  More grey in my hair.  More wrinkles.  My body is bruised and scarred.  Much like my soul.  But then I think about what it’s done in the last few years.  It carried life.  A beautiful, miraculous, amazing life.  And I appreciate the scar I have to show for it.  And it’s carried the weight of grief—which at moments has felt like a physical weight.  I remember those early days where it took all of my energy just to get out of bed and to keep moving.  But my body remembered how.  So it did.  And gradually the physical exhaustion became less apparent.  Or my body got stronger and carried it more easily.  And I remember those moments in my life when I wasn’t able to stand on my own—walking out of the doctor’s office the day we first heard the words Trisomy 18 and right after I handed her body over.  But I did get up again.  My heart kept beating despite its broken pieces.  I want to look back on those pictures and appreciate where I was at that time.  And I want to look at the pictures of me now and appreciate that I’m strong enough to make changes.  Strong enough to keep moving forward.  And strong enough to carry the pain and still manage to find joy and hope.

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