A Lesson in Inner Strength
My Girl: A Lesson in Inner Strength
One of the greatest joys in my life is being a mother. When my daughter was born 21 years ago I found myself in the “learn as I go” mode most of the time. As a matter of fact, I still learn as I go because just when I think I have it all figured out somebody changes the game plan. Somehow we’ve managed to learn and grow together as mother and daughter. From the time she was born it was apparent that she would march to the beat of her own life drum; I was there to offer advice, lend a hand or sit quietly and listen to the music.
In the early years of our journey together, she blessed me with her wit and humor and as she grew in size, so did the amount of love and compassion that grew in her heart. I knew early on that she was special, not because she was mine rather in spite of being mine; her love for others was unconditional, deep and full of purpose. When she was in middle school she was physically assaulted by a male classmate and instead of following mine and her daddy’s lead of wanting the boy punished she offered forgiveness and asked administration to give him a second chance. She continued to bless those around her with an unconditional love that at times filled my soul with pride and other times left me feeling inferior because quite frankly I struggled with that; she became my teacher, my inspiration.
Today my girl is no longer little; she is 21. Soon she will begin her fourth year of college, something most would think an ordinary event, and however, for her the road to year four has been full of bumps and surprises. In the past six months she has endured sickness, medical tests, emergency room visits, and a fear of not knowing what it was that holding her body hostage and making her so sick that at times she could barely move. The diagnosis finally came, a rare condition brought on by mono. Filled with relief we rejoice that in time her body will heal and she will be whole again we take each day one step at a time focusing on her, our family and how this experience has changed us; it has made us better. We are a stronger family unit appreciating the most ordinary of events knowing that each moment is a gift to be treasured.
Reflecting on this experience (up to this point) I stand in awe of my girl. Not once did she think about giving up. Her dad and I suggested she take a medical withdrawal from school, something we thought to be logical and practical. “I think I can do this”, she said “I’m not ready to give up”. She persevered, taking the necessary steps to insure that she was granted a medical extension and finished her semester with passing grades; an accomplishment I would not have been able to do. She is strong, determined and focused. To say that I am proud of her would be an understatement. Her determination and focus surpass anything I could have imagined. Nights spent in the hospital emergency room, days of being unable to get to class, studying from her bed, enduring weight loss and more, she never gave up. Once again she proved that she is made of the tough stuff.
When she entered college I couldn’t imagine what life would throw our way in such a short time. I was proud of her then and even more so today, not because of her academic accomplishments (that’s a given) but because of who she is, what she stands and for her enduring spirit that never gives up. She is one of the greatest joys of my life, the best part of her dad and I and a beacon of light for so many who face challenges. She has taught me more than I could ever imagine; sometimes those lessons were difficult to learn but necessary none the less.
I remember reading Winnie the Pooh books to my girl when she was little. She loved those stories and would often ask me to read them again and again. So in honor of her I share one of my favorite quotes from her childhood; one that I shared with her often. “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ~Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh.
For those of you who face challenges I encourage you to reach deep into your soul to find the strength that I know you have. Embrace challenges as a gift; one that will make you stronger and allow you to overcome. We all possess inner strength; it’s up to us to find it and use in order to be our very best.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!