In a moment of silence, in the predawn hours, I ponder how many emotions have filled our trip. There has been joy at hugging a close friend, sadness at feeling life crushing down on a loved one, there has been exhaustion from miles on the road, and desperation at plans being unfulfilled. I have felt almost every emotion on this trip and while it has not been a 100% percent pleasant, it makes me feel alive to be able to feel all those emotions. At the end of the day I know I did my best in all circumstances of this trip and really that is all you can ask of yourself.
I could pretend that everything has gone perfectly to plan on this trip and everything has been awesome, but my conquering mommas that would be a lie. The trip started out really well. Our trip to Colorado was fulfilling and uneventful. We laid under the stars and were embraced in hugs by those who love us, it doesn’t get much better than that. We arrived safely and enjoyed our visit with family and friends. The hardest part about living far away is that you worry about your family and you miss them. A dear family member of mine has been fighting cancer, I pray for her every day and my heart yearns for her not to have to go through this, but to watch her fight in person is a whole other level of laying it on my heart. She is so determined, so fierce, she is amazing, but you can see the moments in her face of exhaustion, of being tired of the fight, of wanting this just to be over, and watching the ones around her utterly helpless to her fight breaks your heart. You just want to take her in your arms and take it from her, because she doesn’t deserve this fight. But that brave woman is the definition of a conquering momma, so I know she will fight like hell.
This visit left me a bit raw, it was beautiful and exhausting. I was supposed to visit another loved one for a couple of days, but circumstances and timing made this visit a no go. I love to say that I roll with the punches, but having to miss this particular spot really cut me. I sat in my car crying hysterically as I punched another address in the GPS. I felt like a failure, a disappointment, I felt grief that this visit was not going to happen. I had travelled 1800 miles to see this person and just the way life had unfolded that week ripped any possibility of that out of my hands. Not only was I desperately sad, I knew the person at that destination was sad and disappointed as well. She did a good job of not making me feel bad, but I laid awake at night my heart hurting because not only did we not get to see her, she was going through her own troubles at that time. I worry about her and how us missing this visit made her feel and the fact that she has her own battles she is fighting on a daily basis, but I know she is a strong, amazing woman. She will always be the first conquering momma to me.
I am surrounded by conquering woman, maybe some of them know it, maybe some of them don’t. They don’t see themselves through my eyes, they see their faults, struggles, and everything in between. I see conquering mommas. I see the woman who loves her children fiercely, I see the woman who fought through illness after illness with such tenacity that I hoped if I ever had to face what she faced I would be that strong. I see their beauty both inside and out; my hope is that they do as well.
My emotional journey did not end there. After the sheer exhaustion, there was relief of a good night’s sleep, the joy of playing rocking music windows down taking in the scenery of Route 66 after seven hours on the road that day. It was laughing and screaming in the car with my children, while being so tired of being in the car. I could let the events of the previous week ruin the rest of my trip, but what does letting the bad events in life rule the tomorrows get us. It will only rob me of the joy of the moments I have going forward, so I refuse to let the bad events ruin my today. What is done is done. So many times, I have let what happened in the past effect my today, but I refuse to live like that. Whether my past was amazing or terrible it is in the past and I have to build a new today. I can never go back and relive the good moments and forget the bad, but I can use it to propel me into the future I want to have.
As I take in a sunrise over the Arizona mountains watching the jackrabbits spring about, I feel joy. There is nothing like sitting in nature whether it is a desert landscape, a pine filled mountain top, or the soft sound of water hitting the shore, there is peace there. I inhale the air and think of all the things I have to be thankful for and let go of all the things that weigh me down and for a moment I feel free. I will grab these moments as often as possible, because honestly this is the only life I get and I want to live it.
I saw this quote this week and it really stuck with me. "Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhale, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhale, and surrender to God.” – Sri T Krishnamacharya
This trip has taught me many things so far, but you have to be open to seeing, living, and learning with each experience. So today take a moment to center yourself, grab the day you have, and live.
Your Conquering Momma,