Today's writing prompt is: "Me." I can't tell you how hard of a time I've had with this one. I write every day about my loss, my challenges, my occasional triumphs. But I don't really think a lot about who I am now. How the changes I have gone through affect who I see myself as today. I was reminded of a quote:
"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are." (Bernice Johnson Reagon)
So I thought about it for a bit, and I came around to thinking that who I really am is a product of so many things, not just losing Ryan.
I'm a daughter of two supportive and loving parents. We have challenged each other. And they have pushed me to grow into all of the things I am today. My sense of humour, love of reading, confidence, and strength are all due largely to these two. They were the first to teach me how to love.
I'm a sister. A middle sister in between two incredible women. One with a family all her own. Who worries too much, but worries out of the most loving of places. The other just starting to carve out her place in the world and doing it one giant step at a time. All of my diplomacy I developed from years spent "stuck in the middle" of their big, beautiful personalities. And all of my silliness I had the pleasure of practicing for them for 30 years.
I'm a friend to so many different people all around the world. Some I've known since before we could talk. They've taught me about loyalty. Others I grew up with and learned about life from. Newer friends I've met through tragedy have shown me how to be strong in the face of disaster. How to embrace sadness. And how it's possible to help others when you yourself need to be helped, too.
I'm a teacher. And in teaching, I learn a little bit every day. I learn compassion. Patience. Motivation. Determination. And that it's okay to make mistakes, as long as you're always learning.
I'm a wife to a man who I once believed to be out of my league. But who was so obviously put here on this earth specifically for me. He has taught me to find calm instead of craziness. To be flexible instead of immovable. He has brought out every bit of goodness inside of me. I'm that much better for being his.
I'm a mother. My motherhood has deepened every part of who I am. I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. More patient than I ever have been. I have discovered what true friendship really is. I am so determined to honour my son in Heaven, and continue to grow my family here on earth. I am unafraid of sadness. And cautiously optimistic for the future. I am both supported and supportive.
Most importantly, by being a mom to an angel, I can love more deeply than humanly possible. Because my love transcends earth.