“It’s like the seventh inning stretch, Mom,” Damon said to me this morning, this seventh year anniversary mark of his accident.
Perfect, I thought. I am feeling it. That stretch. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally.
Stand up. Regroup. Reassess. Readjust. Take it all in. Stretch.
Seven years in and Damon is well. He’s healthy. He’s happy. But, most importantly, he’s comfortable in his new skin. He accepts where he is now. He believes in where he’s going. He’s strong. He’s smart. He has this uncanny ability to draw others in. To make them smile. To make them laugh. To make them feel so special, they come back for more. For more of whatever it is he has that makes them feel so good.
Seven years in and I have finally found my peace. Regrets have turned into anticipation. Sadness has changed to joy. My blessings of today have begun to surpass the hell of yesterday. What is has finally overtaken what could have been. I’m ok now. I’m really ok.
This past year I was on a mission to re-find me. Or perhaps re-invent me. And I have. A me I like a lot better than the me 7 years ago. A me who has learned so many things about life and love; hope and faith; beauty and ugliness; honesty; compassion…the real kind not just the lip service kind; weakness; strength; what’s authentic and what’s a facade; what matters and who doesn’t; and how to be real to others and true to myself.
In this past year I’ve shed people and places and their truths and their lies. I’ve shed walls that imprisoned me and a past that controlled me. Only when I let go of the monsters inside of me did I find the beauty outside of me. The glow to finally eliminate much of the darkness.
In this seventh inning stretch I reach high for the future I’ve always wanted and thought for most of these past seven years I was no longer capable of having. A future now in sight. I reach for my childhood dreams to become reality…. fairy tales and white horses, a real life love story, and a happily ever after, despite what’s happened….or maybe, in some twisted fucked up way, because of what’s happened.
I try to wrap my mind around the future of this boy who laughs, who loves purely and completely, who feels only happiness and nothing else. A gift so graciously bestowed upon him, to never feel sadness or anger or depression or frustration. Debilitating loss after devastating loss after shocking loss after unfair loss, and the closest he has ever come to showing a different emotion is to say, “That’s sad, Mom. If I could feel sadness, I definitely would be sad right now.”
Of course our story hasn’t ended. We are only stretching. We are only kneading muscles and relieving aches. We have innings to go. Love to give. Chapters to write. But what a difference now to look at our life as though we’re winning and not playing just to catch up. We’re confident. We’re thankful. Our energy has changed. And we’re up to bat.
Thank you for supporting us through these seven years. We love you all so much.