When I first found out about the big C, I fell into a pit of despair. The pity questions were endless: Why me? Why does everything bad happen to me? Needless to say that did no good. Eventually, I wound up looking up inspirational quotes to help me get through. I will say that the one that has stuck with me has been attributed to many sources and many different versions throughout the internet: The devil whispers to the warrior, “you can’t handle the storm.” To which the warrior replies, “I am the storm.”
I spent time reflecting on the true meaning of this today. My life has been the devil whispering these things to me. I was born with a congenital heart disease, I acquired a seizure disorder through a head injury at age 9, I totaled my mother’s car at age 15 and the next day had my first Grand Mal seizure, at age 17 I lost my mother to cancer, a series of ups and downs including past addiction problems, open heart surgery at age 39, a series of bad relationships/life choices and cancer at the age of 42. That my friends was the storm the devil whispered to me.
To that I replied, “I am the storm.” I will not let bad things happen to me. I will overcome. I started making good choices. I put my head down and kept my chin up. I kept moving forward. At the end of the day, if I die tonight I will die satisfied with what I have done on this earth and that is a good feeling.
However, I am not done yet. If this experience has done anything it has taught me that I can conquer anything. There’s a sense of retribution of kicking the ass of the disease that killed my mother. There’s a sense of satisfaction that I get from looking at all the bad things that have happened and, let’s be clear I know some of which were from my own poor choices, that I can change anything about myself that I do not like. There’s a sense of empowerment that stems from, God willing, I can live the life I want. Finally, there’s a sense of love and acceptance that comes from the knowledge that as I fighter I might be able to win a fight but with the people on my side that were there by my side I can win any war.
I doubt that any of this is as life changing as it has been for me. I’ve learned many valuable lessons and achieved goals that I believed at one time to be impossible. That being said, I achieved another goal today: I get to rejoin my friends at work tomorrow. I get to go back to my passion. I just pray that time does not erode those hard learned lessons and fuels me daily.