After you experience a traumatic event, a loss, or a big "life thing", you are not the same person any more. For example, if you became a solider and went to war, you did not return as the unknowing person you were before you experienced the unimaginable terror of war. If you have ever experienced anything out of the ordinary, like being put into foster care, surviving a major illness, losing a family member, etc., you just can't go back to who you were before those things happened. You are different now. You have no choice but to move on. But how?
The state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal or difficult circumstances.
We are all survivors. We survived (for better or worse) our childhoods, middle and high school, lima beans, and our siblings. Many have survived broken homes, even when mom took the girls and dad took the boys, and drove off in heartbreaking different directions to their new homes. Sometimes we survived family members who died, or those who needed around the clock care for years. Sometimes we survived unthinkable things. If you let yourself really sit with that concept, there are countless scenarios surrounding survival. I suspect you've experienced a few.
When you are through the nightmare or whatever transition you've moved through, you have to decide who you have now become. THAT is your survival. It was the most unexpected piece of being a survivor I experienced. It was my biggest surprise when I was widowed many years ago. That decision you make of "who are you now?" becomes your survival.
I expected to just carry on as the person I had always been. But I didn't fit in those shoes any more. (You can try though! Goodness knows, I did) I couldn't figure out what had changed. I was still me, he was the one who was gone. Why was I clinging so desperately to being me, but "me" just kept slipping through my fingers??
Well, because I no longer WAS me! I was only pieces of me. Instead of being married, I was widowed. And instead of having a husband, I had none. Instead of my daughters having a father, they only had a mom. Instead of having two incomes, I had only my own. Oh! Now I was getting someplace. I was different!! I had to create the new me, the widowed me. The single mom, me. And the whatever else I wanted to be, me. I had to rewrite the description for me!
So, if you are facing survival right now, you must first decide this one important thing:
Who are you now?
Character introduction for this post are my beautiful momma and dad. They loved each other enough for my dad to go to war and my mom to wait stateside for his return to marry in 1942. They survived The Great Depression, World War II, us three kids, thirty plus moves around the country for my dad's job, losing their parents and siblings, and later losing their son, and momma's major stroke. That's a pretty good survivor's list! I came from their wonderful "warrior's stock" and thus had fabulous examples of morals, integrity and love.
Thanks to Don & Fran Taylor. I love you, momma and daddy. And I miss you every day.
The book is dedicated to my mom, who began to encourage me to "write a book" from the time I was 14 years old. I had no idea what I'd write about, but I'm pretty sure she did. Momma was one tough cookie. As different as we were, she has always been one of my main heroes. I'm so happy to be able to fulfill her request, at long last.