Breathless, waiting for dawn

waiting for dawn
Just north of Trinidad, Colorado on Interstate 25, October 26, 2019, 6:31 a.m.

“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been — if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you — you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

I don’t even know what to say about the last few weeks yet.

It’s a very difficult situation that isn’t over. Every day brings hope for recovery or devastating setbacks.

I’ve never truly known what Susan and Lucy felt until Wednesday night three weeks ago during some of the worst.

There’s not much I want to say about it right now in this digital space because it’s not my story to tell, but if you pray, please pray. Or send good vibes.

Most people in my life who have been sick like this were old, so I could comfort myself with reminders of the life we shared. Or they had cancer or another terminal illness. Everyone close to them was told about it months before, and we had time to prepare for the inevitable.

This has been none of those things.

On that Wednesday night three weeks ago, I lived through a dark night of the soul, which is something I really only knew about intellectually because I majored in English literature in college — until now. And I don’t say this to ask for sympathy or to be dramatic.

But I also realized… even if the worst happened, that I regret nothing.

I don’t regret my move to Texas back in 2015. It was the beginning of my healing.

I don’t regret loving my hero-mentor person so deeply because it ultimately became a healthier, solid relationship and he became like my adopted dad, even if it began with so many unanswered childhood questions and me being rather clingy.

I always knew it was a risk to love that much. I asked myself many times if I could handle that. But over the last six years, I opened my heart to community and healing, despite how many times I’d been hurt in the past.

I didn’t know if I could not shatter if I lost it all. But I realized I could. Because of everything this person taught me. And I won’t ever lose that.

I wouldn’t have had this resilience even a year ago. (Yay therapy.)

I kept thinking about this picture I took on my roadtrip through Colorado last month. I’d been driving from north Texas since I woke up shivering around 3:30 a.m. I spent that night camping in my car at an RV park north of Amarillo with my dog curled up next to me.

I drove through that last part of the night before light stretches out on the horizon, through the infinite blackness of space.

And then comes the dawn. I stopped for gas at a small town just over the Colorado-New Mexico state line, and stood there hugging myself waiting for my tank to fill up since it was only 20 degrees. I watched the faint purple crack form between my mountains and the open sky, with a sliver of moon hanging over it.

Somehow I knew I’d need to remember the cold, breathless waiting for dawn.

I’ve had at least half a dozen epiphanies forged through pain and heartbreak these last few weeks, and I’m not quite ready to write about any of them yet, but someday I will be.

I’ll leave you with some wise words my friend Mary said a few weeks ago:

“The journey looked like deciding that some good things are worth holding even if they don’t stay good forever. The journey looked like discovering at the end of myself what things can’t be taken away.”

Thank you all for supporting me through maybe one of the most difficult things I’ve ever faced.

You’ve let me cry and cried with me, and sat there while I told my whole life story and why I am where I am today. I needed that. Thank you.

Please keep supporting the people who mean so much to me, too. I know it’s been so long and exhausting for everyone involved.

Please don’t stop. This is a time when they really need it.

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