Question: Have you ever been foolish enough to wonder if it’s possible to have your heart ripped out of your chest and survive? Have your spouse of almost 20 years tell you what mine told me, on March 18, 2009, and you’ll know.
The short answer? Yes.
The long answer? Keep reading this blog.
Another question: How had everything I’d lived through from March 2009-July 2009 not (physically) killed me? How had I not at least had a heart attack?
Followed immediately by another query: How can it be possible to have the rug ripped out from under you, lose your entire life, get thrown off a cliff, survive the fall but land in the biggest giant mess of carnage and sewage imagineable, be hated by many who knew you and many who didn’t for simply surviving the fall and continuing to exist and still survive? (To maintain the integrity of this blog and my life, I should clarify much of the above is simply descriptive language. I didn’t actually get thrown off a cliff, but it sure felt like it! However, losing the “rug” underneath the existence of my life and the “filth” of crime, media coverage and publicity, hatred and vilification, being unrighteously judged by others, and everything else…I completely stand by!:)
Question: Andrea, how do you get up every morning? How do you get out of bed every day? I know you don’t sleep anymore, I know you haven’t slept since March 17, 2009…but how do you get out of bed and face what is now your life? (This question I didn’t just come up with on my own. Many people, good friends, had been asking me that one for a few months.)
There are two answers to all of the above questions, really. Two reasons why I didn’t lay down and die or wander off into the sunset somewhere like, I admit, I was tempted, on occasion, to do. Two reasons I didn’t quit or give up. Two reasons why I got out of bed each morning to face another day in the life I certainly never chose and would never have forced on anyone else (even someone who hated me.) Two reasons I chose to live my unexpected life. (Because I firmly believe “to live” is a choice. I’m talking about truly living, not just existing, but carrying on and “blooming” wherever you’re planted.)
One answer is my children. I survive for them. Everything I do, I do for them. To teach them how to live a good life, the right kind of life we all should be living–no matter what happens to us. To give them a shot at having a future. To help them achieve their potential and continue to achieve their dreams. I mean, after all, your dreams shouldn’t change or die just because your life does.
The second answer is because of how I was raised and what I had been taught, especially by the example of the strong women in my family who had gone before me. Truly, it was they who taught me to carry on NO MATTER WHAT by not just what they said, but by what they did.
I couldn’t believe it. Another bolt of lightening. (And thankfully, again, no unfortunate Harry Potter-esque facial scar!:)
I realized, as I drove my Subaru from Colorado to Utah, that I had the misfortune to be the THIRD generation of Colorado women in my family who had disaster strike, got handed an unexpected life they wouldn’t wish on ANYONE, and left Colorado for Utah to begin again!
How had I never realized that before?
What kind of heritage had I been handed?
And I realized, also in that moment (but not for the first time): a DARN good one!
I actually WAS prepared as much as anyone could have been. I had been taught, by those who had gone before me, what to do and how to do it with grace and dignity. I had been raised by incredible women who practiced what they preached, who carried on in the face of adversity. I was going to do what they had done. Because they had done it, too.
THAT is why I knew it was possible to have your heart ripped out of your chest and survive. THAT is how I knew you could crawl out of the deepest hole of the best sewage life has to offer. And THAT is why it never occurred to me to do anything but get out of bed each and every morning and carry on.
That is why I kept driving to Utah.