Thursday, April 12, 2012

Here's to You, Tricia

To all of my loyal followers(Mom and Grandma), it seems that I have fallen off the face of the planet. Or at least fallen off the responsibility of my blog. When I began this, as usually is the case with me, I had grandiose visions of what it could and would be, because of a culmination of frustrations that I thought would provide endless topics of interest. However, the blog has become, as I said before, a responsibility. And one that I have not been good at maintaining. I fear that blog posts will become more infrequent as summer approaches and I get out of my school, the one place that allows me to be trapped with nothing to do but seek an outlet. 

But I do have a topic, and as you may have guessed from the photo, it concerns courage. You may have also guessed it concerned cowardice, and in a way, the two are united by a polar relationship, but what I will speak on today concerns the more admirable trait. Then again, I think it is the less common one, so the opportunity to write about it is like a bird watcher finding a dodo. Well not quite, but you get what I mean.

This weekend I will be going home for the first time since Christmas, the longest such gap I have ever had. Part of it is a car that is rapidly losing my confidence. Another part is me priming myself for the more expansive periods of time I will be from home. A final part is an actual emotional separation. I have slowly changed in the way that I feel that I do not have a static "home," so being out and about is more comfortable than being with the familiar, as I have said in previous posts. 

So what prompted my decision to come home? Why, it is so that I can witness courage.

My cousin(technically second, but even cousin feels too separate for the relationship) Tricia and her mother will be visiting the area so that she can speak to the members of her former church. If you do not know her, you may ask why does she deserve an audience? And the answer is simple: she is one of the most courageous people I have met. 

I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when my grandma called me to tell me that Tricia's husband Robb passed away in his sleep. The feeling of dread has still never entirely left me since that phone call. It was one of those moments that lead some people to seek out a higher power, because there can be no reason capable of human understanding as to why something so horrific would happen. They are such good people. And no "they" became "her."

Tricia, amazingly, survived the ordeal, but continues fighting everyday with that loss and the job of being a widow raising two young boys. She of course has help, but that battle is nearly insurmountable. Yet she continues to climb. 

And while it is not hard for you to immediately see the courage in this situation, there is still more. Tricia started a blog detailing how she felt during the whole situation, how she missed Robb and what it was like raising two young boys. She put herself out there for all to see, and will do so again in front of a large audience at her church this Friday. 

I cannot speak for Tricia, but as I imagine it all, this does not feel like courage to her. I imagine that it started out as a release for her. When Robb passed, her emotions likely were bubbling up constantly and spilling out in ways she did not enjoy, so she had to channel them somehow. I believe that's how the blog started. And for a while, it was probably one of the best forms of therapy. At that point, it's true, there may not have been courage involved, because she was doing it for herself. 

But as her blog developed, so did her audience. And what started as a release became a retreat for others. Tricia had to become transparent for others so that they could read into her lives and draw inspiration into their own. As a fellow(yet very amateur) blog writer, I know the difficulty that comes with the transition of this being for you becoming a responsibility for others. And while I make general observations about humanity, Tricia posts the ins and outs of her life, and there is some incredibly personal stuff on there. 

And what's even more courageous, she has allowed herself to develop as a writer and as a person through all of it. She's getting buzz about book deals and readings and all kinds of things. People want to hear her, and she's letting them. Let me break this down for you.

She had the courage to: 
1. Blog about a very personal event
2. Let this personal event be a responsibility for others, and not just herself
3. Embrace this awful event as an opportunity grow as a person and as a contributor to this world.

What likely would have knocked all of us on our asses for years, maybe even a decade, has in a little over a year, become an undeniable source of inspiration for thousands and thousands of people because of Tricia's courage to take that blow and in turn, knock it on its ass. If fate had a hand in Robb's passing, I bet it did not know what kind of woman it was dealing with. 

So here's to you, Tricia, with your glowing smile and your charming laugh. Here's to your transparency and your incessant will to help. Here's to your determination to not let this thing beat you. Here's to your being a mother, and the caliber of mother you are. 

Lastly, here's to your courage, which will more than you can imagine, make believers out of so many people who don't know how to believe. We can look to you and know that sometimes, even when it seems impossible, we have to just believe.  

Love you, Cousin. See you Saturday.

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