I’ve kept mostly mum about Dan because he is such a private person and so very humble. Our lives are that new normal I’ve written about before. Our new normal, frankly, can be challenging. It isn’t that Dan has only one arm, and it isn’t even that he lost so much and had so much skin grafting. It’s more that we went through that. It’s more that he can’t have a back pain without my whole being wanting to shut down. And then, he doesn’t dare to be anything but top notch. He doesn’t want to scare me. It’s a bit of a cycle.
I learned to take deep breaths and focus on the immediate. I also learned a lot of other things.
One of Danny’s big mantras is that neither of us really changed, and in that, he’s right.
Our essence has not changed. People who know Dan knew that he would be fine, that he would be the man to beat the odds and to live life so fully. There was no attitude adjustment needed there.
For me, I have always been a positive, upbeat, big picture person. That came in very handy during those difficult times. I see that now, very clearly. If I’d been someone to worry over details, I think things would have been very different. The details, for months on end, were horrifying. I chose to look at the present, and that he was alive. I chose to look at how lucky we were to have so much support. I chose to look at the things I could hold as hope. Mostly, that was that he was alive.
That day, February 11, 2011, when I was told that he would not survive, my first thought was “how lucky I have been to have loved and to have been loved by such an amazing man. How lucky we have been.” Of course, I was in shock. That helped. But it really was my first thought.
I do miss connecting with all the people who posted on Caringbridge, who sent letters, cards, thoughts. It’s a strange thing to miss outside of that it was the most beautiful example of all that is so beautiful in life.
I have written five versions of this post. Some are deeply personal, philosophical, meandering, pedantic, personal. Too personal. Too personal for this. I think. I’m still ruminating. This blog has been my way of crafting my thoughts so that I can understand them. Some of those thoughts are worth sharing, but it’s so hard to know which ones. I have been mostly blogging about my growth as a teacher, but that is also about how I am growing as a human.
So, here is how we are. We are essentially the same. We have new routines, some that limit us, some that connect us, some that...don’t. We’re both even more passionate about life, more understanding of some things, less so of others. We’re both happy. We’re working on so many things, excited and growing as teachers but also stopping a lot to look at sunsets, sunrises and the beauty that surrounds us.
To share my goals and gratitude:
Goals: to open up a bit more in this blog, show myself more.
Gratitude: the love of family, friends, community, and the gifts of being an educator.