This time leading up to December 14th, specifically the weeks after Thanksgiving, is always a bit harder than every other day. It is a real reminder of what could have easily been our last days, weeks-a reminder that it was for 26 precious lives. It's a reminder that so much was permanently, inextricably, forever, changed.
Everyday of my life I will move forward. I will never move on.
I have found over the past 3 years, 11 months and 17 days that when something horrible happens in your life it becomes wholly a part of you. So deeply ingrained like the ring a coffee cup makes on a table, or the crack in a bone after it has been broken-it is, you are, never the same. And so, you move forward-but you don't move on.
You don't move on because you can't. Because what has happened becomes every second of every minute of every single day. But you do move forward, and if you are lucky you do so in a way that actually strengthens and bolsters you because you come to realize that you are able to move forward in spite of it, in the face of it-regardless of the fact that it consumes every ounce of your being. That's when you realize how powerful you are. You are still standing, breathing, loving, growing, hoping. You. Still. Are.
And that's when you learn that life is not the things that knock us down. It's not the moments that literally take our breath away. It's not the moments where we are sure we will not be able to go on. Instead it's the moment(s) after. Where we come to realize that the darkness, the loss, the deep void-is not what defines us. But that it is how we choose to react. The choice to move forward, not on. We can each make that choice for ourselves to decide that the things that happen to us, do not have to define us.