There is a Huge Difference .....

iraq_war.jpg.... between a battle and a war.

But unfortunately, when you're in a war .... there are many, many battles to fight.

I am not sure what your beliefs are ..... I don't think our differing beliefs will matter as I write this.  At least I hope they won't.  

I write to speak out .... to share my guts with you.  All of you.  And we all "get IT" .... in spite of what we believe, or what we don't believe.  And that's the bottom line.
You "get" me.
As I "get" you.
And with this post, I am going to share what I believe.
What gets me through.

I  (and when I say "I",  I mean "we") .... am in a war.
A huge freakin' war.
This war most likely started the day I was born.  But at this moment in time, and for this post,  I'm saying that the "war" began on December 18, 2007.  Somewhere around 2:00 in the morning.
That's when Jim's life ended .... and the war for mine ..... began.

I think this war will continue .... until the day I die.
And on that day .... I will have won the war.
Because I'm not giving in.
I'm not waving the white flag.
I'm not surrendering.
I will NOT let the "other side" win.

I have not always felt this way.
I am amazed that I'm still here.
Amazed that I'm stronger than I ever was.
Amazed that I did not wave the white flag.
Because I wanted to.
Very, very much.

The pain of being widowed is too much to explain.
Too much to understand.
Too much to see.
Too much to live through.
It's just too damn much.

And not only have I been shoved into this war for my life, but I've had to fight many battles since the end of 2007.
I am very exhausted from all of the fighting.
From all of the battles.
But I won't give up.

The first battle, was the battle Jim's surgeon told me about ..... only seconds after he told me how sorry he was that Jim had died.  How shocked he was to see that the surgery was a train wreck before it even began.
In one breath he told me how I lost my husband.
In the next, he told me that I'd most likely lose my children.
All 6 of them.
Bedside manner ..... he had not.

He was very concerned that what killed Jim, might also kill our children.
And he made no bones about it.
He said that it was mandatory that I set up CT scans for all of them.
And that they will have to scanned regularly .... for the rest of their lives (which, hopefully, will be long. Much longer than Jim's).

That was the first battle.
We survived the first scans.
It's now time for the second round.

The next battle I entered ..... was only a couple of months after Jim died.
His mother .... our mother .... had heart surgery.
She never really recovered.
She died shortly before what would have been their 50th wedding anniversary.  Shortly before what would have been our 25th.
Less than 5 months after he died.
I was with her when she died.
I told her that I envied her.
And I told her to tell Jim that I loved him .... and that I was doing well.
Yes,  I told her to lie to Jim. 
About the "doing well" part .... not about loving him.  :)

The next battle was the on-going, never-ending remodeling of our home.
I had put it off year after year because I knew it would be miserable.  After Jim died I figured I couldn't feel any more miserable, be at any point lower in my entire life, so I decided to have it done.
I'm still not sure if that was a good decision or not.

Then I battled with our 2nd son (5th child).  He was supposed to start military school the January after Jim died.  But I let him stay home .... and told him he had a 2nd chance to improve his grades.  And he did not.  So he went to military school in August.
And spent the next 9 months giving me hell.
I still think that was the right decision.

Then,  barely over a year after Jim's death, I found out that I had a tumor in my hip.  But that it probably wasn't cancerous.  And wouldn't be too difficult to remove.
I went into the hospital thinking I'd have to stay one night .... and went home 5 days later.
And the tumor?  Oh, it was cancer.
But, it was a "good" cancer (?) which would never appear anywhere else in my body and would most likely never reappear in my hip.
After one year of regular MRI's .... I was given the "all clear".
My MD isn't all that comfortable with that so we'll probably continue to monitor it.
But the surgery .... and the aftermath .... was pure hell.
And I remained in hell for a very long time.
All while I tried to grieve the death of my husband.

See, that's the thing ..... I was so busy fighting all of these battles for the first year and a half, that I didn't have time to just grieve .....

There have been other battles since then.  Too many to list.
Last week, I found myself entering another one.
I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
After all this time .... and all of these battles, nothing seems to surprise me now.
Sadden me?
Scare me?

It's just another battle.  Of course, this one will last the rest of my life, but I intend to win it, too.
Or at least to fight it the best way I can.

I don't write this post to say "poor me".

We are all in this war.
And we have all had our battles.
You name it.  We've fought it.

But here's the important thing.
We're still here.
Are you paying attention here?
Because, damnit!!! .... That's worth repeating!
Say it with me ....

I know that there's a huge war going on for my life .... for my soul.
But my enemy will NOT win it.
I bet he thought he would.
I would've bet that he would.
I think many of my friends thought he would.

But he has not.
And he won't.

Because I am not alone in this war.
I have you.
You have me.
And I have God.
Even when I didn't feel Him there .... He was there.

We are all soldiers in the same war.
We fight the same enemy.
We have different battles, but the war is the same.

And it's a war that I damn well intend to win.
And I intend to be here to help you win yours.
We will win.
We are stronger than we thought we were.
And we will not be beat.

We might lose a few battles .....
But we WILL win this war.

And I am prouder than I can say .... to fight this war next to you.

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