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It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes, and leap

I’m through accepting limits, because someone said they’re so
Some things I cannot change, though till I try, I’ll never know
-Defying Gravity, Wicked

I am fiercely stubborn. If you tell me I cannot, I will. If you tell me not to do the thing, guess who is going to do the freaking thing? I have a love/hate relationship with this trait. It makes me an awesome Hufflepuff because it means I will kick the butt of anyone who hurts my friends. At the same time, it makes it hard and painful to walk away from friendships that are not healthy for me.

I have trouble trusting my instincts. My entire life I’ve been told they’re wrong. That I need to do what the world tells me to do. Sit down, shut up, be quiet, be still. Even though all these things are literally physically difficult for me. I fidget. I stim. I’m vocal at times. But sometimes I trust that instinct. Sometimes I close my eyes, and leap.

As a disabled adult, I’ve been told so many things I can never do. I’m tired of accepting those limits. There are some limits I have accepted, and others I have not. I have accepted that I will never go back to college and never have a job. I refuse to accept that my life is not worth living. That I still can’t be an advocate and an activist. I refuse to accept that my life has no value, just because I cannot live up to what society says a “good person” should do, what society says someone who contributes to it is like.

I’m funny, I’m loyal, and yes, I’m disabled. I have the limits my own body and my health puts on me, and I have the bullshit limits the world puts on me. But you know what? Striking the balance is fine. Shouting out “NO” to the limits that everyone else tries to put on me, tries to pin me down with, is perfectly okay and perfectly acceptable. Because I, and only I, get to choose my limits. I get to choose what I can and cannot do. I get to decide. And that alone is a huge step. That alone is a big deal.

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when your ableism is about yourself

I’ve talked and talked about ableism. I’ve talked and talked about what bullcrap it is. I’ve written so many things about how much ableism has an affect on my life. I’ve said so many things about how much of an impact your ableism has on my own life….

And yet, the person I’m the most ableist is someone I see in the mirror every day. The person that I know the most intimately. The person who is intertwined with me…because that person is me. The person I’m hardest on? The person who I use ableist slurs at? That person is me.

It’s pretty common knowledge I withdrew from college. Largely because of my physical health at the time, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say my neurodivergent brain wasn’t also a factor.

Which is where my own ableism comes in.

I tell myself that if I had just pushed myself harder, I could have gotten that degree.

Which is bull, because if a friend had done the exact same thing, I wouldn’t dream of saying that to them.

Somehow, the words I would never utter to someone else, are magically OKAY when it’s about me.

[image description: drawing of an orca saying “Just because you had to drop out of school doesn’t mean you’re a failure.” in a gray speech bubble. Thank you to EMM not EMMA. on Facebook)

[image description: drawing of an orca saying “Just because you had to drop out of school doesn’t mean you’re a failure.” in a gray speech bubble. Thank you to EMM not EMMA. on Facebook)

In high school, I was told that I could do whatever I wanted. That my disabilities wouldn’t hold me back. In fact, I was told I minimized my “struggles” and didn’t fully grasp how much my disability impacted my life. This casual ableism, this micro- aggregation… became so twisted inside me, so much a part of who I was… that I likely stayed in college for far longer than I should have.

My own, personal ableism could have killed me. I tell myself my disabilities are no big deal, even though I’m totally and permanently disabled. I cannot work. Not only is my health too unstable, I’m likely to push myself on the days where I am well enough too much and land myself in the hospital. I was threatened at least once while in college that if I didn’t skip class, my doctor would put me in the hospital. My own, personal ableism is lethal.

I talk about the ableism I deal with from others on a regular day. But to admit that I am ableist about myself is hard, one of the hardest things I’ve ever said. I feel that people judge me, and think I’m just selfish or lazy because I can’t get a job. It isn’t for lack of wanting. I desperately want nothing more than to hold down my dream job. I want nothing more than to finish my college degree, but college is a world that is completely inaccessible for me. And THAT is terrifying to say, terrifying to admit. It’s like I’m saying I’m a failure, it’s like saying I’m worthless (see, there’s my own casual ableism at play once again).

My name is Nora, and I am ableist sometimes. And the person I pull down, the person I bash the most, is myself. The person who I judge the most for their disabilities, is me. If another friend were autistic, had my physical health list, had my same brain cooties, I would support them. I would tell them  they were good enough, they were enough. That it was okay they didn’t finish college. But the person who I cannot give that same advice to is myself.

Part of becoming a better person, a better advocate, a better activist, is learning to remove the ableism from my life. Even when it’s about me. This isn’t easy, but it’s something I’m trying to do. And admitting is the first step, right?

 

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Accepting Nora-mal

I have both acquired and congenital disability. That means that some of my disabilities I developed as I got older – like Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome and POTS. Others I was born with, like autism and NF. I’m also a millennial. I’m from the age of being told I can do anything I set my mind to. That I have to go to college and get my degree. I was literally told that because I was smart (despite autism, dysgraphia, and dyscalucia), I could do anything. Because I graduated with honors I was expected to do well in college. I ultimately dropped out due to my health, leaving behind a staggering $100K student loan debt.

At various times in my life, I’ve been accused of both minimizing and over-reporting my disability. I’ve been told that I can do anything and that I need to set limits for myself. I’ve been told that the only disability in life is a bad attitude (which you can read about why that’s bullshit here) and that I’m not disabled, I’m “differently abled” (which guess what? THAT’S BULLSHIT!). I’ve also been told, to my face, that because I’m disabled I should aim to be people’s inspiration. That’s inspiration porn, and, you guessed it, BULLSHIT.

Here’s the thing, folks. There’s nothing wrong with accepting I have limits. There’s nothing wrong with aspiring to do things. There’s nothing wrong with just being. It’s okay to try, it’s okay to fail, and it’s okay not to try. I have accepted that I will never have a college degree. No, online college is not an option. No, community college is not in the cards. No, a different school will not be a better fit.

Nora-mal is who I am. Not normal. Not different. I just am. And there’s nothing wrong with just being. There’s nothing wrong with not getting a degree. This is Nora-mal. This is what’s right for me. What’s right for me may not be right for you. You may choose to get a degree. You may not. You may think I’m capable of getting a degree. I’m not. I’m not capable of a degree or gainful employment. There’s nothing wrong with that because that’s just  the way things are.

For me, accepting that I’m disabled has made a difference in my mental health. Accepting that I have limits and that I cannot do all the things I was told I could do. That, for me, is a victory.

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Blast to the Past

So, I am currently sorting through old documents. It’s fun. I found a paper I wrote back in 2007 and I was caught off guard that I was this open and this vulnerable with a professor. I can assure you it wouldn’t happen today. But yet… it’s a perfect glimpse into who I was at the time.

So. Free reign of a journal topic, eh? Don’t you realize this is a dangerous thing to put in the hands of *full name*? I feel like I should insert an evil cackle here. Something sinister. But alas, I shall go on and ramble about something that likely has no importance. Not that is out of the ordinary, mind you. Anyway. Back on topic (like I had a topic to begin with!). I am annoyed with my father today. I know, this is a rather personal topic, but I need to get it off my chest. So I guess this is my chance to rant and whine, eh? (I’m sounding rather Canadian today. Blame it on spending 3 weeks in school in Windsor, Ontario). My father is… a bunch of words I cannot say in this paper. There are no nice words to describe him. He… I don’t even know how to put it. His last email sent me off the wall. He was saying crap like how I was his “best friend” (bullhockey), and how much he loved me. I hate his mind games. He treats you like crap, putting you down (this is the man who told me I wouldn’t make it in college!), and then turns around and says he loves you. Drives. Me. Batty. I finally got up the galls to tell him exactly what I thought of him, and man it felt good! Of course, I was polite. No use getting nasty back, eh? I told him I was no longer his punching bag. I would no longer allow his to push me around. Of course, he hasn’t emailed me back yet. Which means one of two things. Either he hasn’t made it to the library to read it yet (he’s not allowed to have a computer in his home – long story which isn’t fit for this journal entry), or I’ve royally ticked him off. I’m assuming the latter. Not like I care. He’s ticked me off enough times, and I’ve finally reached the final straw.  No more pushing Angelique around, no sir! I’ve had enough of his crap. In fact, I think I shall write a poem in his honour:

Sunshine and daises, butterflies and roses

Standing in church, striking our poses

Acting like all is fine and swell;

Ignoring the fact we’re living in hell

Your words wound the depths of my heart

Because of you, I’m falling apart

I reach out my hand, longing for your touch

You push me away, I’m asking too much

I’m your puppet, a victim of your game

Each day it goes on, each day it’s the same

You only care about one person – you

Not caring about what others are going through

I have learnt that you don’t matter at all

There’s others to pick me up when I fall

I have broke free of the past, free of the chains

Taken back control, grasping the reigns

I’m no longer the person you forced me to be

Time has passed on; and I’m finally free

That’s not the best of my poems, not by a longshot. But.. It’s jut something I had to get off my chest. I have far better poems, that one kind of… well, it sucks. But that’s okay. Anyway.  I do love my father, don’t get me wrong. But in the same way…. I hate him. Is that possible? To love someone so much that you hate him? To hate someone so much that you love him? Am I even making sense? I don’t know. All I know is I’m finally free of his sick mind games and cruel ways of being. I’m no longer his victim, a player in his game. He is finally out of my life (until he answers the next email, and these last few emails will likely be the last contact I ever have with me), and I am finally starting to achieve happiness.

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The day it all changed

There’s no cutesy graphic to go with this post. No Pinterest-worthy picture. My words are messy and garbled. I’m far from eloquent – not like I’m always an award winning writer. But lately, I’ve been reflecting on the day it all changed. The day everything I knew fell out from under me. The day where my hopes and dreams were shattered.

May 9th, 2011. Almost five years ago. My first back surgery. July 9th, 2013. The second back surgery due to complications from the first. But the May 9th surgery shattered everything. It changed. My life changed. My world was turned upside down. 

My life became more pain. More questions. Less answers. More specialists. I have an impressive scar down my back and a straighter spine but at what cost? 

Three years later. May 9, 2014. It was supposed to be the best day of my life. My college gradatuon. Didn’t happen. Due to that back surgery. 

And now. Two years later. 

I am broken. 

I am hopeless. 

I have no college degree despite spending six years in undergrad. I am drowning in debt. I’m trying to get them forgiven but loan people are butthippos. 

I am trying to find a purpose and meaning in my life. Is it my blog? Is it activism? Is it being an advocate? Is it anime conventions? 

I was a semester and a half away. 

I graduated high school ten years ago as of June 2nd, 2016. I expected to be drowning in debt but in a Ph.D. program. Nope. 

Instead here I am. Ten years. Five years. Two years later. Trying to aimlessly find a meaning. 

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Ten years ago…

Ten years ago, I was a senior in high school. I had so many hopes and dreams. I had plans. I had ambitions. I had been dealt a pretty crappy hand in life, but I was determined to make the best of it. I was going to graduate, and I was going to kick ass and take names. I was going to get a job. I knew what I wanted to do in my life. I was young. I was naive. I had no idea what was in store. There was so much I didn’t know. But I knew I wouldn’t let my illness hold me back.

Image is one of my senior pictures: A brunette female with wavy hair. She is wearing a blue sweater and khakis. She is sitting behind the numbers 06.

Image is one of my senior pictures: A brunette female with wavy hair. She is wearing a blue sweater and khakis. She is sitting behind the numbers 06.

I was confident, and scared, all at once. I was graduating against seemingly impossible odds. I was told how amazing, inspiring, faithful I was while inside, I was falling apart. I was told I had a promising future – I was bright. I was smart. I was bubbly and passionate. Against a world that seemed determined to pull me down, I would prevail.

But that summer, my grandfather died. That fall, I enrolled in college for the first time. Both my physical health and my mental health completely fell apart and I spun so out of control I was asked to leave the college. That was the first time I dropped out of school, and it wouldn’t be the last.

Later on that year, I was admitted to the psych ward for six weeks, going into the beginning of 2007. And then I went to a group home. It was hell. Everything I had hoped for. Everything I dreamed. Gone.

 

Five years ago, I was transferring colleges. I had dropped out one other time and had finally completed classes. However, the college I was at wasn’t meeting my needs. I was preparing for back surgery before transferring colleges. I wasn’t the person I thought I would be. My career path had changed. But that’s okay – part of life is growth, right?

Image is a brunette female holding chopsticks.

Image is a brunette female holding chopsticks.

But that surgery didn’t go as anyone planned. I wound up with more doctors, more specialists, more pain, and eventually another surgery. I was still hopeful. I was still, as I like to say, kicking ass and taking names. I am stubborn and I fight like hell for what I want. This is both a blessing and a curse. My doctors would literally have to threaten me with inpatient treatment if I didn’t skip class because I was so determined to do well. For so long of my life, I had put worth in grades and doing well in school and dammit, this wasn’t something they could take away from me.

But it all came screeching to a halt. Despite modified course loads, despite every reasonable accommodation possible, I dropped out of college yet again. For seemingly the last time. My hope was gone. I was a semester and a half away from graduation. I was so close I could taste it. I could imagine the feel of that diploma in my hand. It was what I had worked toward for so many years… and it was gone.

That brings us to today. I’m sitting at Starbucks sipping an iced Americano. “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray is playing in my earbuds. I never imagined that my life at 28 would involve being an activist and an advocate. I never imagined I would find things I’m passionate about. I never imagined that I would still not have that degree ten years ago. I never imagined that my medicine list would be so extensive that I would have a nurse come fill my med dispenser every week because I could not keep up.

Image is a brunette female. She is wearing a green sweater, a blue t-shirt, a blue and green tutu, black tights, and silver shoes.

Image is a brunette female. She is wearing a green sweater, a blue t-shirt, a blue and green tutu, black tights, and silver shoes.

But I am living. I am thriving.  I have a life that I could never imagine. Because of my autism and disabilities, I have an amazing circle of friends I would never have otherwise. Because I am stubborn, I found something else to throw my passions and love into.

Ten years ago, I was eighteen years old and frankly, didn’t know anything about life. I thought I knew it all and was likely a cocky asshole. I knew I would get that degree. I knew I would do well in college in spite of my disabilities, and I cringe at that language now. I knew that my life would turn out just the way I want it.

As the John Lennon lyric states “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”. Everything changed. And it is all a beautiful, messy mess. It’s all a part of who I became. And I love it. Back then, I was Angelique – young and naive. But now I am Annora. I am strong. I still have  a future ahead of me. I may not be working in the way I thought I was and I may not be making a difference in the world like I thought I would be – but I am slowly changing my own world.

I am living. I am thriving. I have depression. I am autistic. I have OCD. I had PTSD. I have a list of medical disorder’s that is so long that I have to carry a list. I take so many medications that pulse through my body, keeping me alive. I never imagined this would be my life. But you know what? Because of it, I am thriving. Because of it, I have a great life. Because I am autistic and disabled,  I have a life that is worth living.

My life is beautiful.

My life is mine. It may not be what I thought it was and even one year from now, it may look vastly different. I’ll look back on this and laugh. But this is what it is right now and it’s good enough.

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but she still sleeps with the light on

the hardest part about being disabled has been coming to terms with the fact that i will never work my dream job.

that i will never be able to be there for sick and dying children.

that i will never be a hospital chaplain.

that i will never be able to work with children in hospice.

i’m losing hope. for the future. my future is bleak. i know, it sounds fucking absurd to say that at age twenty-eight. i have my whole life ahead of me. but at the same time, i don’t.

i’m a college drop out.

my health is too unstable for anything.

i keep forgetting doctors appointments – i’ve missed three or four in the past WEEK.

i keep getting sicker and sicker with things that there are not treatment for, no cure.

my depression is spiraling me out of control.

completely out of control.

i feel hopeless. bleak. empty. futureless.

i’m not even capable of sleeping unless the light is on.

everything thinks i’m strong.

everyone thinks i’m capable.

what they don’t know is i’m falling apart.

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The Impound Lot Adventure From Hell

Image description: Me, a pale brunette wearing a purple sweatshirt and Anna, a pale blonde wearing a tie-dye shirt, both smiling at the camera.

Image description: Me, a pale brunette wearing a purple sweatshirt and Anna, a pale blonde wearing a tie-dye shirt, both smiling at the camera.

My best friend Anna and I have known each other for around fourteen years – which equates to almost half our lives! Our friendship started out online – we were both members of a Christian youth message board. In 2008, we had a convo around these lines:
“I’m going back to college this fall!”
“Yay, so am I! Where are you going?”
“Ye Olde Christian College.”
“REALLY!! SO AM I!”

 

After we both got to Ye Olde Christian College, we were hanging out together in the student center. After mention various message boards and various user names, we found out that we had actually both been on another message board together before and had indeed interacted. I like to say we knew each other before we knew we knew each other.

Anna and I are more like sisters than friends. She’s certainly my best friend. She’s the one who can read me like a book. I can say “Oh, it’s the thing that does the *hand motion and sound effect*” and 99.9% of the time, she knows what I’m talking about. She accepts who I am with my weird like for Disney songs in languages I’ll never understand and doesn’t think it’s silly that at age twenty eight, I still watch Sesame Street (because she does too!).

Image description: Me wearing a sock monkey hat and a Muppets t shirt, sticking out my tongue and Anna wearing an Elephant hat and a bright orange Northwestern Eagles T-shirt. She is grinning at the camera.

Image description: Me wearing a sock monkey hat and a Muppets t shirt, sticking out my tongue and Anna wearing an Elephant hat and a bright orange Northwestern Eagles T-shirt. She is grinning at the camera.

Before you think this is merely a sappy entry about my best friend, it isn’t. It’s about something that is a HUGE problem in today’s society. It’s a problem I face every time I leave my apartment, and something Anna faces whenever she goes out with me.

 

You see, I am physically disabled. There are a lot of things I cannot do for myself. I can take care of my basic needs. I can walk, although I use a walker or crutches most days. Anna drives us places, because since I am legally low vision I cannot get a license. Anna has spent long nights in the ER with me, has driven me to doctor’s appointments when my ride failed yet again, and has been at the hospital with me through two surgeries. She’s helped me clean my apartment when I’m too sick to and she’s even sent me pizza when I’m too sick to cook.

 

But here’s the thing. Even if I wasn’t disabled, Anna would still do these things for me. She would still help me. Yet time and time again, so often when people see us out and about, they tell me how lucky I am to have a friend like her. To her, they put her on a pedestal she is not comfortable with. And the way they word it implies that I’m not capable of doing things with her. I am, oh, how I am. I present with you, Exhibit A: or what we affectionally call “The Impound Lot Adventure from Hell.” The scene: A cold Minnesotan winter.

 

We’re Minnesotan, so it gets hella cold here. And it snows. So, we moved her car so they could plow the lot. To make a long story somewhat shorter, her car got towed. Her parents lived roughly forty minutes away and we have no local friends to call, so we’re like “Okay. We’ll take the bus. It won’t be that bad.”

 

Yeah. “It won’t be that bad.” Famous last words. First, we got off at the wron

Image description: Anna, wearing a purple coat and black pants and me, wearing a black sweatshirt and jeans, while leaning on my Christmas light (!!) crutches. We are standing outside in the winter. It is snowy. We are in front of the college dorms at her first college.

Image description: Anna, wearing a purple coat and black pants and me, wearing a black sweatshirt and jeans, while leaning on my Christmas light (!!) crutches. We are standing outside in the winter. It is snowy. We are in front of the college dorms at her first college. Picture is from several years ago (2010, I think?), so we both look younger.

g stop and had to wait for the next bus to loop back around. Did that. Got off at the “right” stop. Walked the wrong direction. Walked back the right direction and to the impound lot (three miles in all). I was sick, I was in pain, it was below freezing, and just all around miserable. At that pound, my cell phone was completely dead and I don’t remember if Anna had hers with her. We get to the impound lot and surprise! wrong lot. We were both near tears at that point and I finally told Anna to just hail a cab. So we do and we get to the right lot. Then either her card didn’t work/they didn’t accept debit card/something like that so we ultimately HAD to call her parents to bail us out. We then went home, had pizza, and drank Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

Here’s the thing. That’s not the only time I’ve helped Anna out, though that’s the most memorable. I’ve been the person she’s vented to. I’ve been her support person when she’s gone to places that have been difficult. I’ve helped her sort through stuff. I’ve helped her figuring out adulting – such as bills, student loans, insurance, all that fun stuff. She doesn’t help me out because she feels sorry for me for being disabled or because she feels she has to. I don’t help her out because I feel I have to in return. I do it because we’re friends.

 

We aren’t friends because I’m disabled. I don’t go above and beyond for her because I feel I have to in return for things she’s done for me. I mean, that would be as silly as saying we’re friends because I took pity on her for being blonde when I’m a brunette. We’re friends because we both love Sesame Street, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. We’re friends because we both love to read – Chris  Crutcher is our favorite. We’re friends because we make random sound effects as we go about our day to day life. We’re friends because we have similar political beliefs. We’re friends because we have countless inside jokes. We’re friends because we can read each other like a book. We’re friends because we’re both fiercely stubborn. We’re friends because we can sit in the living room without saying a word both on our laptops, and it’s not awkward. We can drive somewhere and the car can be silent, and it’s not awkward. We’re friends because she’s compassionate, caring, hilarious, and one of the most loyal friends I’ve ever had. Anna has seen me at my best and my worst, and she still chooses to be my friend.

 

 Now, we are lucky and blessed beyond measure to have each other. Not everybody gets to have a friendship as beautiful and fun and wild and amazing as ours, and that in and of itself is amazing. We are lucky, in that regard, to have found the perfect friend for us. The person who knows us so well. But the reason we are lucky and blessed to have each other isn’t because I’m disabled and it isn’t because she helps me out. The reason we are lucky is that in this world, it can be so hard to find good friends that you WANT to keep in contact with, that you WANT in your life. And we both found that person in each other.

Image: Me, wearing a blue t shirt and a hat and Anna, wearing a purple Birkie t-shirt and holding the koala I got her in Adelaide. We are both smiling at the camera.

Image: Me, wearing a blue t shirt and a hat and Anna, wearing a purple Birkie t-shirt and holding the koala I got her in Adelaide. We are both smiling at the camera.

Crux of it is, if you wouldn’t say it to an able bodied person, don’t say it to me. Don’t say I’m lucky because xyz if you wouldn’t if I was able bodied.  Don’t tell me I’m lucky to have such a wonderful friend, because I know full well how lucky I am. I wasn’t the kind of kid who made friends easily when I was younger and I’m so beyond grateful to have friends now. I’m so grateful to call Anna a part of my family of choice. But I am not lucky to have her merely because I’m disabled. That’s ableist, and demeaning to our relationship. It implies that she only gives and I only take, when we BOTH give and we BOTH take, though sometimes one of us does more of one or the other for awhile before it flips back over.

 

We are lucky because in this wild world, we have such a loyal friend.
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call it torture, call it university

Nine years ago in June, I graduated high school. I was by all means a smart kid despite my dismal SAT scores (I don’t test well due to various learning disorders) and I had high hopes for my future. I graduated with honours – it should have been high honours but one of my teachers didn’t turn his grades in on time so the program only listed me as honours. Anyway.

I always thought that by now, I would be graduated with both my undergraduate and my master degree. I had such BIG PLANS for my life. I was eighteen years old, about to turn nineteen. I had no idea how badly my attempts at college would fail. I had no idea what a nightmare I would make of it all.

I withdrew from college for the final time nearly a year ago and I’ve come to terms that I may never graduate. And it’s HARD. I want so badly, so desperately to go back. I still dream of it. I dream of going back. I dream of graduate school. I dream so badly of becoming something worthwhile and instead, I live at home with my cat. I’m on disability. My live is instead doctors appointments instead of doing SOMETHING with my life. And it scares me that I may never amount to anything. That I will be nothing for the rest of my life.

 

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Your heart will be heard through your unspoken word through generations to come

I woke from a dream last night; I dreamt that you were by my side. Reminding me I still had life in me. I remember you like yesterday, yesterday. I still can’t believe you’re gone. I remember you like yesterday, and until I’m with you, I’ll carry on. Every lament is a love song, yesterday, yesterday, I still can’t believe you’re gone, every lament is a love song, yesterday, yesterday, so long my friend, so long. – Switchfoot, Yesterdays.

It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since the guy who taught me there was a God outside the fundamentalist view of God existed. The guy who’s first profound question to me was “What is your favorite type of cheese?”. The guy who once peed in a cup for me. The guy who saved my life. One of the few who has physically seen me cry, and openly wept with me. Who motivated me to go into the ministry.

I forever regret the fight we had summer of 2010. If only I’d known then what I know now, but I can’t change the past, I guess. But I wish he could have seen the person I became. The girl who decided to become a hospital chaplain. Who had two back surgeries. Who struggled. Struggled. Struggled. But yet, still had her faith. The shaken faith stayed. And it’s thanks to him.

Jesus has overcome, and the grave is overwhelmed
Victory is won, he is risen from the dead

And I will rise, when he calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise, on Eagle’s wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
-Chris Tomlin, I Will Rise

How fitting now that the song we often had on repeat was I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin. It was even at his memorial service.

I admit the childish, immature side of me is jealous. Jealous that he is finally free of pain, at a younger age than me. Jealous that he gets to meet his saviour, his redeemer, his jesus while I am still here, longing and waiting.

It somehow gets easier, right?

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again