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Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I've never been a fan of Mariah Carey, but last night, I was watching American Idol and Danny Gokey sang her song, "Hero." He said when he sang it he thought of people going through hard times and overcoming it. He lost his wife about four weeks before he auditioned for the show.

As I listened to the song, I was overcome by tears. The lyrics just hit me. Since we lost Jenna, I've hated it when people tell me that I'm strong. I didn't take it as a compliment at all. I took it to mean that they thought I wasn't grieving enough or feeling enough pain, because I sure didn't feel strong.

It was the chorus that got to me. For anyone who doesn't know the song, it says, "And then a hero comes along, with the strength to carry on, and you cast your fears aside and you know you can survive, So when you feel like hope is gone, look inside you and be strong, and you'll finally see the truth, that a hero lies in you."

Even though I didn't feel strong, now, looking back, I know I was. I could have buckled under and allowed my world to crumble, because I really wanted to do so. Somewhere, deep down, I found the strength to go on, taking Tessa to kindergarten two days after Jenna was born, going back to work two weeks later, withstanding the whole humiliating experience in Atlanta. I did that. No one else did. I didn't rely on other people to do things for me. I couldn't. I had to put one foot in front of the other and keep walking through all of the pain.

As much as I appreciated and needed the support and leaned on it, my friends and family couldn't make me go on. I had to do that myself. I looked inside me and found the strength, even though I really did feel like all my hope was gone. I could have let Jenna's death define me, but instead, I allowed it to change me, to make me see I am strong enough to overcome anything.

And, you know what, I'm proud of myself. I am proud I made it through the terrible things that happened to me. I am proud I am standing up for other women to keep them from going through what I did, and maybe one day, I can be a hero to someone else.

My granny was my hero, the strongest women I've ever met. Someone once described her as a "teabag," meaning she gets stronger as the water she's in gets hotter. I'm beginning to think I might be like that, too.


JenJen said...

I don't know you personally, but I have always gotten a vibe from your posts that you were a very strong woman. You've been through a lot, and never once did I read weakness in your words. You not only survived losing Jenna, but you're strength allowed Tessa to continue to live a "normal" should be commended for your strength~

Mom to 2 boys +? said...

You have every right to be proud of yourself! You have not only survived, but you have turned this experience into something positive - you are fighting for those moms walking this road after you to help make their journey smoother. You are a hero and I know that Jenna is smiling down on you!