What is acceptance, and what is courage?
As a child of an alcoholic, I had heard of the Serenity Prayer long before my father got sober. Then, as he entered recovery, and joined AA, we had a lot of things around with the Serenity Prayer on it. And I thought I a lot about accepting what I could not change and finding the courage to change what I could. And I hoped that I would always have the wisdom to know the difference between the two.
Then one night, a friend and colleague sent me the original (full-length) version of the prayer. In the full version, there is this:
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.
I had never seen the full version, and this new piece helped immensely as I grieved Sam’s death.
Now we are in our new journey, and I am once again back to thinking about acceptance, courage, wisdom, and living and enjoying one moment at a time.
Accepting? How do you accept that your best friend, love-of-your-life, father of your children, partner-in-everything has a terminal illness where even the doctors don’t pretend to give you any hope? How do you accept that not only did you not get the future you dreamed of for your child but that you may not get the future you dreamed of as a couple? I admit that I am not at acceptance yet. I am trying, but I am also still struggling to not want to scream at the universe.
Courage to change the things I can? Yup, that I can do. I can look for any possible hope out there. Nutritional, holistic medicine, love? I can research it and pursue it. A high-fat therapeutic keto diet helps the brain and nerves? I can cook spinach and add a poached egg for his breakfast every day for the rest of my life if it helps. Giving up carbs to keep him company on this road? You bet I can. Questioning medical authorities to look at options? No sweat. Pushing for the supports he needs and we need? I can do that.
The wisdom to know the difference? That will be a work in progress. I know that I will need guidance from others who have walked this road before us. I will need them to help me understand when I am acting like Don Quijote and just going at windmills.
Then I go back to that verse that I didn’t know of until after Sam’s death. We are working hard at living each moment to the fullest, living instead of acting like we are dying.
I don’t know if I will ever reach a point of acceptance of these two journeys being thrust upon us as a family. I do know that I will continue to strive for courage, wisdom and living life making the most of every single moment.