Last Friday, the kids and I went to a spiritual celebration — Guru Purnima. Jackson played in the toy room for most of the ceremony, but Gracie wanted to be near me and sat by me almost the whole time. It was a beautiful ceremony and I felt blessed to be there. Throughout the whole ceremony, though, I kept imagining the dire consequences that could have happened from Grace’s most recent infection in her knee. Gracie could have lost her leg with that infection. And, truth be told, she is not out of the woods yet. I left her leg brace off yesterday while she was at home with me and by the end of the day her knee was red and hot. It’s better this morning but there is obviously still infection in there.
During the celebration, when I was worrying about the possible loss of her knee, I couldn’t help but remember that no matter how difficult the trial, we always get through it. We have weathered many storms already and will continue to face every one that comes our way. There is no other option — we must grit our teeth and keep walking.
A few days later, I came across the following blog post: “F*ck It. (& 4 Other Mantras for When Things Get Tough.” One part resonated with me — the author’s discussion of her inner reservoir of strength, reprinted here:
There are moments when I feel like things are just too damn hard. That I am stuck. That I have too little energy to pull myself up and out of the rut I’ve been holed up in. And then I remember: I am here. I am alive because deep inside of me, I have this reserved pool of strength that will always be available for me to drink from, no matter how parched and tired I get.
Here is my advice to those who suffer from depression and don’t know this already: inside of us is an ocean of health, trust me. The moment before things become too much to bear, our little toe, or the smallest part of ourselves, will find the waters of this shoreline.
Knowing that there is this innate strength inside myself has been immensely helpful for me during my darkest hours.
I can feel this inner reservoir of strength inside me. I have tapped into it many times — no matter how dark things get, all I need to do is put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Eventually the light will shine again. Eventually the sun will rise. The pendulum always swings.
Right now, we are not at a point where Gracie is facing the loss of her leg. Whatever traces of infection are left in her knee are not to the point that they require medication, and that’s good because she’s running out of antibiotics that she can use. She will continue to wear the leg brace for as long as it’s needed — not sure how long that will be but it’s looking like it will be a while. And hopefully, she’ll never get to the point where amputation is our only option. But if it ever is, we will get through it. We will walk through the fire and come out the other side stronger than ever. Like the phoenix, we will rise from the ashes and fly again.
“Why is there a picture of Kali?,” you might ask. Kali is the goddess of transformation in Hindu culture. She burns the negative aspects of a person to leave only the good. Kali is who I was envisioning during Guru Purnima, burning the infection in Gracie’s leg. I could not stop thinking of Kali during the ceremony. Kali Ma, Kali Ma, Jai Jai Ma, Kali Ma.