"If you were writing a book about yourself right now,
would you be the victim, survivor, or the hero?"
I had to think about that question. I knew right away that I wasn't a victim. Victims allow themselves to be conquered. That is definitely not me. Was I a survivor? Sure, at least most of the time I feel that way. Hero? Not likely.
"I guess I would say that I'm a survivor." I answered, feeling pretty truthful.
She reflected for a moment then said,
"The first year, you were in survivor mode. Since then, I truly believe that you have been in hero mode."
I have to say, I was seriously wowed! How? What? Why? and How???
She smiled at the dumbfounded look on my face. She proceeded to tell me about all the things that she has seen me do since John died. The funny thing is, I had forgotten most of the things that she illustrated. It's so weird to see that I was wrong about myself. Wacky huh!
I had held myself to this impossible standard. I felt like I was meant to do something big, something that I was ignoring. I felt like I was letting everyone down because I couldn't figure out what it was that I was suppose to be doing. I met with my bishop, friends and even my stake president. They all said the same thing...You are doing plenty.
I really just thought that everyone was just saying that because either they didn't understand, or I just didn't explain my predicament properly. However, this little talk with my darling aunt pointed a neon sign on my own misunderstanding.
I just experienced the death of my husband, a move, and new schools, and all of which I did by myself. I didn't fall apart. I didn't bury my head in the sand. I just got to work and did what I needed to do. I was moving forward. I was learning and trying to be helpful to others. I was raising my kids to be healthy and happy. I was doing all that was expected of me, so why was I expecting more? Why did I think that motherhood was a small job, or not enough?
All I have ever wanted was to be a wife and a mother, but suddenly I felt like there was way more than just being a mom. I felt like I had to slay dragons not only for my family, but for everyone in the village. I felt a huge responsibility to make sure that everyone knew that no matter what they had to endure, they would be alright. I wanted to make sure that the loss of John wasn't for nothing, so I was on a mission.
I love...adore being a mom. Now though, it's really hard work. I have had to morph into a mom and a dad. I'm not even the same mom that I was. I have to be more regimented, more demanding, more stern...I kind of hate that I have had to change into that.
My little talk with my aunt made me realize that I am good enough. I am doing quite enough. I am a good mom, and they are more important than anything else right now. I can be a hero in my story, because that's what I am for my kids.