"You must bear losses like a soldier, a voice told me, bravely and without complaint, and just when the day seems lost, grab your shield for another stand, another thrust forward. That is the juncture that separates heroes from the merely strong."
~ Margaret George, The Memoirs of Cleopatra
I admit it, I'm addicted to quotes. I can spend hours trolling quote sites whenever I get interested in a topic, but especially when preparing to blog. And I did so when I decided to post this week on the topic of loss. Because loss is ever present in our lives these days. Not just the constant presence of the Ghost of Christmas Future, but the onslaught of loss that John has been experiencing of late.
I set out to find a quote that might capture the feelings I have experienced as I watch him. My concern as I see him walk more slowly, tire more easily, require still another transfusion. The sorrow I felt when he recently divested himself of his business, his "baby" that he nurtured for almost 30 years. The heartbreak of watching him sell his car, accepting that the progression of his macular degeneration necessitates my chauffering. The loss of stamina and energy, the loss of a piece of his identity, the loss of freedom and independence. Loss upon loss. I hate this for him.
And then I came upon the above quote and literally, in the moment, realized that this is how John thinks about loss and that the feelings I need to hold onto are my profound respect and gratitude for how he is managing his. For he doesn't complain, doesn't even see complaining as a choice. He takes life a day at a time, reorganizes quickly, and moves forward as best he can with amazing agility and dignity.
I have often described my husband as resilient or persistent. Strong. But now, heroic. My hero - and he will never lose that.