Darkness creeps upon you from nowhere some days; driving your car, sun shining upon your face, smiling at a favorite song on the radio then darkness comes, slowly creeping, covering your inner warmth, wiping a dumbstruck smile from your face.
Everyday since November 20 2013, the darkness has tried; everyday since that Wednesday morning as I cried, phone by my side, head hung low, horse under my arm wondering what was wrong, darkness has crept slowly across my cranial void. You can shake your head, scream out loud hoping to make it go away, but that’s the game it plays. Feeding off uncertainty, doubt, pity, and weakness of spirit.
Darkness is like mold, damaging, covering, smothering every living breathing moment of happiness that could only flourish under the warmth of love and certainty.
Everyday darkness has tried to take hold, and everyday I have repelled its advances. Darkness knows the roads I have traveled and it lays in wait for my weaknesses to surface. But what darkness doesn’t know is those weaknesses, those damaged feelings from a life lived hard are what keeps me from giving in to its cold, ugly shadow.
Darkness cannot have me, I will not let it ruin who I am, what I stand for, the ethics I live by or emotions worn brightly upon my sleeve. For you see what darkness wants is compliance and I have never been one to comply without a fight.
So everyday darkness has tried and everyday I have searched for inspiration.
Inspiration: Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
Inspiration can be found everywhere, you must only be willing to look. I see inspiration in a flock of birds struggling against the wind, a bee trying its hardest to fly even though its legs ar burdened by twice its body weight in pollen. I see inspiration in an elderly couple holding hands while slowly, carefully weighing every step as they move across a concrete landscape. Inspiration is all around, from a toddler learning to walk, to a quadriplegic basking under a mid days sun, smiling, eyes closed, at peace with the world during that very moment in time.
When life weighs heavy upon me, and darkness resides, it only takes a moment to chase it away. Closing my eyes, remembering the day I married my wife, our relationship forged together from unimaginable circumstances and a belief system that has only grown, expounded upon over the years. Seeing her smile when all seems lost, her eyes twinkling at the sight of me riding up to her on my horse, or meeting her at the bottom of the stairs for a much-needed date. Watching her beam with pride as another rescue dog is placed into a loving home or witnessing one of her children accomplish a goal that previously seemed unattainable.
Inspiration comes in all forms and it has become a quest for me. For as Cancer continues taking its toll, as cancer tries its hardest to smother the light, cool a souls warmth and darken the twinkle in her eye, some days it becomes harder for me to locate, quantify.
Watching, waiting, fighting, struggling, feeling as though you are in a pool with no sides, weighed down by cancers baggage, a nostril just barely above the waterline. Choking, gasping for air, pondering what would happen if you gave into the fight and let the waters depths have you. I think about how many spouses just like me are trapped, endlessly fighting the darkness and all it represents. From destroying our souls to allowing our brains to ponder an end we are fighting against. Where does their inspiration come from? How many are grappling with an inner evil, unable to recognize even the smallest tidbit of inspiration reigniting their souls?
My wife has inspired me everyday for almost 12 years to be a better man, to become a kinder human being, and to ignite passion in others.
So the darkness will never win! For what once was bright and easy shall brighten our house again! I will always retain a positive outlook on this chapter in our lives and hopefully show our children how to handle family struggles with strength, kindness, and the ability to stay positive by finding inspiration in all that surrounds them.
In the end we will walk out of the hospital hand in hand having traveled this road together, inspired by the other without a hint of dreaded darkness in sight.