This one is a tough one to write. But let me begin with a quote:

“Life is a test of endurance, strengths, challenges and patience.” – Kim Hoth

Ok.

We all have an inner strength that is difficult to assess until …. well … you actually have to access it.

But we ALL have that inner strength.  A source we would rather never have to tap into yet … we do … or we will.  It is inevitable in life.

Because Life is nothing if it is not consistent in that it challenges us.

Constantly.

And I also believe most of us are surprised not only by our own capacity when tested but also certainly when seeing the capacity of the others around us.

I was reminded of all this last evening.

And the experience reminded me that Life gives each of us different tests.

And the experience reminded me of perspective … perspective on what is truly a Life challenge versus what we sometimes believe is a ‘challenging life’.

And, once again, in self-reflection, the experience made me wonder “would I be that strong?”

Or maybe more importantly … “would I be strong enough?”

Ok.

Here we go.  Envision this scenario.

(WARNING: this is short … but tough)

Your oldest daughter passes out in the shower at home.

She isn’t breathing.

You, the father, frantically give mouth to mouth while someone calls 911.

She is brain dead on arrival at the hospital.

She is dead the following day.

A blood clot in the brain in a healthy 15 year old young woman.

Dead at 15.

No warning

Your daughter is gone.

And you, the father, couldn’t save her.

(I am taking a break here)

I typed that fast.

I had to.

I type things out of anger.

I type things out of thought.

I type things out of frustration.

I have never had to type anything like that ever before.

And I had to do it fast and not dwell.

The words?

That is what my friend Mike actually experienced late last Friday.

Ok. He experienced significantly more, and still is, but from me, someone looking in from the outside that is all I believe I had the right to write.

I cannot envision being in his shoes.

I cannot envision the pain & emptiness.

I cannot envision the depth of helplessness.

I cannot envision the burden.

I am not a godly man.

At least not in the traditional sense.

I say that before I use this quote:

“Life’s a test. I was taught in church that the Lord wouldn’t put more on you than you can handle. But it’s getting heavy.” – Dusty Baker

I used Dusty Baker because Mike & I are not close friends.  We are ‘within work environment’ friends.  And we would seek each other out for our shared love of baseball.

And I imagine that the heaviness he feels today is close to more than he can handle.

“It’s getting heavy” as Dusty suggests.

I believe we all think life gets heavy on occasion as we face our day to day issues. I know I have faced some things and I know I have felt the heaviness of life. But I have never faced anything like this.

I know, for sure, we shouldn’t measure the heaviness on day to day stuff.

Maybe heavy is this scenario.

And that is the standard. Anything else is just light … a lesser burden.

He and his wife have three more daughters.

Will that lessen the burden?

Shit.

I don’t know.

I don’t know how a father ever leaves the helplessness of not being able to protect, and save, his child.

I am not going to preach here.

I am simply going to remind.

No matter how hard you try to protect someone you love, sometimes you just can’t.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, but it does mean you should value every day you have.

My thoughts are with you Mike.

Written by Bruce