As tough as 2020 was, I’m not mad at it! In fact, I’m grateful for the strength and wisdom it provided through the struggles. That’s the funny thing about struggle. Without it, we could not grow, we could not get stronger, and we could not feel compassion. We’ve all overcome every struggle we’ve ever faced. We’ll continue to do so throughout our lives, growing all the time. That’s part of life. If we can make amends with this and take a moment after the pain to find the gratitude, life might just become that much richer.
I lost my mom last year. Win was her name. Now there was a woman who knew struggle. A single mother who raised three kids while getting her masters, then doctorate at Harvard. There was no money and no support. Through all those years, she slept on the couch so my sisters and I could have the two bedrooms. Nothing was ever handed to her and very little came easily aside from her ability to inspire and make friends from all walks of life.
This past year she lived here in Boulder with my family and I while she went to war with her cancer. We were assured it wasn’t terminal and it was never supposed to be anything more than just another struggle she’d surely overcome. Her positive attitude never wavered and no one I know ever felt sorry for her. Happy as she was, it wouldn’t even cross your mind.
My mom always loved running. It was her thing and something handed down to me. If you’ve ever watched the video on our homepage, you’ve seen the two of us running together and you know what an inspiration she was in the founding of Ned. We never discussed it and as I think of it now, I sure wish we had, but running is a great example of growth through struggle. Perhaps my love for running though is just a small part of the larger, more helpful trait she handed down to my sisters and I. That is the ability to always find the sweet in the sour.
In the end, my mom’s cancer proved to be her last struggle. We’ll all eventually draw that straw in some fashion or another. It’s just another part of life, and like struggle, it makes life all the richer. Until then it helps me at least to know this: we’re given pain not because life isn’t fair, but because we’re strong enough to handle it.