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Friday, July 17, 2015

Anything that I got the strength to do...

2007, French Lick
People keep telling me that I'm so strong, and I just think "Oh you wouldn't say that if you could really see me."  You see the highlights on social media: the good memories I share because I like talking about Kevin, the race pictures & outings with friends because life has to go on...  You don't see me laying in our floor crying until I'm exhausted, begging God to give me Kevin back.  You don't hear me scream at God until my voice is gone, telling Him that He got this all wrong & I can't do it & He's got to fix it.

I mean, I can do the house stuff, and the bills, and the chores, and be there for the kids.  I was a single mom for almost 13 years before I met Kevin.  I can get the tasks done.  But I miss him, and it hurts not to have him here.  I just need to see his face, and hear about his day, and cook supper for him, and I would even take him just rolling his eyes at me when I tell him I want to try a triathlon next year.

No, I'm not strong at all.  Sometimes I'm so overwhelmed by the memories I feel like I'm going to have to go stay in a hotel just so I can breathe.  And sometimes I put on Kevin's clothes & lay down on his side of the bed because I can't be anywhere else.

And every day when I wake up, I'm sort of surprised to still be alive.  Don't misunderstand me - I'm not suicidal - not thinking of doing anything to myself at all.  It's just that I hurt so much that I'm surprised to still be going.

The Finish Line, finally
Remember when I wrote about the Winter Night Trail Half Marathon?  Funny how that keeps coming back up.  I said that I reached the point where I really did not feel like I could continue, but I didn't know what else to do.  I was alone on a trail in the middle of the woods, in the middle of the night, in the snow.  The only way to get back to my car and go home was to stay on the marked trail and finish the race.

That's kind of where I am now.  I probably say "I can't do this" at least 50 times a day.  But I keep doing it anyway, because I don't know what else to do.  I can barely see two feet in front of me, so I take baby steps, but I keep going, following the trail God has marked for me.

This is not my strength I'm running on, though.  Any inner reserve I might have thought I had once was completely depleted before we even got to Kevin's funeral.  The title to this blog post comes from the lyrics to the TobyMac song Beyond Me:
Anything that I got the strength to do 
In over my head keeps me countin' on You
You can check out the video here.  I know I post a lot of songs.  When God speaks to me through a song, I like to share it in case He can speak to you through it too.  There are a lot of times when the right song is all it takes to get me going when I feel like I can't.  Other times it's a family member or friend who knows just the right time to reach out to me.  I can't do this without God, and I can't do it without all of you.  I'm leaning on so many people right now.  Thank you to all of you.

Coming Up

Speaking of people I'm leaning on: the Training Group for the Indy Women's Half continues on Thursday nights.  Tuesdays I still run with the Bourbon Street Run Club and then rush off to Living Faith Boot Camp.  Both those Tuesday activities are free, so come join us if you are in Indy.  Links are on the What's Next? tab.

My next race is Richard's Run for Brain Cancer, at Cataloochee Ranch, NC, on August 1st.  The website says:

Quite possibly the most challenging 5K on earth.

We shall see.  This is an Ugly Paxton Sisters race - we are all three running it.  If you are in WNC, come join us!  It would be fun to have a big group run out there.  If you don't think you are up for a mountainous 5K, they are looking for volunteers too. 


  1. Everything you write makes me cry because you express yourself so beautifully my heart breaks. I wish I could take your pain away and bring Kevin back. I'll try to help hold you up until you become stronger. Keep taking baby steps. I love you so.

    1. I love you too Laura. I'm looking forward to seeing you & running with you in a couple of weeks.

  2. Dear Teresa, I cried when I read your blog and I am crying as I write this. I feel the pain and sadness in your words and wish there was something I could say to help. I keep you in my thoughts and prayers!!!! Please know that I am sending lots of love and hugs. I am here if you need a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen! Love you sweet friend!!!

    1. I love you too Selena, and I very much appreciate your prayers!

  3. My heart broke reading this. And it swelled at the same time. You are perhaps the most courageous person I have met - I'm utterly in awe. Not because you survive every tough moment or kick in the gut, but because you boldly share that life isn't pretty or easy or whatever each of us on the outside think it should be. I adore you for putting this out into the world. May God give you peace, strength and healing that you deserve so much.

    1. Thank you Trena. I wasn't really sure if I should publish this or not. They tell us in GriefShare that journaling is helpful, but I never really know if I should keep this stuff to myself or if it might somehow touch or help someone else. I know I feel better when it's out, though. I feel like I'm being real.