“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.” – Buddha
I must be honest.
So much of this blog has been a diary of my love with Michael, my struggles with him being gone, my growth and realizations. But one huge component of who I am and what I have become/am becoming, I’ve left out of these writings…until now.
The American Widow Project has been a huge key to my survival, my reason for getting up each morning, and the source of infinite strength and understanding that my journey is mine alone, but does not have to be taken alone.
It has done all of the above because of the people who have believed in its mission. People like me, who were trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel, people who wanted to use their own stories of love and tragedy, to not only help themselves, but others like them.
In the beginning, I could find only 6 military widows that believed in my crazy idea of an organization, to now having nearly 800 military widows, that each are continuing to form and build the organization into what it will continuously evolve into.
The thing is, the AWP, this organization, isn’t really an organization, but so much more. It’s tightly interwoven with my love…Michael’s love. Interwoven with my healing and journey. With the love of other widows and their heroes. With things I don’t quite believe have words to describe them.
I never wanted it to be normal organization, just like I know I never had the normal love story. I never wanted to be a leader, just someone standing among those who could turn to me and nod in confirmation that love story wasn’t a dream and won’t be forgotten, that the road ahead won’t be easy, but can be pretty darn fun. And that’s what I’ve seen it become and grow to be.
But with that have come times where I feel it hasn’t been what I envisioned or what I hoped for others to get from it, and because it’s so woven into my heart, I hurt, and I know it’s mostly because it is so much of what I live and breathe….And I know that that roots from it being a one man show (most of the time) running it.
So with that, the palm tree I planted in the tiny pot, has finally grown too large, and I need to move it into something larger (or maybe a private beach), that can hold its weight and undoubted growth.
It’s taken me over three years to take this step, but I know that the AWP will do nothing but flourish with expansion. Growth is scary with anything in life, and I’m excited to take a step to having a larger place to house the most sacred of love and lives….those of my fellow military widows.
The AWP is a big part of my heart and soul, and I need this growth to take place to help it keep beating.