I am here. I am staying defiant in my actions and not letting what happened to me change my outlook on life. I am still taking my courses, finally aced my Constitution 101 final, and finishing up another course soon. Also, I have a mid term coming up. We had nine wildfires raging at one point here….and one that got close. I ended up wetting down anything flammable in the backyard and creating some “defensible space” as the firefighters term it. It was knocked down yesterday….and five are still raging on, with the biggest one at 800 acres and growing, and 5% contained. But, I am still here.  I have had several sleepless nights, and in turn some nights where I have been able to sleep just fine. I have faced setbacks designed to destroy me…but I am still here.  My spirit is recovering…but it’s a slow process. I am still healing….again, another slow process. I have beaten what was supposed, in essence, kill me…but I am here. I refuse to give in and give up….I continue to fight each and every day and I encourage my friends to do the same. Just like they did with me. They never let me give up….and so it’s equal with them. I’ve gone through a lot…but I am still here. Wounded, broken, battered, scarred, healing….but still here and surviving. I have never been one to assume the victim role…and to this day, I refuse to don that label. Instead, I use my strength to see me through the difficult days and rough nights, and I remember what I have to fight for when I think about giving up. Life is hard….but it can also be full of light and laughter, if you allow it in. The last few days have been stressful and it’s hard to watch people losing their homes, their entire lives destroyed.  But …..I am still here. We were fortunate to not lose our property….despite what happened. Someone asked me if I was ready to divulge what I’ve gone through…and the answer is no. It’s easier to move on without the constant reminder of cycling through the memories…because even to this day, they are horrific to look at and remember. It was something designed to destroy me, my heart, my very being and my faith. But I am still here. Living. Breathing. Healing. Surviving. It has taken me this long to really believe that mantra of mine…that I am still here. My heart still beats. My lungs still inhale and exhale fresh air every single day and night. I am still able to help others and help myself. I didn’t die..nor did my spirit. I may have crash landed in the middle of what the heck and where did my life go….but I didn’t unpack and live there. I simply stayed until I figured things out..and I grabbed my baggage, threw it as far as the wind could carry it…and left it there. My life doesn’t revolve around what happened to me….I am not what happened to me. I made it through..I didn’t just simply “get through it”. I have my friends to thank for that, of course. It was never a solo journey. The darkness threatened to take over my life completely…but it failed in its attempt. Love and light forced it out…and then took over. Healing, however, is a solo journey. No one can do the healing for you…and I’m referring to the emotional healing. It’s a long, slow process…..but the scars do fade…given enough time. I am still here…and I like the sound of that. 🙂


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