Wesley was serving with the US Army in Iraq when he lost both of his legs in an IED attack. I met him while he and another veteran named Jeremy, pedalled custom made bicycles across the country to honor and bring awareness to military veterans. Wesley pedalled his bike with his hands. Even with gloves, I noticed his hands were calloused scraped and scarred. After a couple of crashes along his cross-country tour, Wesley had cuts and bruises that would have side-lined anyone, but remembering his losses, he pushed forward.
Bob's loss may have been almost a year old, but his eyes said his wounds would never heal. He lost his son, Robby, last May. Robby was a Marine. He survived a combat tour in Iraq only to come home and lose his life in a motorcycle crash. Bob's hurt was so apparent, I didn't trust myself to even think about how I would feel if I lost my boy. So I simply hugged Bob's neck as I watched tears streak down his cheeks. Remembering Robby, Bob pushes on.
Rita's loss was a needed one. With stage 3 breast cancer, she couldn't afford to keep what she had. Her loss was still painful and filled with regret. Her beauty and inner strength didn't fade with her loss though, it quadrupled many times over. My favorite Aunt has been newly named my favorite heroine. Never, a tear did fall. Never did she ask why. Never. Gratefully remembering her loss, Rita lifts her chin and smiles while she pushes past her loss.
Donna lived life with chronic back and neck pain, so when she left this life last week, she gained physical peace at last. While the rest of us deeply felt her loss, her little brother, my husband, felt her loss acutely. As tears fill his eyes, I wonder if a childhood memory is dancing around in his mind or if he is just accepting her final gain as his "too soon" loss and pushing through.
After seeing all these losses the past two weeks, I've decided that losses, whether good or bad, have the ability to hurt or heal us. Sometimes, they can do both. What's important is that we never forget them.