Friday, August 15, 2008

Random Photos . . .

I'm not really in the mood to type today (nor am I in the mood to work, focus, think or do just about anything besides run home and join my girls for a morning at the Zoo). SO - instead of an actual blog post . . . this is all you get . . .

It is a picture of Ava and I (which you likely gathered) from last summer (4th of July weekend, to be exact) when we went to Missouri to float with Uncle Larry, Aunt Joyce and the family. Ava was fairly new to swimming (this was her first time in a river) and I was trying to reassure her that it was okay to just lay back, relax, float and enjoy.

She stared in to my eyes and I stared in to hers and gently lowered her in to the water. Two minutes later she was kicking (in the swimming sense - not the "get me the hell out of here, fat man" way) and laughing and having a great time.

This picture, to me, is worth a few thousand words. I had a TERRIBLE time at the beginning of the float. I was still a little too heavy to really navigate the shallower parts of the river. I was too confident that I knew what I was doing (when, in reality, I had NO clue how to canoe in a river v. a wide-open lake) and I was struggling with the fact that we were in Kansas to house hunt and to make a move that would forever change our lives and our course. I swore. I yelled. I cried. I got help and support and encouragement. I figured it out.

By the end of the float I had figured it all out. Joy and I were "old pros" at floating. I had jumped in to a "hot spring" and had run under a rushing waterfall. I had laughed and had fun for the first time in hours and my brain was, for the first time since my surgery, at peace with the struggles of how to figure out the next step in building a life that Joy and I had always dreamed of having. Of how I was ever going to lose all my weight. Of how I was ever going to figure out how to love myself. Of how I was ever going to get down this cursed river without drowning my wife and daughter or horrifying my extended family (if not all of the above).

There are several pictures of us whoopin' it up all along the river from that day. Better pictures, frankly. But this picture is important to me.

When I stared in to Ava's eyes and tried to reassure her that she would be fine and safe in the river . . . I was really thinking that I had to believe that I would be fine and safe in our new, post-surgery life and in our decision to move to Kansas. That I would be fine and safe without my weight to protect and insulate and isolate me. That I could make it down the river despite my weight and stubborn approach. That I would be fine in honoring the promises I had made to Joy and that I would actually be able to protect Ava and keep her safe . . . in that river that day and in all the rivers in all the days of her life to follow.

And you thought I would simply take this opportunity to liken myself to John the Baptist or the rebirth that comes with water going in and out of bodies of water . . . silly blog reader!


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