March 17, 2016
Yeah, I mean you. You think I don’t know what you’re feeling. You don’t think I know how you feel worthless. That the world wouldn’t miss you because you don’t really contribute anything worthwhile to it. You think I don’t know what it feels like to feel that I am invisible even though I am surrounded by family and friends. You think I don’t understand the pain and frustration of wishing that I was the old me. That I am losing me. That I hate this new me. That with each ability I lose just that much more of me disappears.
You are wrong. Remember, that I am you and you are me. We are not exactly the same but we walk parallel paths. We feel the same things. We understand each other without words. We understand the loss, pain and emotional toll this journey takes on a person’s spirit.
Why am I writing to you today? I see you struggling so much. All I want to do is wrap my arms around you and let you rest. All warriors need to have somewhere and someone. We all need a safe haven. We all need a place and a person who is there for us. We need a place to yell, scream, cry, celebrate our accomplishments, a place that soothes the heart and soul.
Have I found this place? Yes, I have. I have found a place to be the real me. I have found a group of people who understand me. I don’t have to be alone anymore. I am not walking this journey without assistance. I have someone to lean on. Somewhere to let my pain out. Somewhere where my soul gets a lift. I have found a family not borne of blood and bone, but of shared experiences, shared trials and tribulations. I have found my OHANA. I wrote a poem that explains this better. Here, you read it and then we will talk some more.
Bonds borne not of blood and bone
Never again to be all alone
Sister, brother, mother, father
Never to feel like you are a bother
We have never met face to face
Hearts and souls opening at their own pace
Arms opened catching me when fall
Hands reach out steadying at the first call
Words of encouragement and understanding on a screen
Journeys not otherwise seen
Pain physical, soul sick, and troubled mind
Everyone always so kind
Love, pain, tears, anger, laughter all brought into the fold
Rejection a thing of the past
A home at long last
Bonds of steel surrounding me tight
Souls ready to help you fight
Family chosen of free will
Better than any feel good pill
Never to be let go or left behind
Emotion no longer confined
Understood, supported, filled with love
There when push comes to shove
Laughter, joy, just feels right
An army ready to help with the fight
Warriors lined up side by side and hand in hand
This is our OHANA ready to take a stand
What is OHANA and why am I talking about it? Well, OHANA means family. OHANA also means no one is forgotten or left behind. Family is no only who you are born to. It’s those friends that move into your heart and support you. They love you unconditionally. They fight for you when you can’t. They are the warriors who stand side by side with you and provide a safe haven; even when it’s you the protect you from. You are my OHANA and I am yours. We may never meet but we will always be connected.
Why am I telling you all of this? I want you to remember that I am you and you are me. I know how you feel when you fall into the abyss. I know how hard it is to fight your demons. You are not worthless! You will be missed by many if you were to disappear. I look for you daily. I would miss the warrior you are.
Yes, your journey is hard. Yes, you have changed. No, you may not be able to do the same things you use to but you are still here for a reason. What that reason is, only the fates know. So together we ride this rollercoaster. The ups and downs of our journey are hard to take. They test our will to fight. They take a piece of our soul. With each piece of us lost we question if we are still us. We miss who we use to be. We rage at fate. We cry for our losses. We question our place in life. We doubt our worth.
What I need for you to remember; what I need you to believe with all your being is that all this changes nothing. I need you to know that deep down, in the darkest recesses of your soul you still are you. The spark that you were born with hasn’t changed. What makes you, you hasn’t changed. You are still alive and kicking in there. All these physical and emotional changes are not the soul of you. In your soul lives the warrior who fights to live. In your soul lives your love. In your soul lives you will to fight. Your OHANA will feed all of these. Your OHANA will fight to bring the warrior to the surface. Your OHANA will help you find your place in life once again. Your OHANA will teach you that you are more than your physical abilities. Your OHANA will teach you that your emotions are valid and are understood. Your OHANA will help you find peace when you can’t find it for yourself. Your OHANA will bring you joy, laughter, and a smile even on your worst days. Your OHANA will pick you up when you fall. They will dust you off. They will hold you gently while you heal from battle. They will give you a kick in the ass when you need it. Your OHANA will love you no matter what.
Remember I said I am you and you are me. So, this means we are OHANA. Are you ready for that? Are you ready for me? I sure hope so because the bad ass warrior in me is ready for the challenge. The warrior is ready to fight for her tribe. Who is ready to kick ass? Who is going to stand with me? I will look forward to the journey ahead with you.
Linda’s letters is a chronological series. Start with letter 1 here.