The Charlie Bravo Story

The Road Winds On

Over the years, “not so good” things have happened at the Casa. Breast cancer, depression, job loss, near death experiences, all those things that make up the other side of life, all of which leave us thinking, “why us?” Then, when we somehow inevitably make it through, the eternal question: did I learn what I was supposed to learn from that experience? Because I sure dont want to have to go through that again!

Sometimes I think that the only immediately apparent reason to encounter such rough patches of road is that it gives us empathy for our fellow man. I have to admit that I may not have been so quick to stop and check the contents of the crate on that rainy day back in January 2014 if I myself hadn’t been engaged in my own life and death crisis just two months prior. There’s something about not having any outside stimuli to distract you from knowing that your life is in the hands of another, and there is not a thing that you can do about it. I couldn’t halt the leakage of toxicity into my abdomen any more than Charlie could free herself from her crate; the only option either of us had was to hold on for one more minute.

Sometimes, even procrastination is a good thing.

So then the answer to the selfish question “why us?” Or to be honest, “why me?” Then, a few years ago towards the beginning of mom’s triumphant battle with breast cancer, it occurred to me: “why NOT me?” Even if I could snap my fingers and transfer this burden elsewhere, I wouldn’t; we’re as equipped to handle this as well as anyone else, and I’ve got a big mouth! Hopefully I’ll learn something on this particularly unpleasant part of our journey that I can unceremoniously blurt out in a totally cringe-worthy fashion, and possibly make a difference to someone when least expected.

So, this summer has been one for the record books, one step forward, three steps back. But there has always been something to impede our backward progress, and onward we go. The two accidents have left me with a good deal of nagging pain that I just can’t seem to “shake”; I mention this not for sympathy, but because it has given me a new appreciation for those that deal with chronic pain.

And pain is pain, whether it’s physical, mental, or spiritual, but the best part about pain is that, one way or another, it eventually diminishes with proper treatment. PTSD, depression , addiction, anger issues, physical issues, it can all be managed. It will probably leave a scar on you or even those around you, at first livid and purple, but even that will smooth and fade with time, until we get to the point that we can look back and it’s like the experience happened to someone else. Only then can we use our life experience to help that someone else escape from their own particular crate.

But that usually involves that scary first step of opening up and admitting to a fellow traveler that you have been down that road, but real life doesn’t happen when the road is straight and easy; real life happens in the unexpected curves. Don’t fixate on the hazards, always focus on the exit, and the road will take care of itself.

Sometimes it’s not always a party at the Casa, but if you stick around long enough, the party always seems to fire back up at the most unexpected times.

Stick around.

We be of one blood, ye and I.

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