Warriors Look Back...and Pass it Forward...

The girls and I were visiting our local farmer's market at the Santa Fe Railyard. There's an abundance of local goods including beautiful flowers, organic produce and vendors selling a variety of handmade art in various mediums. I'm a huge supporter of creative expression with enterprise. To make a living through passion and art in its many forms is enviable. Knowing people pay for your art in written word, the knowledge you have and share, from the fruits of your labor, or your artistic expression on canvas, in fashion, or any contribution of beauty (Lili and Alisha :) is an accomplishment. One booth had old teeshirts rolled in a basket. There were several we liked but one we could not leave behind. This gray cut up shirt had friends peering up with familiar eyes. A long haired HHH, pre-shaved head Batista, and another well known star I'd name, but strangely, I can't see him, were center stage with a flying Matt Hardy, and Rey Mysterio rounding out the composition. It's a bad ass tee full of history that felt destined for these warrior girl's closet! When I look at the younger faces of these Superstars I wonder if they had any idea the future they'd have in the entertainment arena. HHH has truly innovated with NXT and Batista has broken into mega hit movie making. Each man forged a path and blazed a trail...this is true too for all of us!

Our community in Santa Fe had two tragedies back to back. A young man who attends the school my girls do died this summer. By all accounts this boy was a truly delightful human being. He was described as smart, curious, sweet and infinitely kind. His death was stunning and heartbreaking. Equally heart wrenching was the death of a father of three girls and beloved husband who was killed on his motorcycle by a young woman allegedly texting in a rain storm. Her moment's distraction sent her full speed into his motorcycle as his wife and daughter watched in horror a few cars behind. This young woman's lapse in judgement changed the trajectory of her life and this family's in irreparable ways. My heart breaks for the devastated family and this girl too. We have all been guilty of negligence of one sort or another. To have the consequence be so permanent is unthinkable. I pray for all of them. These two events happened within days of the other and rattled our small town but mobilized a warrior response.

In moments of tragedy it is up to us Warriors to stand united and share our hard earned metal. It is also our job to pour into those following our unenviable footsteps what we learned to get us through. This was mirrored back to me as Anna and I sat talking in a local eatery, Del Charo, Friday night. We had missed Widow Wednesday so had a makeup night Friday. It will be a year we started this weekly exercise in healing, tequila, friendship and laughter this Fall. I promised Anna back when she was raw and fragile there would come a time the pain would hurt in a manageable way after losing her fiancé, Les. I told her light would return, joy would come, the darkness would abate. She looked at me with hopeful, uncomprehending, hazel eyes that against all reason, believed me. I could tell she trusted what I was telling her even if it seemed like I must be speaking a lie. On Friday night Anna told me how she passed her history onto our next generation of grieving sisterhood when the young man at the school's devastated girlfriend came to her for solace. Anna is a trusted teacher, department head, exemplary educator and "adult in the room". She takes her profession insanely seriously getting to school at 4:30 in the morning to prepare for classes. Teachers are soooooo freaking hard working without the pay or adulation they deserve for their service and sacrifice. Knowing my girls attend the school at which she works gives me comfort they are in good hands. It is not widely distributed news on campus that Anna lost Les two summers ago but grief is magnetic and somehow this girl sought Anna. I was so deeply moved when my fellow WW buddy told me how she had used words she wanted to believe a year ago to light a candle on this young woman's windowsill. Anna said, "I looked at this young woman and told her a year ago somebody came into my life and changed me. She told me something I could hardly believe but now I do. This friend had lost her husband of 15 years whom she loved so deeply and yet she told me as she sat here in my office it would be alright. That I would be alright. She told me, 'I like the me I am now better than I liked the her I was then'...I found that nearly impossible to believe back then but I know she was right because that is me now and I can promise that will be you too."...

I went home and laid in bed thinking of her words. Anna has told me, "I am more brave in this world because I have you in my life.". These are the things that sustain me along with my history and the life I shared with my husband. He made me so brave I was able to stand strong when he died. Now I am without his physical being but his spirit, philosophy and legacy live on in all of you. I am infinitely brave, truly nearly fearless, because of the legion of Warriors I inherited and my best Warrior Women friends who look to me for wisdom, love, loyalty, along with a guaranteed gummi bear fix and give me the same back in equal measure.

I believe it is important to look back on photos of our young selves and smile at the naivety that lived in our eyes. I believe we are destined for greatness only if we pick ourselves up after great loss. I believe history books are written as a map for future travelers to follow and go beyond. I believe Warriors look back, reflect, and teach those who come behind us to be brave...and to BELIEVE...Always.

xo🕯Dana

🎗this month is the time to donate to cure childhood cancer. Please join me in contributing to Connor's Cure. I never ask something of you that I would not do myself. The girls and I will make our donation in the memory of Warrior. Every bit helps.💛

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