Monday, June 5, 2017

My Storied Truth

This night is one of the hardest, yet one of my favorites of the year. It’s a night filled with so many raw and diverse emotions that amass over time as I do my best to keep them in check and shrouded in a self-protecting cloak of strength - subconsciously suppressing them throughout the year. It’s on nights such as this that I am reminded how quickly time is passing, just how priceless every breath is, and no matter what the days have brought and have yet to bring, no matter how desperately I push proving to myself I am strong enough to live this life, I will forever be writing my life’s story parallel to an unchangeable truth called cystic fibrosis.

This specific page in my story? This night? It’s our yearly Breathe Bravely backyard celebration.

Honesty, Purpose, and Meaning
It’s during nights such as this that I am forced to see such a truth and its influence on that very given moment. It sets my emotions ablaze and causes my eyes to brim with tears. You see, this truth is woven within every page of my life’s story. This truth silently sends reverberations throughout every action, every relationship, and every breath that I am given. This simple truth, however? This life with CF? It has made me wholly who I am. And, as tears dare to overwhelm my eyes as I simply write such a truth, I know I wouldn’t trade a moment of any of it. I wouldn’t trade a single breath, a single ounce of lung function, or a single moment of heartache if it meant not living the life I am so fortunate to live today. I wouldn’t rewrite a single page of this story if it meant not knowing what it means to love this deeply, live this honestly, and breathe so purposefully. In truth, CF has inspired some of the most meaningful relationships in my life and opened my eyes and heart to what it means to truly live – many things people live their entire lives without ever experiencing.

An Intersecting Truth
For some reason, this night seemed to be one of the most emotionally difficult ones I’ve endured so far - surpassed only by its memorable and meaningful beauty. It took all I had to keep from being buried in a medley of raw emotions. What was it exactly about this night that left my heart and mind enveloped in emotion? It was a culmination CF’s exhausting uncertainties and complications that have been relentless these past months. It was seeing my storied truth before me married with the realization of passing time. But most of all, it was the sight of seeing so many people who have impacted my life so greatly all in one place.

As I looked out over our backyard I saw people gathered that reflected every part of my journey. People, that without them, I wouldn’t be here today and this beautiful thing I get to call my life would cease to exist. People who have helped shape my past, the present, and are unknowingly influencing my future. People from every corner of my life, there, intersected in a single moment in front of me. People who have inspired and fervently believed in a life without limits and living a life worthy of my own unique story - no matter my unchangeable truth. People who remind me that this truth that lives within every page of my story has brought each of them into my life and shaped me into all I am. For each of you I am grateful beyond words. Love to you all, now and always.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support Team Ashley Saturday morning and helped make this year’s Breathe Bravely Backyard Bash so meaningful and memorable Saturday  night. Check out Breathe 3-65 this week on Tuesday to get a full account of the Breathe Bravely Backyard Bash and all who helped make it possible!  

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