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To Be Vulnerable . . .

I heard something on the television today that had absolutely nothing to do with my situation, but it totally related to me. "I am strong, but a strong person also has to allow themselves to be vulnerable." A lightbulb went on.

I was a very shy child - (yes I know some of you find that hard to believe) - until my life came to a halt. I experienced what I thought was the most pain in my entire life - the loss of my father. Jim Perdue was a wonderful father of six children. He was happy, young, full of life, a good husband, a great provider. He cared for me, he loved me, he was my daddy and he was not blood related. He was my step dad, although those words never crossed my lips. He was my daddy. He passed away on a cool California night in January of a heart attack at the age of 44. I thought my life was over. There is nothing that can replace that special bond with your father.

With the passing of my father came strength. I told myself that if my daddy wasn't going to be there to protect me then I had to do it myself and make him proud.

The strength has helped me get through a great deal in life, but for some reason, my strength seems to be deteriorating within. It is hard for others to grasp this, but I do because this is my life. My own personal hell.

I cannot hear, see, touch or smell Brett. I cannot hear his sweet voice. I cannot hold his hand on his way out from preschool. I cannot hear him breathe as I cover him up at midnight before going to bed. I can only see his sweet smile in pictures instead of right in front of me. The only way I can touch him is to go to his gravestone marker and touch the pictures we had placed on it. This by far is the greatest pain I have EVER felt in my life. I still wake up EVERY morning thinking it was all a bad dream.

People look at me at being that strong willed, out spoken person and that I am just going to bounce back to being my "normal" self. I have no idea what normal is, I cannot just sweep this under the rug and move on. This is my life. I lost my child. I AM vulnerable. I looked up vulnerable in the dictionary and I read "capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt." Yes, that is ME. I need others to be my strength until I am strong enough on my own. Sometimes the strong need to be carried, held, loved.

I have always been the one to give. For me to receive so much from so many was not an easy task, but I have learned to accept it because I NEED it. I have learned that I am on a downward road that I need help climbing back up and am hoping to do so in time - with lots of help.

I have learned that to be vulnerable is to be human.


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