Carrying On

Author: Dayna Wood

SkydivingIf you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I’m a huge fan of finding quotes that help me get through the day (or even just the next hour…or minute). It always helps to have a little motivation/inspiration during my weakest moments. Not surprisingly, one of my favorite quotes was shared with me through TAPS, and it seems to sum up everything I’m feeling. It says, “It’s not moving on. It’s carrying on.”

With this in mind, I’ve done my best to carry on and live my life in a way that would make Ko proud. It’s devastating, frustrating and agonizing when I stop to think about how we were planning a life and a future for the two of us. We were preparing to settle into life at Ft. Bragg. We were building a life together. Instead, I find myself forced to make major life decisions on my own, which often leaves me angry and confused.
Yet, I’m doing my best to see through the haze and rediscover what it means to be happy. Moving to Seattle has been a large part of the process. I’m hesitant to say I’m starting over. It seems to me that this is more like a new chapter in the ongoing story of my life, in which Ko will always be a major character.

As part of this new chapter, I’m encouraging myself to get out of the house and explore. I’m in a new city, and while I have a great support system of friends in the Seattle area, I want to meet more people and try new things. It’s far too easy for me to sit at home and stew in my thoughts. Don’t get me wrong…. I have bad days and it’s not always easy to dive right in and meet new people. In fact, just the other day I found myself sitting on the couch with a pile of used tissues the size of Mt. Everest piling up next to me. The tears just kept coming. I clung to Ko’s ACUs with every ounce of strength I had. 
However, I’m trying my best to not let these moments define me and my life. I accept them when them come, but I always try to remember the things I want to do in the years ahead and the adventures Ko wants me to have. For example, Ko promised me we’d go skydiving together, but he told me I wasn’t allowed to chicken out. We never got the chance to follow through with our deal, but after the accident, I made a promise to myself and to Ko that I’d still jump out of a plane. 

In April of this year, I fulfilled my promise. It was hands down the most exhilarating and awesomely terrifying experience of my life, and it was particularly meaningful because one of Ko’s best friends came with me. After the jump, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, and it was nice reminder that buried under the sadness and hurt is the ability to still feel an overwhelming sense of joy. 

I hope to have many more exciting adventures in the days, months, and years ahead. Maybe one day I’ll find love again and have someone to share in these new experiences. I know without question that Ko wants that for me. Yet, I also know that I’ll never “move on”. To me, there is no such thing. Ko will forever have a piece of my heart and will be with me everywhere I go. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My goal right now is to keep carrying on in pursuit of brighter days.