Friday, August 10, 2012

Follow up: For the Love of Meghan

This is awesome! I had a lot of fun talking with Sara, check it out and follow her blog.

That Girl...tales from the edge: Follow up: For the Love of Meghan:
It was the part of the story we all know and love...the moment where the protagonist reaches out his hand...the girl grabs onto it...they walk away from the camera...skip...ride horseback into the sunset...but this wasn't a romantic comedy...it wasn't a fairytale. this...was...real...

I first "met" Adam via a news story. The reporter told of a young woman who was diagnosed with cancer at 27...Meghan. Meghan kept a list of goals...NOT a bucket list because "no one was dying"...things she wanted to accomplish in her life. And some of these items she was able to cross off her list...but not all. She left behind a sizable list of items she would never be able to accomplish...

Enter Adam...Meghan's husband...Adam was by Meghan's side as she fought the beast called cancer. Meghan tried to engage Adam in conversations about "what if"...Adam wanted nothing to do with it. He wasn't thinking what if because he refused to even consider the possibility...he was determined Meghan would be there....they would build their lives together...he would be by her side as she crossed those items off her list...but then reality slammed through the door. And Adam was alone...with his grief...and Meghan's list.

Adam was compelled...as a tribute to his beautiful wife, Adam stepped in where Meghan left off. Adam found it incredibly unjust Meghan, so full of life, was gone...her list abandoned...Adam decided he would work on her list...accomplishing her goals because she would not be able.

After watching the news story, I wanted to know more about Adam. I was unsure why but he intrigued me. Perhaps, I was more curious about where he was at with this journey when I realized it has been two years since the story first ran. So, I started reading his posts on Meghan's blog. Some were just photos, some were a couple lines. And then, there was a post that took my breath away. Adam talked about grief...his grief...and the only way through it is to allow grief space...and to keep moving forward...and to be willing to accept help. Adam mentions how easy it is to shut yourself off from everyone and everything around you...to become engulfed...and the need to step outside of your comfort zone to find whatever it is that will help you continue moving forward. For Adam, it meant facing his preconceptions and  being willing to seek out a therapist. The therapist was able to help Adam hold a mirror up to himself, to deal with the guilt of Meghan's death, to find himself and learn to trust himself. I commented on this post...I truly connected to Adam and what he was describing, the choices he was making...and Adam wrote back.

Adam and I started emailing back and forth...one of the questions I wondered about was where Adam was in all of this...it is Meghan's list he is working to complete...so where does Adam fit in? When Adam started working on the goals, he wanted to honor Meghan by completing her list and perhaps keep her spirit alive...to feel her presence even though she was gone...a way to learn even more about Meghan as he sought to understand why these goals were important to her, what she was trying to learn by accomplishing them. As Adam journeyed to far away places, he felt Meghan...he envisioned how she would feel if she were with him, what her reactions would be. And, over time, Adam started to see...he realized why these goals were so important to Meghan...he felt the challenge of stepping into new cultures, completely foreign to him...he saw the personal growth that comes with learning to commit to a task...working hard towards accomplishing a goal...sometimes, tasting failure...but to just keep going. The focus and purpose of the list, mixed with the sense of living life to its fullest...and Adam realized this list was truly becoming his own.

In talking with Adam, it is seemingly impossible not to like him. He is a man on a mission to live life...to accomplish some hefty goals...and, yet, he has a more subtle message as well. Meghan is at the forefront of everything he is striving to do...as he graduates with his bachelor's in Linguistics and makes plans to start working on his Masters (a PhD as the end goal)...as he plans to skate the Rideau Canal...a trip to Ireland...and as I read the early posts, the other articles, watch the other news stories, I learn about who Meghan was...a young girl who was loving life and had her world turned upside down by cancer. Yet, instead of hiding away, she put herself out into the world...to help others...to teach others...she shared her treatments, her ups and downs, photos of her surgeries, shaving her head...and, in many of the photos, many of the stories, there is Adam.

Within Meghan's story is the story of Adam...Adam's life was also turned upside down...and Adam continues to share his journey as he navigates through the what ifs he never wanted to face. Adam shares the emotions and heartache of realizing life doesn't always end up how we envision it...he shares as he navigates through painful emotions...and making important choices. Choices to continue placing one foot in front of the other...to learn how to work through the emotions, instead of pretending they aren't there or trying to outrun them. Adam continues to share his story as part of Meghan's mission...but it is really a reflection of Adam.

At the heart of Adam's story is his desire to help others. Adam wants to reach other people...because, at some point, we will all have our lives turned upside down...and we will face similar choices: to pick ourselves up and learn how to truly live life to its fullest or to let ourselves be overcome and give up. Adam wants to share his experiences to show others there is value in being true to who you are...there is value in finding yourself...because in the midst of life's challenges, both triumphs and failures, there is an opportunity to be the best you. There is no shame in being open and honest about your struggles, in fact, the ability to admit where you are at is often the moment you are able to recognize your own strength. There is a life made sweeter and richer by giving space to the hardship...Adam uses his regrets as markers for future situations, he doesn't let them put a halt to the journey. Adam uses Meghan's list as a trajectory for his life...as he accomplishes one goal, he sets another...consistently getting bigger and bigger. He is proud of what he has learned and accomplished and he credits Meghan's example...he wants others to find the strength to live life harder and never stop...keep pushing, keep living...don't  ever stop...push yourself to do more with what you have...be open to seeing love all the way through.

During Adam's journey in India, his friend talked about how Meghan passed her goals onto him and not anyone else in her circle because Adam needed the path and the path is Ali Baba's key to the hidden treasure. At first, I was as uncertain as Adam about what exactly it meant...but as I sought to understand who Meghan was...who Adam is...and learn the message intertwined in both their journeys, I realized how true this statement is...and how thankful I am my path has crossed Adam's.

Follow Adam on his journey:
Blog For the Love of Meghan
Twitter @LoveOfMeg
Facebook For the love of Meghan

If you'd like to support Adam on completing Meghan's list, there is a donation button on the blog 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are wonderful inspiration.

bassgal said...

Xxxxxoooooxxxx

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