Strength. It can come in different forms.
This morning four of us went to the trails to run and do yoga. While other people were sleeping still or lounging around the house we went out in forty something degree weather to run, to have fun, and become stronger. At my apartment Sumner showed amazing strength as she lifted her body off the ground with her hands and balanced in positions that I could barely contort myself into.
However, I am pretty sure that I witnessed the strongest person I know right now earlier this afternoon, my brother. No, he doesn't lift weights, he's not a wrestler or football player, never has been, never will be. In fact he stands at a meager 5'8" or so and tips the scale around 100 lbs. While he may also be the weakest 24 year old I know, he is also definitely the strongest. Once again he is back in the hospital bed, getting out of it 2 times today to do his walk around the block.. aka the nurses station and meander around 8 west in Boston Medical Center which unfortunately has become like his second home over the past 2 years. While he appears to be weak in his bed, he is far stronger than myself or anyone else that I know for that matter. He really inspires me and amazes me. Throughout his sickness he has never raised his voice or taken his frustration out on anyone. If I had to live a week in his shoes I think I would have gone out of my mind, yet he never complains. At times I want to scream out loud for him, tell him it's okay to let it all out, and yet he just seems to go with the flow. He is so thoughtful of others... his visitors he wants to make comfortable, making sure there is a chair or at least a little space in his hospital room for you to stay awhile. He can't even eat solid foods, and yet he knows his nurses like chocolates and sweets, so he makes sure that my mom keeps the candy dish stocked, so when they come in to take his vitals and give him his meds and ivs they can have a treat for the road. Truly, it's amazing. Today wasn't the first time I'd been there, actually I can't count how many times I've been there, yet I can drive to BMC like I am driving to my own house. I don't know Boston well, yet getting to Harrison Ave is a piece of cake, I've done it too often. Just seeing him there today though really made me think. I went stayed a while and left, and yet while I am sitting here comfortably typing away, he's still there. Still half sideways in a bed because of tubing going in and out of his body, probably watching the Red Sox on the tv built into the wall, Curious George by his bedside, and probably about to say goodnight to my dad and other visitors who wandered in. And when he wakes up, he will still be there. Not only that, but I am the type of person who likes to have a plan, I like to know where I am headed... have a goal and work towards it. But I can't imagine the thought of not knowing when you will finally be able to live a normal day. While I sometimes don't feel like going to work in the morning, he hasn't been able to apply for a job he would probably kill to work and yet he doesn't complain. He truly is so mentally tough. He has such faith that things will work out. I only hope that I too have some of those genes, although I am grateful not to be in a position right now where I have to find that out and yet at the same time I wish I could trade places with him, let me be in that bed so that he too can be living life, not waiting to see when his life will be his again. Although I know even if this were an option, no way would he take it, he's just too strong.
He's amazing, he's my little brother.