I remember jumping off the high dive when I was little. I can remember hopping out of the van at the swimming pool and proclaiming to my sisters “Today I am going to jump off the high board!” I have a vivid memory of running to that tall ladder during the first adult swim of the afternoon while yelling for my mom to get ready to catch me. Along the way I made sure that my sisters and friends were looking. As I climbed up all those steps, I was too excited to think any negative thoughts about what was to come. The most vivid part of my memory was slowly walking out to the end of the long blue board. With every step closer to the end, the board got bouncier and the fear became stronger. By the time I reached the end, I was overwhelmed with anxiety about the jump in front of me and became paralyzed. As I sit here this morning, I’m experiencing some of those same feelings.
As I’m sure you have all witnessed (and probably even experienced on your own), the next few minutes were filled with urging and reassurance from my mom and sisters (and I’m sure more than a few “HURRY UP! JUST JUMP!”s). I can’t say for sure how the story ended that first time I wanted to jump; maybe I mustered up the courage or maybe I was conquered by fear and backed down that ladder. What I can say for sure is that I eventually jumped, not because I was tremendously brave, but because the words of support and encouragement from my friends and family were stronger than all of my doubts.
In just a few hours we will cram my bags full of birthing kits, medical supplies, clothes, shoes, and other necessities (including several boxes of macaroni and cheese, ranch packets, a favorite blanket, a meat grinder and just a small crock pot) into the back of my sister’s van. Once again I am certain that I have not overcome the paralyzing task because of my own bravery, but because I am surrounded with all of you cheering me on.
Thank you for all the encouraging emails, cards, texts, phone calls, and facebook messages. Thank you for both the silent and verbal prayers. Thank you for the small donations and the large ones. Thank you for showing me your love and thank you for having faith in me. Thank you for helping me get there! (Now let’s just hope that my deodorant does, too!)