There a lot of times in my life where I have recalled just wanting to give up. Times such as finals week, bad breakups, or when I've gone weeks without a decent nights sleep. I got through even when I thought that I couldn't possibly do so. Luckily I have gone 17 years without being seriously ill. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to have your body in such a bad state, but it happens.
Once in a while I will come across a story that puts me in awe of how some people retain hope and strength during such trying times. I was recently emailed a story about a courageous woman named Edie. In 2007 Edie was only given a few months to live after battling cancer. However, instead of being devastated by this news, she fought. Even through all of the harsh chemotherapy and radiation treatments Edie still managed to go on enjoying her favorite activities, as well as staying close to her family and friends. Edie has embarked on a 60 day, 800 mile walking tour of the 21 California Missions. She is doing this to inspire others to fight a disease that is often portrayed as one that cannot be overcome. Now that is strength, courage, and hope.
It is stories like Edie's that inspire me to live and persevere even when giving up just seems to be the easiest option. Edie is an incredible role model for all of us. Even in the face of adversity and illness she has refused to give up. I believe that she embodies the greatest sprit of hope and courage. I cannot fathom how hard it must be to stay mentally strong when your body is physically fragile and weak. When I think about this my problems feel small. I have heard throughout my life that, "It could be worse." I have always believed that, but when I come across stories like this it really puts my life into perspective. I can finally attach a face to the words courage, hope, and strength. Giving up is easy, fighting is hard.
Edie was in Camarillo yesterday. She will be headed toward Ventura this morning, and will arrive in Santa Barbara on Friday. Edie's Facebook page is here. Her website is Edie's Mission Walk . Remember the only thing that is more powerful than the urge to give up is the strength to keep going.
Thank you Edie. You are a hero to us all.
Story idea suggested by Leslie Westbrook.