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Let her jump

Keep it Real Wednesday

July 26, 2023

Let her jump

This past weekend Wade and I had the honor of spending 3 days on the Salmon River with a group of fellow cancer survivors and caregivers hosted by River Discovery.

The experience was beyond words. In fact, I haven’t really talked about it with friends and family as if speaking the words would somehow dilute my experience.  I want to savor every single moment.

But this morning I woke up with one experience in my mind today that I just knew I had to share with you.

The moment was THAT POWERFUL and I think relates to us all as caregivers.

Deidra traveled all the way from Alabama for this 3-day retreat. She is a breast cancer survivor and has been holding her breath for the 5-year mark (next month!) where she can finally exhale a bit, knowing she has reached the point where the cancer is less likely to return.

Deidra had NEVER been to Idaho, had NEVER been in a river, and had NEVER been on a raft.  At one point during the trip, our boat floated over to a large rocky structure on the shore and our guide asked us if anyone wanted to climb up and jump off the cliff.  We all looked at each other, shaking our heads back and forth, but one person excitedly put her hand in the air and said, “I WILL”.

It was Deidra.

So, this brave woman got out of the raft and CLIMBED on a rock all the way to the top (which I venture was at least 25 to 30 feet above the water line).  We were all a little scared for her but also immensely proud of her bravery as we watched her stand on the top looking down at the water, clutching her life vest.

She was just about to jump when something happened.

A man (not with our group) approached her from behind and pushed her off the edge and into the water.

He yelled to her as she was falling into the water “I did you a favor”.

We were all shocked and appalled.

This stranger STOLE her power in one fast moment by thinking he knew what was best for her.

From the look on his face, he realized right away from our expressions below what he had done was wrong.  He apologized, but it was too late. The moment was forever gone.

Deidra brushed it off with her beautiful smile and we all applauded her bravery. But among the celebration, there was a moment of stillness in the air, where we all knew she was robbed of a special moment.

As we paddled downstream in the raft that scene continued to play out in my mind, and I couldn’t let it go.  

On this very special weekend of gathering as cancer survivors and caregivers, we were provided an incredible life lesson right in front of us.

Being PUSHED into something is very different from CONQUERING that brave step yourself. 

Have I been guilty of being that person on top of the rock and pushing Wade when I should have stood back and applauded when he jumped and conquered?

Yes, I believe so.  

I can do better.

So many beautiful moments and lessons this weekend.

I am forever grateful to River Discovery for this opportunity.

(and Deidra, you are our HERO)

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