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Warriors Want to Learn...

By summer's end I will be moved out of our house. Truth is it's a home for the family we were and will be something wonderful for a new one. Nobody wants to face certain facts but every difficulty is a learning experience. Every day I truly endeavor to learn. As I begin to organize a move I inventory what Warrior held dear...nothing meant more to him than his Great Books of the Western World. This beautiful collection was not wall candy, it was food he fed his brain. So enthusiastic was Warrior in furthering his self education years before he died, it could almost be called religious. I did not understand his thirst for knowledge because, as an English major, I spent my academic career examining what he had newly discovered. Still, being his partner, I smiled proudly at his examination of this part of his intelligence. When he died his brain had been engaged with new knowledge and stimulated by a deep desire learn that satisfied his heart too. When Warrior passed I had to learn a A brain under duress is a magical thing if you lean into it and don't turn away. As the first year passed, and then the second I moved from fight or flight to the permanence of a new reality. I had to retrain my brain to learn again in a non frenetic manner. So much anxiety had been processed through my mind's synapses every thought had razor sharp edges. I knew this was no way to go through life so I decided to make a list of what I wanted to learn again, just for pleasure. I chose things I would not endeavor to learn in the life I'd lost. I wrote down five things: 1) learn to load and shoot a gun safely 2) learn to shuffle a deck of cards and play poker. 3) learn to shoot pool 4)learn to ride ATVs 5) learn to channel my passion to advocate for things I believed in independent Warrior's beliefs. Not all of my list was deep and full of meaning. This call to action was simply my desire to engage a different part of my brain that might carry me into the next book of my life. This simple list focused my intention to try new things and develop new skills. This engagement of intellect and action was my attempt to show up in the classroom of life. Of the list of five I have learned four. This summer I plan to learn the fifth. I added to the list of five things big and small. I researched horses, car engines (gas vs diesel) powerful, unorthodox women, tequila, and the strict differences between bourbon and whiskey. I watched wrestling before my husband's era and after and became a student and enormous fan of all aspects of sports entertainment. I bought a truck and became obsessed with them. I went to movies alone in the afternoon and bought candy to put in jars on my counter that would have been forbidden in our home before. I sought small joys and stimulating anecdotes in print to populate my day. I learned who I was in this new place of my life... I discovered who I would need to be to go beyond what I had ever asked myself to be. My physical demand in the gym to learn how far my body could be pushed was transformative. With the help of my trainer, Cindy Romero, I pushed myself further than I knew possible and took the crushing sadness, rage, fear, and ambivalence and burned it with passion, desire, sweat, commitment, and hard work. My gym pals tell me I'm a little pink Phoenix rising. I simply learned to be something new. We are never exempt from learning new things. Nothing you choose to learn is silly or unworthy of your time. I loved Warrior but if he saw my list of five things to learn he would have rebuked me. I also learned in these three years I would not allow his rebuke. If you have an interest, investigate it. If you feel a draw to explore something...follow it. Living an interested and invested life is about embracing passions, big and small, that are singular to you. As I pack up the life I lived in the home where my babies grew into young women and I grieved the husband I lost I will learn to cope and move forward. I will learn what it is to start again and all the adventure sewn into a fresh start. I will learn to play golf with my friend, Andrea, this Summer and we will laugh as she teaches me. Every difficulty delivers a gift. I intend to embrace the present that is, in fact, my future. With this season of commencement celebrations let's welcome those graduating warriors to the next level classroom of life. Let's be an example of our never ceasing quest to learn. I believe every Warrior is tasked with continual learning. I believe before Warrior passed his greatest lesson was love. I believe whether our list is long or short we must make one. I believe it is a warrior's responsibility to learn...Always. xo🎓d ⭐️🍾Congratulations to all our graduates...especially my best friend, Denise, who, as a single mother, fought her way to a masters degree. I. Am. So. Freaking. Proud...of her...and ALL of YOU! 🥂💙d🍭 

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