As I grow stronger, my strength feats improve and become more impressive. Yet there is one strength feat that I, in my mind, I'll never be able to top.
As a newborn, I was premature and my heart stopped twice from severe sleep apnea. I was always small with an average constitution at best, and I had more inhalers and medicines than I had t-shirts; yet, seeing my mom's untarnished vitality from a wheelchair, even with MS, Parkinson's, diabetes, MRSA, and the list goes on, gave me energy.
One day, though the details of how escape me, my mom fell out of her wheelchair while dad was at work. Naturally, my older brother and I, 11 and 7 respectively, couldn't spend the day seeing our mother in agony on the floor.
After trying hard to think of solutions, and seeing mom's face twisted with pain like never before, something awoke in my brother...and he deadlifted our 200+lbs mom off the floor and back into her wheelchair.
I never let that moment escape my mind, because even at age 7, I cursed myself for my weakness. In that moment I knew what I wanted more than anything. I wanted to become strong. I wanted to be strong enough to never feel that helpless again; I wanted to be strong enough that the people that I loved could be at full rest when I was around.
And if I accomplished nothing else in my quest for strength...I wanted to be strong enough to lift my mom, even if just once.
I got that opportunity twice. Once, when I moved back to DC and we lived together in 2013. I held her in my arms, sang to her, and hummed a tune that she always hummed to me when I was young; even the immense joy on her face couldn't rival the joy in my heart at that moment.
The second was at her funeral this past June.
As the future brings me strength, joy, and hopefully a legacy to be remembered...in my heart of hearts, that was my shining moment.