Survivor Safari

Myrtle Rowell May 15, 1923 - November 20, 2014

Myrtle Rowell
May 15, 1923 – November 20, 2014

S:  When I moved here five years ago, I thought I knew everything about the Rowells.  It turns out I knew very little about them, especially my Grandma.  Yet there was one thing her and I that we always had in common.  We were survivors.  That was my favorite thing about her; she’d always say, “You know me! I’m a survivor!”

A:    She survived extreme, suffocating losses.  Losing a son to such a sad death alone is enough.  But no matter how bad things were, she always sent one very consistent message to the universe.  “You know me.  I’m a survivor.”

F:  While I’m not a fan of admitting this, everyone knows she took just as much care of me as I did her.

A:  Without her vinegar, I don’t think I would have understood just how hard her life really was.  I look at my own losses, in just this year alone, and realize just how much vinegar is takes to survive.  It’s strange, isn’t it?  You can collect your losses and sort through them, but you cannot hold losses in your hands.  You can only gain wisdom from letting them go.  So, wouldn’t all of the losses in life truly be gains?

R:  This is why I hesitate to receive accolades, especially from the church, about my actions in taking care of the Rowells.  Never, in my wildest dreams, did I imagine I would have the opportunities I’ve had with such tremendous gains in my career and life.  Nor the humbling lessons I’ve learned as a caregiver, or to receive the unconditional support of so many special people.  They said I sacrificed, but I only gained.  And to think, all I had to do was move to Houston, Texas.

I:  No one can ever understand the losses that my Grandma suffered.  But everyone knows what she wanted to the world to know most.  She was a survivor.  I discovered just how brave she really was.  I was led to this place of strength, acceptance, and peace because I had to learn these lessons.  You know me, I’m a survivor.

© 2015 Jess Rowell

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