I can. I will.
The message on the painted rock on the edge of the lake.
I’ve had no problem talking about death since death inserted itself in mine and my child’s life. Loss doesn’t demand erasure and as time passed, the mentions of the husband and father we lost have became opportunities for remembrance. The pictures of him and with him that appear on the slideshow on our TV screen are reminders that what we experience today is also joy.
We’ve had to embrace absence to find our happiness. Not that it has been easy, because it hasn’t, and it shouldn’t be. Adapting to anything new requires effort. Moving forward — from anything, because loss doesn’t only apply to death — requires hard work. For me, a big part of the work has been to avoid asking why and focusing instead on asking what for. And that’s how I’ve renewed my sense of purpose.
Shortly after our return last month to New York, my child’s birthplace and a city that still feels like home even after our decade in Arizona, we traveled to the Finger Lakes region to celebrate my 49th birthday. During a stop at a roadside restaurant on the edge of Seneca Lake, I spotted this rock, a pop of color on the weathered wood table where patrons retrieved the food they ordered. I read the words painted on it as a personal message:
Sometimes in the winds of change we find our greatest direction.
Here’s the meaning I found in these words: The future is yours to shape, Fernanda. Take charge. Your strength comes from knowing that you can and you will. That includes understanding that “can” and “will” also mean that you can make mistakes (and that you will make mistakes because no one is perfect). They also mean that you can and will ask for help.
In my new role as editorial director at Futuro Media, I’m a leader. I’m a leader who can and will make mistakes and ask for help, yes, but I’m also a confident leader. I can and will lead by mentoring, teaching, learning, inspiring and being inspired. I’m confident of that because when death inserted itself in mine and my child’s life, I understood that I had to choice but to pick up the pieces and rebuild everything.
One of the things I’ve rebuilt is my sense of self-worth. Another is my belief that I can and that I will.
Essa mensagem tem um grande eco no peito. Obrigada!
Heloiza Barbosa (Faxina Podcast, creator)