Thanks for sharing. Spent some time reading through the blog and I am moved by Eric's profound words that challenge us all to be seated in our own experiences and challenges. These stood out to me:
"trusted in an open-heart policy: commit, let go, and have faith you will emerge on the other side stronger."
"Don’t let yourself off the hook. Wrestle with your own important and difficult choices; employ your open-heart policy and trust that you will ride that storm towards a new and beautiful and unexpected place. Most importantly, believe that what is inside you is stronger than the challenges in your way, and commit to growing that internal light. No matter what our background, ability, or circumstances, we have much to contribute, and we owe it to our families, our teams, and most importantly to ourselves"
Their experience is even more profound to me as my first GC trip came 9 months after experiencing a devastating and extremely rare loss of peripheral vision from ANION (an ischemia of the optic disk/nerve). We spent 6 months (and a following 4 years now) trying to hunt down a diagnosis and overlying cause. One doesn't seem to be there though I still experience health problems every few years that come in tandem with permanent vision changes. My first trip down the Grand came in the Jan' of 2010 as I first learned to remove myself from solely being a patient and accept the uncertainty of health and life in general. My wife was in the raft with me until Phantom but then I rowed solo in a group of other rafters for the remainder. Being seated and committed to such a challenging journey forces you to inventory and account for the challenges life throws at you but more importantly to be accountable to how we behave in those situations. I am imperfect pilot in that continual journey but, as most of us do, I try face it with courage and learn along the way.
Congrats to Eric & Lonnie and many props to what I imagine was a large support crew with big hearts and creative problem solving. Best of luck out there. Thanks for the reminder to find hope and strength when life feels overwhelming.