Katie Strumpf
"Helping kids with cancer.......a cancer survivor's story"  

Past, Present, and Future

Like most things, the anticipation was the hardest part. 

Going home turned out to be wonderful.

I ate my beloved Chipotle, my mom's chocolate chip cookies, Sweetgreen, and all the other D.C. delectables.

I spent time with friends, sweated at Down Dog, rode the Red Line, walked down K Street, saw the beauty of D.C. from a roofdeck, had a sugar-free iced blended mocha with my little sister at the Bagel Place at UMD, admired the White House lit up at dusk, walked by Adam's old office. 

I walked in honor of my love, Adam, in the 1st annual Adam's Army as part of the 5K Race for Hope for brain tumor research. I walked towards the Capitol in the city that Adam loved, surrounded by friends that loved him and I. It was memorable, bittersweet, and exactly right. 

I thought about how I felt when I left there just a few months ago, and was proud of how far I have come. I left home for the South in search of something new, and I found it.

I found the new me.

I will always be Katie; impatient, chatty, friendly, opinionated. 

But I have changed since Adam's death. How could I not? 

Instead of dwelling on the past, I embrace the changes in myself. I can never again be the person I was before Adam passed away. My life is forever split between before Adam died, and after. 

That is just the way it is.

I loved being home, but I loved coming back to Charleston. The shine of home can wear off with the Beltway traffic, the crowds, waiting way too long for the Metro, and the difficult memories there. 

I knew when I drove over the new bridge and saw Charleston spread out before me, and rode my bike around the island that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. 

Tomorrow I start a new job, and yet another new chapter of my life. 

Now I feel like I can really get comfortable here, and establish a life in my mom's hometown. 

I am thrilled.

But like every triumph that occurs in my life now, it is tinged with sadness, because Adam is not there to share in it. I will never come home to Adam after work, nor talk over my day with him. My new co-workers will never meet the man who melted my heart with his soulful brown eyes, and spent countless unpaid hours helping me at work.

I asked my mom if she thought Adam would be happy about my new job. She responded, "Let me put it this way, you wouldn't have this job if Adam wasn't happy with it." I liked that. I liked that even though Adam isn't physically here, he is still playing a role in my life. That is a huge comfort. 

I was so lucky to be in the last chapter of Adam's life. 

But I have many more chapters of my life, and live it I will.

I know Adam wouldn't want it any other way.





Posted by Katie Strumpf at 7:41 PM on May 4, 2011 | Comments (0)


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