Maybe you are lucky and have never been there, but someday you will. It is a place that finds you. It is a hard place. It is scary place.
It is cold. It is lonely. Quiet? Don’t get me started. The solitude cuts like jagged glass. Your chest is an empty drum. No question - this is tough place.
But you are tougher. You are going to rise above this place. It’s going to be okay.
Sure, you are going to have to reach deep. You are going to have to double your previous best lift. Breathe -and remember to exhale on the exertion. Smooth and steady motion, Champ. You so got this.
Here is something great: It is in this hell you will find the proof of God. You will find not only the courage to survive, but you will come up with superhuman strength to nourish others. You will find Grace in the face of death. Wow, right?
And you will simply carry on.
The balance of this column comes from Renee and Alyssa Brunelli. After last Saturday’s 'Benefit for Mark Brunelli,’ Renee wanted to say “thanks.” Somehow, she found the strength to say so much more. Read on:
Words truly cannot express our gratitude for the wonderful benefit that was held for our family this past Saturday. Alyssa and I were literally blown away by all of the love and support that surrounded us in that room.
When I was a child, I attended St. Alphonsus Church and grade school and one of my earliest memories was thinking that I wanted to live in Greendale someday. The community was beautiful, but more importantly, the people that lived there were some of the kindest people that I had ever met.
Back in 1998, that wish came true. Alyssa was about to start school and Mark and I had heard so many positive things about the Greendale School District that we began that summer by looking for a home in Greendale. Boy, not only did we find a house, we found a home.
Throughout Alyssa’s years at Highland View, Greendale Middle School and Greendale High School, we met some of the most wonderful people we had ever known. We developed relationships and bonds with too many families to count, that will last for a lifetime.
Back then, Mark and I thought we were being good parents and were moving into Greendale to give our daughter the best possible education. Little did we know that we were moving into a community that would embrace us and put its arms around us like a warm blanket.
Alyssa and I really hope that you don’t find this letter too impersonal. We truly wanted to write personal thank you notes to everyone, but honestly, it would take the rest of the year to thank each and every one of you individually.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you and God bless all of you for your love, warmth and compassion. Mark was surely smiling down on Ray & Dot’s last Saturday wishing that he could put his arms around each and every one of you - like a warm blanket.
Our love to you all,
Renee & Alyssa Brunelli”
The fighter still remains.