“WHERE THERE’S LIFE, THERE’S HOPE!”
|| By TAYLOR BROWN || A few months ago I wrote a column that was extremely difficult to write, let alone have published. I’ve thought back on that post quite a bit. This week, however, it was all I could think about.
It’s been two years since I survived my attack and rape in Madrid, and this is the first time ever that I’ve ever been able to use the word “rape” to describe what happened to me. It’s been a hard two years—full of mistakes and successes. I continue everyday trying to be better than I was the day before. I often fail—more so than I would care to admit. However, all of my missteps and mistakes seem so silly, so insignificant, because I know my life could easily have ended seven hundred and thirty days ago.
Seven hundred and thirty days ago, I changed – I would never again be the same person I was seven hundred and thirty-one days ago, but isn’t that part of life?
Adapting to change in whatever form it comes in? It took me a long time to open up publicly about what happened to me, but when I did, I found a weird sort of peace.
Opening up about my most traumatic experience made it no longer just my experience, but rather any survivors’ story. Back in November I wrote that my story isn’t any different or more special than “what countless other women have been through or shared. But perhaps because my story isn’t special you’ll realize that what you say or do to women who have gone through this … does make a difference.”
I am extremely lucky to have survived my ordeal …
… and I thank God every single day for allowing me to leave only with a broken foot, bruises, and gashes, but my life intact. I would be lying to you if I said that there aren’t days that I wish I hadn’t, but, as Tolkien wrote, “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
I am thankful for every sunrise and every sunset. I am thankful for every friend who has held me while I cried. I am thankful for a family who is always there for me. I am thankful for seven hundred and thirty days of memories and cherished moments that I’ve been able to share with my loved ones.
I look forward to the days coming that my Creator gives to me, and I remember now, as ever, “Where there’s life there’s hope!”
TAYLOR BROWN is a 20-something Wofford College graduate who somehow got sucked into politics at an early age. She is easily won over with Rush’s fast food, wine, and spirited political arguments.