The title that I chose for this blog – “Invincible Summer” – is taken from a quote by Albert Camus which, in its entirety, goes like this…
In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
This is a quote that has been with me since March 17, 2009 when Eric, our oldest son, who unbeknownst to us had Addison’s Disease, suffered a stroke after catching a typical childhood stomach bug. We ended up in the ICU of Fairfax INOVA Hospital and thus began a very vicious downward spiral that would lead to a diagnosis of adrenoleukodystrophy for both our boys, Rachel and me and would end with the loss of both Eric and our youngest child Jacob.
As you might imagine – on this particular day – every moment, every word being spoken and every decision being made were spinning around me at the deafening speed of a freight train. We were helpless – completely helpless.
For those of you fortunate enough to have never spent time in one… a typical ICU unit often only allows room for beds, equipment and people and, at this point in time, they asked that cell phones not be used in the unit less they interfere with equipment. So, we had to leave the secured area for any breaks or phone calls. At INOVA, just outside the security doors to the unit, there was a wall that had a bunch of “artwork” on it – pictures, announcements, awards and this quote. At some point on this first day, on my way out of the unit, I passed thru the doors and my eye caught this quote, framed and hanging right in front of me. I don’t know what it was about it… but it stopped me dead in my tracks and I just stood there staring at the words… reading them over and over again… and over again. Summer? Winter? Invincible? And still, I stood there staring at this slate of words that didn’t seem to even form a cohesive thought and certainly made no sense to me. But slowly… and I do mean slowly… these words became a sentence and this sentence took on meaning and it soaked into me and I realized that I was indeed in the middle of “winter.” Actually, I was pretty sure that we had found the deepest part of winter – little did I know.
In fact, the “depth of winter” waited before us. But, in all this time, I have never forgotten this quote. And somewhere along the way I knew that I had to keep my eye out for that “invincible summer” that must lie within. And it does. And while we are not basking in its constant warmth – there will likely always be a passing winter chill – we try to be always looking towards it and reaching for it. And, that’s the best that we can do.
This adoption journey that we are on is definitely part of that “summer.”
And so… that is the very long answer to the very short question… “why this title?”