I’m about three quarters through reading Democratic senator Wendy Davis’s memoir Forgetting to Be Afraid. Davis is most well known for holding an eleven-hour long filibuster to block a measure in Texas in 2013 that would have included more restrictive abortion regulations. She is truly a Fruit Loop in a sea of Cheerios in Texas.
About the first half of the book goes through a very detailed account of her family, her childhood and her life through age 18, and it’s almost painful to read about some of the things she had to go through. Her mother went through such a dark period after their father left when she was young that she almost tried to commit a family suicide by putting all three of her children in the trunk of the car and turning on the engine in the garage. A neighbor randomly knocked on the door, concerned about Davis’s mom, and just said he wanted to “check in” on them to see how they were doing. In the end, that single visit is what made Davis’s mom decide against the suicide and realize that she needed to continue going on.
Because of this and a few other key experiences in her life, Davis says she believes in angels. Everything happens for a reason, even when the worst things happen. Reading her book and going through experiences in my own life, I really believe that everything, even the most excruciatingly painful experiences, happen for a reason and serve some purpose in our lives. In some ways, it can be perceived as merely justifying past experiences or mistakes, which could be a fair argument, but if we have no hope, we really have nothing to move forward into our future. I believe in angels, too.