“Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top — it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others — it rises from your heart.”
– Junko Tabei after becoming the first woman to climb Everest in 1975
“On March 30th 2008 I received the knock at the door that every military family fears. A Marine in dress blues and Navy chaplain delivered the news that my husband, LTCol William Hall, had died of his injuries after his vehicle was struck by an IED.
“I spent the following year in a cloud of doubt and uncertainty. As I navigated, my new way of life, I questioned my faith. I found myself at odds with God and struggling to comprehend the meaning of such a loss. In 2009, I set out on a journey to find my faith again. I traveled to Italy, France, Egypt, and Jerusalem. It was in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, where I contemplated the depths of grief and the journey ahead of me. As I let my body absorb its warmth and alkalinity, I knew I could not physically get any lower than this point. A lifetime of memories washed over me like a monsoon of emotions. I missed him dearly. All the things we would not do together ever again, all the milestones he would miss, all the challenges we would never face. The first day of kindergarten for Gladys, teaching Xavier to drive, missing Xander’s graduation and Tia’s wedding day…all were gone.