Letting go of everything ironically allows us to hold onto what’s most important. Or better still you find out what is worth holding on too! In the end it is only your familymessage in a bottle and the people who you love and love you back – that matter in life. Everything else is temporal. I’m learning to accept the things that cannot be changed, accept a life that was not at all what I had planned. I’m settling into the familiar that is becoming my new normal.

The community of family as I knew it has shifted and become something new altogether – I’m grateful to a Son, so much life his Father. A gentle strength, and a sense of loyalty to family. David would have been beaming with pride – a boy, his boy grown – a man of character and integrity. A daughter, insightful and kindhearted – her humor and her view of the world around her, inspires me – he was always in awe of her. An older daughter whose journey has taken her elsewhere – I have learned by my experience with her, that the grieving process is so unique and so unpredictable. I whisper a prayer every night and hope that the stars we both see in the sky – in our separate places, connect us somehow. I whisper a prayer that God will watch over her – and help her to know that no matter where her life may take her – her Dad will always be with her, she’ll always be loved by me and that I really do see her pain.

I’m thankful for a Sister my only link now to a childhood family – a family that exists only in photos and stories. Thankful for an Aunt who wrote to me in the days that followed David’s death – in my Mother’s absence she would become my source of comfort, love and support. My heart is full of gratitude and thanksgiving for each of them.

God has blessed me with wonderful friendships in my life – friends that I have grown with – some that I have grown up with; a childhood friend who is your first secret keeper. As well, the friends that I have met later in life. Friends who have been there to share in the joyful moments, are the same friends who showed up to hold my hand – and my heart during the most sorrowful time in my life – each, are very special and very priceless gifts to me.

IMG_2278 (2)… a lost friendship that was found in forgiveness. My Brother-in-law. Together he and I found a way to bridge the gap, together we would find a way to heal the brokenness within a family – heal our relationship to one another. We would know firsthand how easily life can slip away and our choice would be to forgive – move forward.

I received the “cross” [in the photo] as a gift – he was traveling that year and while in Jerusalem he visited the Holy Sepulchre Stone where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial. It is said that whatever is placed upon the stone is blessed – he placed a cross on the stone and on the note enclosed it read, “I blessed each one for my family”

… and my life has been very blessed.

Today represents a milestone, six months of sobriety. But it represents so much more to me – a defining moment in my life. I hope to look back one day and remember it as a time of renewal rather then struggle – a time when I first began to move forward in my life without having to choose between yesterday and tomorrow.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven – Ecclesiastes 3:1