Here I sit, watching the windstorm through my window. Looking at the trees being whipped around, some of the shingles on the roof next door clinging on for dear life, the dumpsters are rattling, the clouds are flying through the sky covering the mountains in the distance turning it dusty and darker than a normal transformation from day into night. The stars or the moon will be impossible to find this evening yet, I can’t help but reflect on the symbolism this moment is for my life. I am still and quiet while the world is in disarray around me, with no other distractions, just observing the moment and reflecting on where the journey of my life has taken me the past 38 years. It has gotten me here, exactly where I am, and even though there were things if I could do over again, I would have done them differently, I know that it is perfect just the way they are.

I was speaking to a friend of mine today who has been fighting the fight of cancer. I realized that even though they are pretty sure they got it all, the battle will never be truly over for her. We spoke about death, that the next five years for her are the most delicate, for if the cancer comes back the biggest risk is during that time frame. She is planning out her life, making goals, healthy decisions, and making sure that she is doing all she can to live…yet, she was still afraid, and I don’t blame her. That being said, it made me think, “No one has a timeline.” It’s definitely terrifying to know that you only have X amount of days, weeks, months or years left to live, however, life can be taken from you at any moment, just like my little boy was. I was not in fear of losing him, yet it happened, and here I am. I have my story, my friend has hers. Both loss, both pain, both suffering and both of us writing each day as we go and when we read it back, we tell it from a place of peace, of strength and of gratitude. One thing no one can take away from us is that, even if we lose everything, the ongoing healing is as big of a part of our story as the war itself.  Why don’t we all do what we can to actually LIVE this life we’re given?

How do we even get through those moments of grief and sorrow to want to live, let alone fight for a life that is so unfair? How do we keep moving on? How do we know we are going to be alright when everything in us is telling us to throw in the towel and give up? And then, of course, what next, is it even worth it? The harsh reality is there is no defined answer. No one knows HOW they did it, they just know they did it, or are doing it. It’s in the moments where we allow ourselves to sit and reflect where you will realize what you have accomplished. If you really look back on your life you know in your heart that you have been shaped by these things. You DID you manage it. You don’t always let the heartaches that arise and will constantly exist get the best of you. Looking at moving into a new home is a perfect analogy. You get everything into a new place and it is EVERYWHERE! The disaster is completely overwhelming, yet you begin to unpack, one box at a time and eventually your home comes together. You still have to do the daily cleaning and picking up to keep it looking nice and inviting, even though the hard part is over. This is exactly how we do it in life. We deal with one moment of each day at a time. You have to put one foot in front of the other and eventually you will begin to see your efforts paying off. Maintenance for your heart and soul is just as important as the deepest moments of acceptance of the circumstance. You will gain knowledge and tools that you never thought existed and you then get to radiate gratitude and love for all the heartaches and storms in life. We get to form bonds of friendship, love, respect and deep understanding through sharing our stories and realize that we are all in this life together, going through different paths, but never alone. Allow yourself to connect with another that is needing you just as much as you need them. They become a part of the book you are continually writing.

As I conclude these thoughts, the wind outside my window is now starting to calm. It is likely in the morning, there may be branches that have been blown off of trees, shingles could have been ripped off of rooftops, garbage most likely flung around and a layer of dust covering the cars, however, when the storm has passed, cleanup can begin. I know very well that life is precious, you can guarantee that I will once again do everything I can to make my world a beautiful place to live in. I am grateful for the noise, thankful for the chaos, and honor myself by the reflection in the moment. For me, there is so much beauty in the destruction because it continues to remind me to live each and every day living the story I am writing.