The rain.

I love the rain. There is something about the smell of it and how it washes everything clean. Once it stops the world seems new and bright. Almost like the water saturated all the colors bringing them to life. The ping ping ping of the droplets impacting the ground is mesmerizing and the way the water pools moving toward the lowest point makes some things look seamless.

Whenever it rains I am flooded with memories. Once I ran through the gardens of Versailles in the rain, taught a little boy how to jump into puddles and sat huddled in a cabin with friends as the rain came down around us. It brings rainbows reminding us of God’s promise and clear blue skies full of endless possibilities. There have been good days that the rain felt filled with joy and sad ones that it seemed the world was crying with me.

Today was an odd rainy day. From my perspective it was nothing extraordinary. I enjoyed the ping ping ping of it falling and the fresh green color it painted the trees when it was over. But for a friend it was a day of mourning and the world cried with her. My prayer has been that the rain helped give her comfort in sadness, but also makes her feel ready to move forward as she continues to come to terms with her loss. There is nothing that can wipe a slate clean, no rainstorm is that strong, but I would like to think that it can give you a push forward and refresh your outlook.

Healing takes time, but for me, and hopefully her, the rain helps.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

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Support.

The unfortunate truth is at one point or another we all experience loss. People we care about will no longer be in our lives or tragedy will strike when we least expect it. In a perfect world we will be able to handle each situation perfectly, but the truth is that is close to impossible. What I know to be possible is when you surround yourself with people who can help you through each moment the loss becomes easier to bear. This is the one universal, fail proof way to survive anything.

So often we try to grin and bear our hurt never relying on anyone. I have found this to be the biggest mistake. No one has the exact experience that you or I have, and you know you would never wish that hurt on anyone, but everyone knows the pain of loss. It is a universal hurt that we can all empathize with. Whether a devastating break up, or the loss of someone special the ache we feel deep inside is understood.

Lately, I have been feeling more confidant and consistent with my emotions. I feel like so much of that is because of the support I have received from so many. My hope is that I have also been a support to others around me.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Veteran’s Day

In September my mom had her 6th grade class interview WWII and Korean War Veterans. Today the result of all their hard work was shown on the big screen. The kids and veterans felt like movie stars as the videos were projected at the movie theater, a feeling that was well earned.

Each video helps preserve the memory of those who served and the places history they hold. They are an opportunity for the community to come together and remember the sacrifices that war demands. In past years videos like this have served as an amazing tribute to local veterans, and these videos were no different.

Here is the full Red Carpet presentation:

Here are links to all the Veteran’s Day videos:

Hurry up and wait.

I feel like my life has turned into a series of hurry up and waits. A lot of the time I am not really sure if I’m hurrying or waiting. Sometimes I think it is a little of both. There are few days that pass that I feel truly settled in the events of the day. Most of the time it still feels like there is a gaping hole in my chest. Although, the pain is much more manageable, the hurt is still there. I have truly done my best to not let the events of my past make me bitter, but sometimes that is a true struggle that I am not sure I am winning.

Every day I try to convince myself that the little things will no longer hurt. That the pain will someday disappear, but I wonder if that is really true. There are times I still feel residual pain from my childhood, lost friendships and misunderstood events haunt us all. At the end of the day we simply learn to overcome the pain and push it aside with the hope that the next time we open up the wound will stay healed and the scar will disappear a little bit more.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

A shoulder to cry on.

Sometimes the biggest leaps are made when we have a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Although my situation is not as uncommon as I once thought, it is still not something that most people have experienced. Beyond that, each situation is vastly different, yet somehow shockingly the same. Each person who has been through an extreme break up can relate to one another because we have all felt our hearts being ripped from our chests and are at varying stages of repair.

I have said time and time again how fortunate I have been to have people in my life that have experienced something comparable to what I am recovering from. It still amazes me each time someone reaches out to share their stories, because I know they are opening up about a time in their life that they would rather not talk about. Whether a nasty divorce, a broken engagement, or being left at the altar the pain is unimaginable.

This week I hung out with a friend I have known for what seems like forever and his fiancé. At the end of the evening my friend and I talked about the pain of a loss few can understand. He went through a horrible divorce and understands the pain I feel. He told me about some of his worse days, and how the little positive things ended up being so huge in retrospect leading him down the path that lead to his now amazing fiancé.

For me everything still feels so close that I could not say what my worse day was, but one of the most difficult days was when I was teaching a swim lesson and had to watch my ex-fiancé swim in the next lane. Typically I hate crying in front of people. I want to be strong enough to handle everything, but the truth is most of the time I do not feel so strong. I am not exactly sure when the tears started flowing, but with someone who understood right there I let them all come out.

It is nice to have a friend to talk to that truly understands and can put into words emotions that I am still trying to figure out. I have faith that my worse days are behind me, but I know there are still many difficult days to come. The good thing is I know there is always someone I can talk, and seeing their strength makes me hopefully.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

The Greatest Generation.

On Mother’s Day I posted about what an incredible teacher my mom is. That fact was once again re-enforced today. For the past few years she has created Veteran’s Day tribute videos that include interviews that her sixth grade students conduct with veterans. This year the interviews for the videos included 17 veterans from WWII and the Korean War.

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The veterans were an average nine times older than the students, but their connection was real. A lot of these men entered the military at age 18 and sacrificed so much. The students were given a list of questions to ask, but then encouraged to continue talking to the veterans and learning more about their experiences.

There were men from every branch of the military and a wide number of disciplines. Some jumped out of air planes, others flew them. Some took to the water and others to land. Listening to them took history out of the books and into reality. Each one had stories to tell and memories to share, unfortunately not all were happy and there were tears shed on both sides of the tables. Remembering lost friends and difficult times is something no one likes to do.

These men are part of “The Greatest Generation” that is quickly leaving us, and they are a generation that has so much knowledge to share. My hope is that someday each student who has taken part in these interviews over the years will look back and understand what a special and unique opportunity they were given.

I know I will never forget the impression they have made on me.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Life lessons.

The lady that lived downstairs in my apartment passed away a few weeks ago. There was no funeral or calling hours, she is simply gone. Some of her family was here and did a little bit of cleaning out of her apartment, but left most of it for someone else to deal with. It is sad to think of how alone she must have been to have an end like that.

When something like this happens so close to you it is unsettling. Most of my impressions of her is how loud she listened to the radio and watched television. Now, it is strange to sit in silence. I never really knew her, I barely knew her name. Now I wonder if I should have done more.

I know with all I have been through, the people around me have made all the difference. I hope she had someone in her life to support and care for her. The loss of a woman I didn’t know but lived above for years is something that will stick with me. Next time a I am in a similar situation I pray I will handle it better and make an effort. In such a short time I have been taught many important life lessons. It makes me wonder what is next.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.