One year later.

This morning I woke up with an odd feeling in my chest. Not exactly an ache, it was more like I was unable to catch my breath. Even now after the whole day has gone by the feeling has not fully disappeared. This process so far has been long and difficult and I know I am not close to being done dealing with the residual effects. Every step I have taken since this day last year has brought me so far from where I started. I am so thankful for each person who has been a positive force during that time. Each prayer and gesture has meant more to me than I can express.

Over the past few days I have cried more consistently than I have in months, but at every tear I was so supported. I am beyond thankful for all of my family, but in particular my cousin and her family. Her five kids kept me laughing and running around so much I hardly had time to think. There were a few times that her husband did some extra running around and put the kids to bed alone so I could have some extra time with my cousin. The past few evenings we have had some chats that went far too late and I am grateful that she took the time with me when I am sure she would have rather been in bed. Some people might think they have amazing families, but I have proof that for me it is true.

One year ago tonight I cried myself to sleep and had no clue what I was going to wake up to the next morning. Tonight I might go to bed with tears in my eyes, but with a heart full of hope and memories of a wonderful weekend.

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

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The little girl.

There are many reason I choose to travel to visit family this weekend. I knew it would be a difficult, emotional weekend and it would be best to get away, but I also knew that a fancy vacation would not be enough. Being surrounded by family means I have all the support I need no matter how I am feeling. I can cry, laugh and talk it out no matter when the emotions hit. I am lucky to be so loved.

I could go on and on about why I choose to come to where I am, but the truth is most of it can be boiled down to one little girl. She is so special and full of life. On that day I honestly think she is the only one that could have gotten me to eat. I have many blanks from that day, but I remember her smiling face as she took my hand and filled my plate with fruit and a few other things as I stood there numb. She sat next to me and as we ate she chattering away at a steady pace. Through the rest of the day I remember her checking in on me and keeping an eye on what I was doing. Who would have thought that a five year old would be my gardian angel that day.

Today we went on an adventure just the two of us and it was so much fun! Right now I am not sure she understands how amazing she was that day. At some point in the future I hope we can sit down and discuss the many ways she and the rest of my family and friends helped start me on the road to recovery. Until then, I hope we can continue to make memories and enjoy each moment we spend together.

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

The journey.

Never did I expect to make it through this weekend without tears, but I had hoped to make it a little farther into it before they started. I am not really scared to cry, but it is not my favorite thing do. From the beginning I have felt it is important to let my emotions out when I can, bottling them up does nothing to help me as I heal. I am sure the last of my tears have not been shed, but in time I hold hope that the sting they hold will lessen. Strength does not need to come with a hard shell, what it needs is faith that moves mountains.

This space filled with words has become my outlet to hold many of my emotions and process thoughts. I am glad I have documented my journey because it is so encouraging to see how far I have come. In some ways the time has moved slowly. There were days I felt like I held my breath all day to stop myself from crying. Other days I felt strong, but still very broken. My story feels more like something you would see as the plot of a movie or tv show and I have to remind myself that it really did happen. Each time I tell someone about it the disbelief is only halted by the look in my eyes that shows the reality.

This weekend will be good for me. There is nothing like being surrounded by family (including 5 crazy kids) to make the toughest situation alright. If I need to talk they will listen, if I need to cry there is nothing stopping me and with so many people around I am never alone.

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

Love, support and prayers.

For the third time since my own life changing event I find myself having to watching a friend go through a tragic loss of their own. Even after all this time I don’t know how to string words together to provide comfort. I honestly am not sure what was said to me that I took solace in. So much of the weeks to follow that day are a blur to me.

Psalm 9:9
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

What I do remember is the most important thing was to know that people were there and praying for me. I have felt and continue to feel so loved. That has helped more than I can say. So here I sit feeling wordless and sad but sending all my love, support and prayers knowing that there is truly only one person that can provide the comfort needed and whisper the right words at the perfect time.

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

Therapy cats.

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I am never alone as long as I have a cat, and trust me, when I am home I almost always have a cat shadow. On days that I work late one is for sure going to be on my lap as soon as I get home. These furry little creatures have given me such love and comfort over the year. Although sometimes they are monsters and I would be lost without them.

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

My not so little cousin. 

Time flies, it is honestly insane how fast it goes. 12 years ago on Tuesday one of my little cousins was born, but I guess I can not call her little any more. She has grown into such a beautiful creative person, and I was excited to be able to celebrate her birthday today. It was a wonderful adventure and great time spent with family.

There were so many wonderful parts of the day, it is impossible to name a favorite. She was excited about each of her presents. We took a walk in the woods. I ate a peach right off the tree. We saw the pigs and chickens they are raising. She showed me her little art studio and we talked so much about this and that. Spending time with kids is simply the best.

I wish I lived closer so I could spend more time with them, but unfortunately the five hour drive is too much to make all the time. For now I can’t wait for thanksgiving to spend more time with them all.

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

200 days.

I remember reading a book as a kid that was written by someone who survived being buried in an avalanche. When they stopped rolling they were covered by an unknown amount of snow and they did not know what way was up. The person in the book started crying, the tears showed them what direction they were facing. Gravity was pulling each tear toward the ground, so they knew the opposite direction was the way to safety. I have no clue the name of the book or the author, honestly until 200 days ago I had not thought much about it since I read it.

200 days ago I was sitting in a big comfy chair at my parents. It was a Monday, my dad was home sick and I was two days out from the worst day I could have possibly imagined. I felt like I was buried in an abundance of unknown and had no idea what way was up. Trust me, there had been plenty of tears over the previous days, and there have been plenty since and I am sure they helped to show me the way up.

What I thought on that Monday, in that big comfy chair was how much I dreaded the questions. If my almost wedding day showed anything it was that a lot of people loved and cared for me. I will forever be grateful to each person, but I dreaded the stream of loving questions about how I was doing. I knew each of you truly cared and wanted to know, but I was not sure how I would ever answer. My solution was to start write down my emotions and thoughts, to begin this blog.

Starting this blog was the best decision I ever made. Never did I dream I would be sitting in a different chair 200 days later with a cat purring encouragingly as I once again cry while pouring myself into these digital pages. I remember painstakingly trying to come up with a blog name that could transcend my recovery process into whatever my future held. I remember how broken and weak I was and how the future terrified me.

Slowly, with the help of words, prayers and faith I have been finding my way to the surface. I am still not on solid ground, but I am getting there. It has been quite the journey so far. There have been good days and bad. I have laughed, I have cried. Every day I learn more and every day I hope the next will be easier.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each person who reads these words. I hope at one point or another something that I write will touch your heart and help you through a struggle of your own. The encouragement I get with each like and comment means more to me than I can express. I will continue to write, and I hope you will continue to read.

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