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.

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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.

Violets picked with John

My grandparents on my father’s side were married just shy of 50 years. They met at Roberts Wesleyan College somewhere around 1950. My grandfather was over six feet tall and was the big man on campus. All the girls in the laundry room wanted to iron his shirts, but it was my little five foot tall grandmother that caught his fancy. It is crazy to think how long ago it was that they met. I wonder what their early relationship was like and if they somehow knew they would be together forever. Unfortunately, I did not have as much time with my grandparents as I would have liked. The older I get the more questions I have that will never be answered in words.

img_0614This past week my parents were able to go through some of their things. Most of it was boxes of letters and different odds and ends, but my parents brought a few things back for me. There is pin that belonged to my great grandmothers, a Bible that was given to my grandmother in 1937 by the ladies in her church, a ribbon from a camp long ago and a few other things. One item that stood out to me the most is a simple envelope that says “Violets picked with John – 5-4-51”. When I opened the envelope there was a faded, pressed bundle of violets and my first thought was this is the kind of love I want.

In May of 1951 my grandparents were not engaged yet, but for some reason this small bundle of flowers were important enough to keep and be found over 60 years later. I wonder how many times this envelope was moved before it found its way to me. What did they talk about as these violets were picked to make it such a memorable day? What would the story be if my grandmother was still alive and I took this envelope to her? As much as I would love answers to all of these questions and more, the most important message I see is the love they had for each other. I want this kind of love.

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