Featured

Starting Over

An adventure a day keeps depression away!

So, Twice Bitten180 was the first thing that came to mind when I had to decide on a new email and blog name.  It probably isn’t hard to figure out but I’ll explain anyway.  I am 55 years old and am having to pick up the pieces of my life and start over…Again.   First time was when I was 28 and my husband decided that the 18 year old girl was more appealing than the wife and kids.  After 4 years (and a third child) I had had enough.  I packed up my three little boys and moved into a government funded apartment, worked two jobs and was determined to focus on them and making their lives happy and successful.  Twelve years later I took a chance on love again and eventually (15 years later to be exact) same thing happens.   This one, however, was the kill shot to my soul.  I lost my youngest son five years ago  ( February 25,2012 ) and the man who should have had my back bailed on me 5 years to the day of that loss.

This blog will have some gut wrenching stories as well as some funny ones.  My main goal is to share through my writings, encouragement as well as ideas that you, the reader, can take and implement into your own lives.

For some of us, starting over means relearning how to live.  I mean, really LIVE and not just survive.  Have you ever been in a really dark place emotionally?  Sometimes, things happen in our lives that make us just not want to live another second.  I never understood how a person could get to that place but unfortunately, now I know.  It took a lot of prayer and looking at pictures of my family to snap me out of it.  I don’t think I could have actually harmed myself but the thoughts of it were bad enough.  We all have baggage in our lives and mine is no different so if  I have the means to help just one person pick up those pieces and create a new heart and soul, or to simply laugh out loud then I will do my best. This blog might not meet the specs of how it’s supposed to be created but I have no clue what I’m doing.  Like, this should probably be my About page but hey, I’m doing my own thing now right?  I am just going to write about things that I am experiencing now that I am on the “other side” of that dark place because for the first time in a long time, I feel like I am really living!

First blog post

My girl Molly and I are almost loaded up and ready to leave this life behind and go start over.  I can’t wait to see her reaction to grandkids and cats!

Identifying Your Enemy

Don’t Let Your Enemies Break You.

“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision…”                                      ~Sir Winston Churchill

zen-stones-2774524__340As I started thinking about this particular blog post, I started calculating what my readers and I have in common.  There is a reason we all gather here periodically to see what each other has to say on common interests.  The two things we all have in common are, we love to write and we all want to be happy. Some of us are adventurers and travelers and some are chronically ill, looking for encouragement from the words we share on our blogs. Even those that read my blog because they are friends or family who want to support me, have their own need for being uplifted.

“I don’t know about you, but to me, fear is an enemy to everything I am fighting to accomplish in my life.”

 

Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

This bible verse was found on my sons nightstand  when he died five years ago. By me, his mother.  So yes, it resonates with me on a level I hope none of you ever come to understand.  If you are not into the bible, I’m not here to preach or judge, I am just sharing with you, my thoughts on fear from my heart, through my experiences. We all feel fear at times and on many levels.  If my son knew he was dying that night, I’m sure he felt fear on an epic level and I take comfort in knowing that he leaned on God at that very moment. This is how I am striving to deal with my fears as well, along with exercise and my trusty “Calm” app.

Self Doubt Is Built, Brick By Brick

The specific fear that steps in front of me regularly is one of self doubt.  Where did it stem from? Going back through my life, I can pretty much pin point the incidents that started the construction of that wall.  Those stories will be elaborated on further in the book I am writing but for now, let’s just say, I think I know the “why” of it.  The question is; how do I undo the damage all these years later? How do I reprogram my thinking to knock down the brick wall that stops me in my tracks every time I try to do something that is “more” than I have ever done?  For example, deciding to write a book seemed like a doable task but when my editor sent me a sample outline and told me to make one for my book, I felt like  I needed to go back to 5th grade! Day by day, I started getting more and more scared which led to frustration which led to me throwing my pencil at the wall.  Then I cried.  I feel alone, like I am in over my head and that I don’t have what it takes to do this one thing that is so important to me.

sky-1947996_640

But I “will” write this book.  I “will” do the things I feel are important to me because somehow, I have the courage to try, over and over until I get it right. The key to that courage is in the sentence above.  It’s important to me.  Usually, when I try to do something new and I hit the snag called “it’s too hard,” I just give up.  Common sense may tell me not to pursue a career in brain surgery but fear tells me I can’t write a book, understand an outline or be knowledgeable or fluent in anything.

 

Dig Deep To Find The Strength and Courage

The scripture above says to be “strong and courageous.”  What do you, my readers, do to be strong and courageous when you feel depressed, or when you are preparing for an adventure that might present dangerous situations?  How do you find strength and courage when you want to have a hard conversation with a spouse or adult child? How far down do you have to dig into your means of mental survival to find the strength and courage to come out from under the harsh demeaning words you were subjected to throughout your childhood so that you can rise above them and see your worth?

qualities-795865_640

“Don’t Let Your Enemies Break You”

I have been giving in to my “Emotional Enemies” for years.  A couple of them are thorns in my side and one or two have morphed into daggers.  However, the main one “no decent man will ever love you” still echos in my mind to this day. Always right there to tell me that I will never be “enough” for anything worthwhile. These words, my friends, came from my father and it is the self doubt that I wear like a skin, to this day.

girl-1456635_640

The purpose of this blog post is to make you think about what, if anything,  fear is holding you back from? If fear isn’t your particular “enemy,” what is? Does it hold you back from the things that make you happy or whole? Go find whatever gives you strength and courage, dig deep and find what you were given so that your enemies don’t break you.

balance-3062272_640

“And remember, do your superman/superwoman pose every day for 5 minutes!”

🙂

Book Release In 2018

Its official now: My book will be written within the next 6 months and published by the end of 2018!

images-57
Words have been brewing in my subconscious for years. It seems these words are surfacing, piecing themselves together  into a message meant for those who have stood at the edge of their emotions not knowing if they should take a step back or just jump off into the abyss of what they are feeling.

The stories in this book are personal. Unfortunately, experienced by far too many people throughout their lives.  My hope is to share my experiences with others so we may all heal and come to the conclusion our experiences, as tragic as they were, or are, can be used to help others see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Although this book has a Spiritual theme, my proofreaders tell me it can also be beneficial as a self-help book.

If you are interested in this type of literature, please follow along as I go through this journey. Share my blog with anyone you think would be interested.  Your encouragement is the wind at my back so please hang in there with me.

 

Creativity

images-33

This question was put to me today: “What is creativity to you?”  My first thoughts weren’t of arts and crafts or even design.   My first thought was “Creativity is orchestrating my environment to meet the desired life I want and need.  When I was a single mother of three, the erratic shifts of big box stores didn’t mesh with my need to be available when my boys were home after school and at night while still being able to earn an income to support the four of us.  When they were very young, I was a substitute teacher in their schools and a teacher with Parks & Recreation during the summers.  My boys and I were together every day during those years and being involved in their education as well as their summer fun was a blessing.  As they got older and I needed a higher income, I managed to build a business of cleaning homes, offices and real estate that surpassed my expectations on every level.  I had the perfect hours and quadrupled my income instantly.  That…is creativity.

images-40

Fast forward to my life now and my boys are successful men with children of their own. I have the luxury of living rent free at my oldest sons house (only costs me 2 days of babysitting my grandson) and my house cleaning job now consists of two half-days a week, which pays all of my meager bills.  My creativity now turns to my writing.  Now I have orchestrated my environment to allow me to write as often as I need to as well as travel anywhere I want to go to write. For the most part, my time is my own and I am setting into motion, the life I want now.  That life is to write my book and the others that are just forming in my mind. Creativity to me will always be out of the box ideas to enrich this one life I have been given.

 

images-41

Write On!

 

Bring In The New Year By Doing Something Positive And Compelling

What a difference a year makes

images-26

All day long I have been trying not to think about what this day was like last year.  Let’s just say it was a day that would drive most people over the edge of sanity but I managed to skim by with only a piece of my soul shutting down.  This is the day that the true hatred for my husbands new-found love really settled in and made itself right at home in my heart.  The battle has been long, hard and ongoing but I am making awesome improvements daily and am humbled by the astonishing lessons I am learning in this journey.

 

You may or may not know that I am in the process of writing a Spiritual book that I intend to get published this year.  There are a few close friends proofreading and giving  much-needed guidance as this dream unfolds.   I am also hiring a lady named Joyce Glass “The Write Coach” to see me through this process.  As I am working on this book, my own heart is being taught very valuable lessons and there are a lot of questions being answered that I have had for years. The depression is lifting and being replaced with excitement, anticipation and motivation to strive for more of everything imaginable.

Back to today.  Today is New Year’s Eve 2017.  Just hours before the “New Beginning” of 2018 starts.  Today I needed to do something empowering and positive for “Me”.  A bit of an ego booster, I suppose.  I decided to do something that at first I was sure I was in over my head with.  It might be simple for some of you but for me, it was so huge that I let them sit on my floor for a week because I was afraid of failing.  You may have even seen my Facebook post about it.  A 5 shelf bookcase is the nemesis.  Not just one mind you but two.  I bought two of these.  What was I thinking?

IMG_0256 2

I posted this picture after putting that one piece together and said “What possessed me to think that I could put this shelf together???  It has been on my floor ever since.  Just taunting me with my own self doubt.

Today, however, I picked up the directions with fresh eyes and a “fresh attitude” and I understood every singe word of the directions.   The happiness and accomplishment I felt while putting this bookshelf together was a very welcome combination of positive emotions on this particular day.

images-27

The more compelling things we do, the more in command we will be over our depression and negative thoughts.  No superwoman pose needed today because my positive behavior dictated my positive thoughts and vice versa.

One down and one to go!

IMG_8131
BAM!
IMG_0432
Finally getting organized
3A126B51-0833-4AD8-8D69-1BED104E58C2
One more to go!
               HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!  BRING ON 2018

 


	

No Holiday Blues Allowed!


For the past 15 years I dreaded each and every holiday that was supposed to be filled with joy, happiness and excitement.  My husband had and still has seasonal depression which made it difficult, to say the least, for me to experience any joy at all during these times.  There was never a Christmas tree or presents, no holiday dinners or parties with friends.  Just the two of us going out to dinner and wishing the holidays would hurry up and come to an end.

images-17

Christmas this year, however, will be different if it kills me!  Christmas music sounds warm and wonderful to my ears and the hustle and bustle of shoppers is electrifying! The last few weeks I zipped in and out of stores carrying out loads of presents for my grandkids.  Smiling and singing the whole time.  Decorations light up the cities and neighborhoods like beacons of love and goodwill to all.  Being around my family this year is also like a homecoming of love and togetherness.

Most of us are missing someone we love this year and the sadness can find a way in if we let it.  I choose to remember my son and others I miss sorely by thinking of their impact on this world and so many hearts.  After all, I picture my boy with Jesus and I think he has the better end of the deal.

4cf395cfe670974da837a687e821acdf

One week before the day of giving to each other and of ourselves , it is tempting to reflect on the years past with sadness and regret.   I sit at my desk writing this blog post and  realize that I am looking clearly into the future with optimism and faith.

There is no room for depression in my heart today.  I won’t make room for it this time. It isn’t welcome here and it needs to be known.  Today, I make room for love, acceptance, laughter and happiness.

My family fuels my energy to love more and to love deeply.  I feel like I was a withering plant when I came here last year and they nourished me with their sunlight and plucked away the dead leaves I was holding onto.  The family God blessed me with saved my life by not letting my light stop shining and for this I am humbly grateful.

 No more tears of sadness on Christmas

images-18

No more “making it go away for a little while”

images-19

I am a child of God and I will get up every time I fall and try again because I have a purpose.

 

Merry Christmas 2017

A Night On The Ouachita River

 

Deep in the foothills of the Ouachita River Mountains, better known as the “Ouachitas” is a rustic Airbnb cabin like no other. Acres of secluded woods where the Ouachita River flows and trails are waiting to be explored. Standing on the deck of this peaceful retreat allows one to hear nature waking up and moving about foraging for the day. It is Fall now so the sound of the leaves rustling and falling to the floor of this beautiful land is a peace you just can’t find in the city.  A hammock sits waiting for guests to lay down the city life and absorb the fresh air while taking in the goings on of the water foul nearby.

 

The owner and host of this cabin is Bill. He is a retired Electrical Engineer, had a shop for 10 years where he restored automobiles and is an avid Ducati racer. His side-kick Cota is a 160 pound English Mastiff with a huge personality and supplies humor better than most comedians. He was named after the Circuit Of The America’s which was the first track Bill took his Ducati up to 200mph.

There is also a Critter monitor on site named Obama. Last one of a large litter to survive the outdoor life of doing what he does best. He will approach you with a very vocal greeting while walking around the cabin making sure everything is as it should be.

temporary
Obama the Critter-Getter

Bill decided after spending several years in Africa and traveling through Europe, he would pay forward the hospitality he was given by opening the doors of the Ouachita River Cabin and becoming an Airbnb host. Having a choice of booking the King or Queen rooms, you simply can’t go wrong. The Queen room is cozy and on the bottom floor while the very spacious King room is upstairs with a “to die for” bed and a large deck overlooking the River. The interior of this cabin is adorned with pieces of the life Bill experienced in other countries. My one and only night in this Ouachita River cabin was spent mentally absorbing a culture I will never get to experience in person and I can say that Bill put it within my grasp and I was able to capture it in photos and in my mind.  The most interesting one to me was the elephant leg that when looked at closely had the most interesting carvings in it!

The morning of my departure, I walked in to Bill’s home to be greeted with a candle lit table set for one. As I watched him cook bacon, eggs and biscuits, I asked him why he wanted to be an Airbnb host since he obviously loves the solitude that comes with this location. Bill told me that when he was traveling through Europe, he would spend hours talking with the hosts of the B&B’s he stayed in. He knew right then that he wanted to meet interesting people from all over the world and get to know their stories. He made that dream come true just under a year ago through Airbnb. The journal in the cabin shows the lives he has touched in a short time and I believe there are many more experiences in store for Bill, Cota and Obama the cat.

temporary

Don’t miss out on what Arkansas and this Airbnb host has to offer. Travelers looking for hiking, kayaking, mountain biking or just some good ole R&R can find Bill and his crew here and here. It is also possible to rent the entire cabin. You won’t be disappointed.

temporary
Good Night Arkansas…

Seven Months Too Late

He Finally asked me to come back…

I said no

The first 6 months of my life unhinged was an emotional rollercoaster but I am finally getting into my groove.  I think.

My husband came to town for a couple of days with the sole purpose of asking me if I would consider coming back to him, Colorado, and all of my dreams.  I said no.  I did’t even really have to think about it because when I do, I get that sick sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach like I did every time I had to go back after visiting my family here in the South over the last 8 years.  Colorado isn’t home anymore and neither is the house that was our dream home.  I have moved on and am happy to say that I am finally at peace with my Nomadic life and I think it suits me just fine!  My heart is actually full of compassion for him because he finally realizes that he doesn’t love her like he thought and they aren’t together anymore.  (Bawaaa) I’m sure they will still be a part of each others lives and I truly wish him the best.  Her, not so much but that’s just me.

Finding My Niche

I am finding that working seasonal jobs leaves me plenty of time and money to travel and kickstart my freelance writing.  My focus for now will be writing articles about Airbnb spaces and for a few months this will be a FREE  service so if you or anyone you know  has a space you want me to write about, contact me here.  Eventually, I will also write articles on other things like interesting towns to visit, covered bridges, cafe’s and other unique places.

I just booked my first Airbnb cabin to write about!   The Ouachita River Cabin Queen Room, Malvern AR.  I’m going to visit my ex-mother-in-law and will spend one night here and interview Mr. Bill.  Stay tuned!

 

 

Where Do I Belong?

The best way to start this section is to just start typing…I have so many thoughts running through my mind and so much fear trying to put road blocks up at every turn that it’s driving me crazy.  I just don’t know where I belong in this world.  If you read my blog from the beginning, you know that I left my husband, my home, my job and everything I had known for the last 15 years because he wanted someone else.  My life has changed drastically over the last 5 years and nothing is as it seemed.  Now I am trying to piece my life together using new puzzle pieces and the part of the puzzle that contains my work life is eluding me.

work life puzzle

My most valuable resources for information are my two sons and their wives.  My oldest son Terrance is a trainer for Samsung.  He literally worked his way up the ladder and he did it by absorbing every bit of knowledge he could about cellular phones back when they first came out.  He would print everything he could find on the subject until he had more notebooks on this information than he did on all of his school materials combined!  He didn’t know the particular turns he would make on this path but he took them as they came along and he is now in a good place with more opportunities still in front of him.

My son Tyler also worked his way up by starting at the bottom.  He started working for a lighting company when he was 18 as a warehouse employee.  This company stuck with him during his learning years because they saw his potential.  He was promoted to warehouse manager and even when the company hit hard times and had to cut his pay, he stuck with them.  They bounced back and he was right there with them.  Today he is a store manager for this company and is their go-to guy for bringing stores to an A-rating.  Next step is the regional managers position, I am sure!

So here is my dilemma and please send me your thoughts, advice and experiences on this matter.  I would love to see the input from my readers.

Is my personality holding me back?  I am a very passive person. People very quickly see me as malleable and not one to stand my ground right away.  When I was a young mother, this was not the case in my personal life but in the workforce I have always been the subordinate.  It isn’t that I don’t have leadership skills or potential, I just don’t have the confidence and it shows.

Fear.  That is what I have.  Second guessing everything from my age and how much time I have left to find my niche , to my ability to perform when things get tough or confrontatin occurs.   How does a person with my personality move into the workforce as a leader? What can I do to conquer the fear of confrontation? Of failure?  Dealing with employees on their personality level does not come natural to me as it does with some other leaders.  I always see myself as an equal or less than others and I get ran over every time.  When I think about the bosses  I’ve had in the past and what made them seem like successful manages to me, I see the respect and compassion they had for their employees while still coming across as the one in charge.  This is why I think I could do it. Reading people and picking up on their needs comes natural to me.   I just have to learn how to manage the personalities of employees in a way that helps them be their best while protecting myself from being ran over.  A manager doesn’t have to be stern 24/7 to get people to do their jobs but they can’t be a pushover either.  It’s a fine line that I want to learn about.

So, I am researching what books to read on leadership, reading blogs and articles on it,  I’ve even signed up for classes on Lynda.com to help me learn some of the basics.  If I need to take a class at the local college, I can do that too.  I have nothing but time on my hands right now so this is the perfect time for me to learn as much as I can.

My son Terrance has let me bounce my interests off of him and he is always there with reminders of what I have accomplished over the years.  My son Tyler gives me examples of how he handles confrontation with his employees and is teaching me different strategies to do the same.  Both of them and their wives encourage me to pinpoint what it is that I want to do and go from there.  But that’s just it;  I always come back to what do I want to do that is realistic?  I love to write but that won’t pay for health insurance.  Sometimes I think that the things I really love to do are just a fantasy in my head.  I would love to buy a truck and a camper and go do the “Workamper” thing and make money writing and working odd jobs at the campsites.  Again, that might not carry me through the next 10 years to retirement and should probably be a side gig for later.

The cleaning industry is what I have been in since I was 18.  Starting out cleaning in a hospital Surgical Unit, patient rooms and offices, moving into the hotel industry for 6 years (my favorite!) and finally, having my own cleaning business in two states for over 20 years now. Million dollar homes in Georgia and Colorado.

Other interests are in the health industry.  I am a certified personal trainer but it’s not where my heart is anymore.  I have worked as a Private Care Giver part-time for 15 years as well as working in the nursing homes in the Activities Department.  These things are close to my heart but not where I want to be at this point of my life.

So what do you think? I need thoughts that are outside of my own head.  I need help.        I need knowledge.  An arrow showing  “Look here”!  Anything that you think would help would be appreciated.  Thank you faithful readers!

 

 

Go Fast Or Go Home

Every week I go to Tennessee to help take care of my mom and her roommate Mary.  My Mountain bike goes with me so I can ride the trails in Athens or Cleveland with my big sister Sherrie.  This particular visit, my niece and her fiancé said they would replace my brake pads for me since it would have cost me an arm and a leg to get them replaced at a shop.  So after our 8.4 mile ride on a beautiful trail (no crashes this time) I got back to my sister’s house to find my car all set and they wouldn’t take a penny for the work.  Family can be a Godsend if you have a good one!

IMG_3058

You would have to know my niece Shawna to fully comprehend and appreciate the vigor she brings to my life and just how powerful her actions and words are to my emotional state of mind.  She is vibrant and daring.  Scares the living beJesus out of me sometimes but that in turn, makes my adrenaline and endorphins flood my system and I suddenly remember I am alive and well and not terrified of living on the edge (well, kind of).  This woman has no fear, or doesn’t show it if she does, and will look you right in the eye and say what needs to be said.  She can be gentle with a layer of directness or her words can meet your ears with a fierceness that lets you know she is no ones doormat. Yes, I want to be her when I grow up!

IMG_3090

After the work was all done it was time to catch up on life.  We stood around and chit chatted for a bit, ended up sitting on the tailgate of Todd’s truck drinking a fine “Peach Drink!”   Oh Tennessee, how I have missed you and your “Southernness”!  I wish I had snapped pictures of this but I was too engaged in the moment.  My sister even brought out two bottles of her homemade Blueberry Wine for me to take home and some big fat homegrown tomatoes!

I should have realized there was an underlying reason for the “peach drink” because before I knew it, I was in a Razor 900 going very, very fast through a field, over logs and tree branches, even up an embankment.  I kept my eyes closed for that one.

 

463852_10151153562676872_842323095_o

 

That day ended with me picking hay seeds out of my hair and smiling all the way back to my moms house.  The takeaway here is,  when you are going through a hard time and depression wants to creep in or your mind is distracted by negative thoughts or fear, go do something daring!  Jump outside of that box you find so comforting and have an adventure.  Go screaming 45 miles an hour through a field in a Razor, go zip lining or anything that shakes up your adrenaline and makes you feel alive!  Retrain your mind to think great things, positive things and happy things as often as you can.  Your reality will be there for as long as it is your reality but try not to let it control  and consume you while you are trying to change it for the better.  Life is too short so go live it while you have it.

My Brother’s Son

“Folks, this is how I think of my Son, living large and loving life.
I long for that bright and shining morning when we will be able to talk once again.
Until then my Son, enjoy the view !!”

Dad

IMG_3002This past week was a nightmare.  Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, they did.  My plan for last week was to go to my mom’s on Saturday, July 1st to help get her to the Dr. for more tests to find out why she is so sick and rapidly losing weight.  Thoughts of cancer, tumors and death started to creep into my heart and mind.  Trying to keep her calm and encouraged while taking some of the responsibility off of the siblings who live closer.  Instead, I look at my phone on Friday, June 30, and see several missed calls from my sister Sherrie and several from my brother Chuck.  I called my sister, thinking it had to be something bad even though her text message said to call her asap and that it wasn’t mom.

That morning, our lives changed once again.   My oldest brother Chuck had just been told his 33 year old son was found dead in his apartment.  In an instant, my mind reeled back to the morning I got the very same call, telling me my son had been found dead in his apartment and once again, I was thrown into a whirlwind of emotions.  Now my brother was in that same storm.  I’m trying to put my finger on exactly what I felt at that moment and it was dread.  Dread for the road my brother had to walk down.  It’s a dark and soul crushing journey which seems to take forever.  He was in for a rollercoaster of emotions I never wanted anyone I love to ever experience.  But there he was.

I left immediately to go be with my mom and help her cope with the added stress this news would bring.  Chuck has an amazing wife who is his rock.  She has a heart of gold and is as smart as they come so I am grateful he has a love in his life to help him on this journey.  When I saw my brother the first day, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was prepared to hold him up if he broke down even though I have never seen him waver emotionally.  He had his composure about him and seemed to want to focus on the good memories.  He took me to the graveyard where he wants himself and his wife laid to rest. I watched him make plans for these events by calculating measurements, and I thought, “He is being too strong for day one of this nightmare”.  That evening he posted some video’s on Facebook of his son Victor as a child and I knew right then he was about to hit that wall of grief.  And he did.  The next day wasn’t so kind to his heart but he rode that rollercoaster like a boss.  The entire week was emotionally draining for my brother and his wife as they had to call people and retell the story, take calls and retell the story, make arrangements, and worse of all, they had to go clean out his son’s apartment.  No parent should have to do this.  I did it and it was torture.  You will see the spot your child took his last breath, you might even see the clothes they had on when they passed or the iv bags the EMT’s leave behind showing that an attempt was made to save your child’s life.  You will see their life as they saw fit to live it.  How they decorated, what photo’s they chose to have displayed of family and friends, the magnets on their fridge, the books on their shelves and most importantly, the mementos of their childhood they chose to hang onto into adulthood. So there was some good things my brother got out of this horrible task and it does help to balance the nightmare you feel you are in at the moment.  I have to admit, I never thought this would touch anyone in my family again but it has and now I need to be there for my brother and counsel him anyway I can.

I guess the lesson here is; if you can help someone get through a tough time because you’ve been through it too, then do it.  Use the wisdom gained from your experiences to help someone else cope.  Help them find the strength to keep their eyes open for that pin light of hope at the end of the tunnel because they might not be able to see it yet, just like you couldn’t.  You know it’s there so just give them your strength to keep walking towards it.

When you lose a loved one, life will never be the same, it will just be different.  In order to heal , you have to embrace your new life in your own time and at your own pace.  Just remember:  Be Strong.  Be Brave.  Be Fearless.  You are never alone.