Their Story is My Story

I have always been interested in family history. All of my kids have a family name, and I was named after my great grandmother. I know the stories of my ancestors and have found great strength in them. Their stories are also my stories. Their stories show me that I’m not alone. 

Both of my grandmothers passed away on July 24th. My Grandma Spiekerman passed away 14 years ago. She was a true pioneer. She was one of the first lady Marines and was always very proud to tell the story of how she chose the Marines over the Navy because green was her favorite color. I have many memories of Grandma reading stories to me, making up obscure rules, and sitting in her rocking chair, always reading. 

Gram passed away 9 years ago today. She was one of the most loving influences in my life. Gram loved her family fiercely. All of the grandkids felt like the favorite, and that’s how she wanted it. Because I felt loved by her, she was the only one I would listen to when I was about to make a terrible choice.

Fannie Ann is my Great Great Grandmother. Unfortunately, I can only find a very fuzzy picture of her. I first read her story five years ago, right after I discovered that my husband and children had a life-threatening condition. Fannie Ann was left to raise three young boys alone, after the sudden death of her husband. She is described as an anxious woman. She would gather her boys in the middle of the house when there was a thunderstorm, no matter what time it was. Despite her anxiety, she was able to support her family and do what needed to be done. She passed away at age 46 when her boys were teenagers. When I first read her story, I didn’t see her as the weak and anxious woman that was portrayed in the stories. I saw her as incredibly strong. I could feel her pain because it was my pain. I could understand her anxiety and her fear of more loss. I felt a connection to Fannie Ann, and I know she has helped me in the past 5 years as I have dealt with that anticipation of loss, and then the loss itself. Her story is my story. 

Margaret is my 4th Great Grandmother. She sounds like a very tough woman. In fact, there was a newspaper article published about her that highlighted her toughness. She was physically strong, but she also demonstrated emotional and spiritual strength.

She immigrated to the US from Wales, and then came with the pioneers to Utah. She was the first white woman to spend a winter in Coalville, Utah. 

Her husband Edmund was ill, so much of the care of the family and responsibility of providing for the family fell to Margaret. Edmund died at a young age, leaving Margaret with 6 young children to raise on her own in a land that seemed dangerous at the time. She worked hard, protected her family, and was very resourceful. Two of her children died of diphtheria, and still Margaret went on. Margaret’s strength gives me strength. Her story is my story. 

I have read a lot of family stories. They all talk about the factual highlights of the person’s life. They don’t say much about the hard things. No one talks about the dysfunctional patterns that tend to be passed from generation to generation, but I know that they are there. I am doing my best to honor my ancestors by helping to break those chains. My ancestors give me strength, and I do the same for them and for my own posterity. My story is their story and their story is mine.

My Light in the Darkness

After my Finding Faith post, a friend gifted me the book “Learning to Walk in the Dark” by Barbara Brown Taylor. I finished it last week, and it is incredible. It explores darkness in a way that was eye opening for me. In one of the chapters, Barbara goes on a trip to a cave to explore the darkness within. While in the cave, she looks up, and her flashlight lights up some crystals. She describes these crystals as incredibly beautiful. She decides to take one home with her as a souvenir. When she arrives home, she opens up her sack to find the crystal, and she pulls out a rock that looks like a piece of gravel. She is perplexed that the gravel looked so beautiful in the darkness, but in the light, it looks dull. She shone a flashlight on it, and when the light hit the gravel just right, she saw it come back to life and shine. 

I’m sure a lot of conclusions can be drawn from this story, but when I read this, my mind immediately jumped to a conversation I had with my therapist. I was talking about my struggles with God and how I couldn’t understand how His plan for my life could be for so many hard things to happen. I had come to the conclusion that God has natural laws, and we all have agency, and that is why things have lined up how they have. My therapist asked, “Well could both be true? Is it possible that God has His natural laws that play a part, but that He also planned to give you a support system?” I immediately told her that that isn’t possible. If you know me well, you will know that I can be very bold and stubborn at times. This was one of these times. But just because I don’t seem to be considering other ideas, it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. It just takes me some time to think about it to see their reasoning. 

Since that conversation, I have come to the conclusion that my therapist is right.  My friends and family are my shining diamonds in the cave. Because of all the difficult things I have gone through, I have had the chance to see the best of people. You get to see things in the darkness that you can’t see in the light. People have shown me God’s love through their friendship, service, and love in a way I wouldn’t experience without the hard things in my life. 

I am truly so grateful for incredible friends and family. I don’t know what I did to have so many amazing people in my life, but I truly do. I feel that I am incredibly blessed in this way. I can acknowledge that maybe it is part of God’s plan that I have friends and family who are there for me in so many ways. Maybe He has been watching out for me. Thank you for being my light in the darkness. I see you now.

Forgiving Myself for Being Human

I am still deeply affected by August’s birth, though I have done a lot of healing. The trauma of it still hasn’t left me, and I think it will always be a part of me in some way. On top of the trauma, another difficult part of dealing with August’s birth has been dealing with the guilt. I blamed myself for what happened. I made the choices, and I felt that it was my fault. 

After August’s birth, I worked with a mentor who helped me to process through things and start to come to terms with them. I told her about the guilt I felt, and she asked me what I felt I needed to forgive myself for. I told her I needed to forgive myself for not knowing there would be complications and for making a choice that put August’s life in danger. She said, “So you need to forgive yourself for being human and not being able to predict the future? You need to forgive yourself for making the decision that felt right to you at the time?” That has stuck with me over the years. Even though I regret some of my decisions about August’s birth, I was doing my best with the knowledge I had at the time. I have to be okay with being human and having human limitations. 

Fast forward 6 years to the last conversation I had with Greg. I asked him to go on a walk with me because I needed to talk to him about some important things. In the last few weeks of his life, we took many walks around and around the block, talking. They were always supposed to be short conversations, but we would sometimes walk around the block 10 or more times. This was one of those long conversations. This conversation was very heated. It was possibly the biggest fight we ever had in all the 19 years of knowing each other. We were both very angry, and I felt like we were talking in circles, so I turned around and headed back home. He followed me. We finished the conversation in the front yard. I could see the anger in his eyes, and I will always remember him like that because that’s the last time I saw him alive. Right before I stomped off and slammed the door in his face. 

That goodbye was about as unloving as any I could have given him. It’s not the goodbye I would have given him if I had known that it was goodbye. I know he would have acted differently if he knew it was our last conversation as well. I was recently asked if I feel guilty about that last conversation. The answer is no. I feel deep sadness and regret about it, but I don’t feel guilty about it. Because I have worked on accepting my humanness, I can see that we were being real people. Greg and I were having a real conversation just like any other people. People get into fights. Most people get a chance to smooth things over. It’s sad that we don’t get that chance. We were being real humans who couldn’t see the future. 

Saying that I don’t feel guilty about our final conversation is a big win for me. I have always held myself to a high standard and been afraid of making a mistake. It is terrifying to think of making a mistake that I will regret, and I have had to live with some big ones. But the fact is that I am human. I am doing my best, and that is really all I can do. I forgive myself for being human.

Two Truths and a Lie



My grief has been so complicated and confusing. One day I am devastated to have Greg gone, and the next I am angry with him and relieved I don’t have to deal with what life could have been had he lived (this does not mean I am glad he died). It feels like I am dealing with multiple griefs: the grief of his loss, the grief of our relationship, and the grief of my children. It feels like all the grief got thrown into a big confusing pile at the same time. That isn’t easy, and it just makes for a whole bunch of confusing feelings.

Trying to sort through all of my feelings has been difficult. In talking to some friends in a similar situation, I am realizing that I’m not alone, and that there can be more than one truth at the same time. 

Truth #1 I Love and Miss Greg

I recently remembered that I used to like country music before I got married. I stopped listening shortly after I got married. Greg didn’t like country music, and we found other things we liked to listen to together. I decided to start listening to it again to see if I still like it. The song “Me and You” by Kenny Chesney came on, and it had me crumpled in a heap on the floor in tears. That was the first song we danced to at our wedding. I was taken back to that dance and the feelings I had. I was reminded of the real and true love I have for Greg and why I wanted to marry him. We had some great times together. We grew up together, created a family, and experienced life side by side for 19 years. I have real grief over the loss of Greg. I miss my friend. I miss our adventures. I miss having a partner. I miss what should have been and our dreams for our future. I did not want him to die. 

Truth #2 I Don’t Miss What Was

Even though I deeply grieve the loss of Greg, I don’t long for what was. That fact is a grief in and of itself. There are a lot of things I don’t miss, and if he were to walk through the door right now, I don’t think I would run up to him with a hug. I would love to have some good conversations and settle things, but we would still have some work to do. 

I don’t miss walking on eggshells. I don’t miss the anger. I don’t miss not knowing which way was up. Our house is more peaceful without Greg here. That is true, even though it is painful to say. That does not mean I am glad he died. 

The Lie: You Have to Feel One way or the Other

When Greg first died, I felt like my grief was fraudulent. What right did I have to be grieving when I was so angry with Greg before he died? Why was I so devastated when I didn’t even know if I wanted to be with him anymore? Time has helped me see that my grief is not fraudulent. Greg was a very big and important part of my life. He is the father of my kids. He is my husband. Love isn’t black and white, and neither are relationships. It’s okay to have two truths, and I think it’s actually pretty normal. It’s just confusing.


As I sit in the waiting room, waiting for Levi to come out of surgery, I can’t help but think about other surgeries. With my perspective now, it is still a big deal for a kid to have surgery, but it hasn’t consumed my thoughts like it used to. I can’t help but think of how far I’ve come.  

Before August’s birth, the only surgeries my kids had had were tonsillectomies and ear tubes. Nothing major, even though they seemed big at the time.  After August’s birth, I prayed hard that we would have a miracle and that he would be healed without surgery. That didn’t happen, and we found ourselves flying across the country for his first surgery when he was only 4 months old. I was a wreck. The trauma of August’s birth and the guilt I felt for it made it all hard to process. His first surgery was to repair his nerves, and it was investigative. The doctor didn’t know what he was going to find, and we just had to trust that he knew what he was doing, and that the surgery was necessary. It was going to be a long surgery, with August being under for up to 10 hours. I kept thinking ahead to the hours he would be in surgery and imagining how anxious I was going to feel. I was anxious about the casting and aftercare (this is usually the only part that still stresses me out). In the end, I felt peace the entire time August was in surgery. I have felt the same way with every surgery since. That is something that I count on now. 

August’s second surgery was scheduled for the first week of May 2017. Greg entered the ICU on April 26, and I couldn’t imagine dealing with Greg’s condition at the same time as going to Philadelphia for surgery. I called the surgeon from the hospital room and told him we would need to reschedule. That was such a stressful time, and this surgery was stressful as well. August was going to be in a cast that would put his arm in a “statue of liberty” position. I worried and worried about this cast. This is when we learned about vEDS, and because of August’s birth history, we thought he probably had it. VEDS definitely adds to the stress of a surgery every time. It makes it riskier for several reasons. 

When it was time to reschedule, Greg and I decided he shouldn’t go to Philadelphia with me for the second surgery. He kept having complications, and we just didn’t feel good about it. I rescheduled the surgery for July 25. My dad went with me, and all went well. August even learned to walk in that crazy cast! He never seemed phased by it. That’s the story of his life. 

For reasons I can’t remember, Greg and I decided that I would go to August’s 3rd surgery without another adult. That was scary. Flying by myself with a kid was concerning, especially flying home after surgery. I am anxious about driving in new places, and the surgery was a couple weeks after the riots that were happening all over the country. Because of my anxiety, I made some incredible new friends who let August and me stay with them (twice). Philadelphia truly is the city of brotherly love. 

In between August’s third and fourth surgeries was Levi’s emergency appendectomy. That was a scary night/day. It was frustrating to not feel that we were being taken seriously. Levi has vEDS, which means he could be having life threatening complications, but no one was in much of a hurry. Thankfully all was well. This surgery was scarier because it was in the abdomen where there is more vasculature. I was riskier. It’s hard to have thoughts of your baby’s possible death, and those are thoughts I have had to deal with quite regularly with the reality of vEDS. 

August’s 4th surgery. Long story short, August and I flew to Philly, had pre-op, and went to bed. I got a call early in the morning saying he tested positive for COVID. The surgery was canceled, and I got a rental car and drove home. That is a post for another day.

Greg and I went back to Philly on December 1st to retry the surgery. It was some of our last time together. The last time I was sitting in a hospital waiting room for a surgery I was sitting with him. We actually had a heated conversation, but that’s beside the point. Greg passed away on December 10th, a week after we returned from Philadelphia. I have wondered if the change in altitude from the flight had anything to do with his death. That surgery is tied to Greg’s death in my mind. All of August’s postop care has happened without Greg. He wore the cast to the funeral. He still has it in his drawer because Greg signed it. 

So many surgery stories, and one is being created right now. The kid with no ACLs. Hopefully the recovery is boring, and we don’t have any big stories to tell about this one.  


It’s Okay to be Happy

Grief is like the ocean. I can’t think of a better way to describe it. It comes in waves, and the ups and downs are inevitable. At first, I felt like I was riding on top of the waves, inside the waves, and in the undertow. It felt kind of like whiplash. There was no way I could put my feet down and ground myself. I was at the mercy of the ocean. It was a very rough ride. 

As time went on, the waves calmed enough that I could notice the patterns. When I started to notice that things felt okay and I was riding on top of a wave, I got anxious about it. It felt wrong. Wasn’t I supposed to be sad? Why was I okay? I must be doing something wrong. I felt guilt for feeling okay. This would quickly be followed by a plummet to what felt like the depths of the ocean. Things were suddenly most definitely not okay, and it happened so fast it felt like a slap in the face. I would then wonder why I couldn’t just enjoy it when things felt okay. This phenomenon has happened several times in the past almost 7 months. 

More recently, things have started to feel okay, and this time, I wondered how it would be to be okay with it. I decided to just notice that things feel calm and accept it. This is easier said than done. I have found that it is common to feel guilty for being happy after losing a loved one. This is something I have had to work on quite a bit. 

Greg had an anxious attachment style, which affected a lot of things in our relationship. He needed constant reassurances that he was loved and valued. Because of our dynamic, when Greg died, I felt duty bound to be devastated. I was naturally devastated, but I felt that Greg would want me to be sad, and especially in the beginning, I felt guilty for feeling anything other than sadness. I felt that he would want me to be miserable because it would show him that I cared about him and that he was important to me. I wanted to show him I cared.

As time has gone on, the guilt for feeling happiness has lessened, but it’s still there. I want to be happy, and I have a lot of reasons to be happy. I hope Greg wishes me happiness, and I don’t want to allow his insecurities to continue to affect my emotions. I’m working on that.

My therapist recently pointed out that you can feel happiness and sadness at the same time. You don’t have to be void of either one. Just because I’m sad sometimes doesn’t mean I have to ride to the bottom of a wave. I can just watch the wave and notice the emotion. Being mindful of the waves and letting all the emotions be present helps to keep the waves from taking me along for the ride. I have been working on this, and I feel that I have been in an ‘okay’ state for a couple weeks, which is a record. I’m sure I have so much more to learn on this journey, and lots more wave riding to do, but I’ll count this aha moment as a win. I’m not interested in riding on top of the waves anymore.  I have some reasons to not be happy, but the truth is, I have so many more reasons to be happy. It’s okay to be happy.

Why I Keep Writing

In my 8th grade English class, I was assigned to write a character sketch. I forgot to do my homework, so I quickly scribbled a poem down before the bell rang and class started. I decided to write about my neighbor, who was definitely a character. I had some interesting stories about her and had noticed that she made up outrageous stories. Some highlights of the poem included that she reminded me of a banana with legs, and that she was wrinkled like pants stuffed in a drawer. I then went on to talk about some of her unbelievable stories and how she wasn’t truthful. It wasn’t very nice, but I didn’t have time to think about it. I just wrote my perspective down and didn’t think much of it. I turned in the character sketch, relieved that I got it done in time. 

My teacher LOVED my poem. She loved it so much that she submitted it to the school literature magazine that was to be published a few weeks later. I was quite mortified when I found out she had submitted my poem because my neighbor had a son that could easily purchase the magazine. The title of the poem was my neighbor’s name, so it was obvious who the poem was about. I was a shy teenager, and I was afraid to talk to my teacher about it (which I’m sure would have helped me avoid what happened). I just crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t get caught in an awkward situation. 

My worst nightmare came true when my neighbor called my mom, upset about the poem. I felt terrible. I hadn’t meant for my writing to go farther than my teacher, and I never meant to hurt my neighbor. I bravely went to my neighbor’s house to discuss the poem and to apologize. It was a very scary thing to do, and of course, our relationship was never the same.

The neighbor also called the principal, upset that the poem was allowed to go in the school magazine without my consent. The principal called my dad and me into his office and seemed secretly amused by the situation. With a twinkle in his eye, he told me to keep writing, and left it at that. I didn’t really keep writing. From that point on, I only wrote for myself or for assignments until starting this blog. I have never really considered myself a real writer. I just like to write, and I have found that others like to read the things I write. 

I learned a very important lesson from this experience. Writing about others can hurt them, and it can hurt me. It needs to be done with caution. However, writing about my experiences can also be powerful, and sometimes those experiences include other people. It is never my intention to hurt or offend others, and I always strive to be respectful to others and to keep others out of my writing.

I have found that through my vulnerability, others are made vulnerable too.  A lot of my recent writing is about my relationship with Greg, and I recognize that that it can be difficult for those who love him to read it. I try to focus on my own experience as much as possible, and I always do my best to be respectful. I hope that my love for him shows through my writing, even though I have plenty of anger towards him as well. I love Greg, and that will never change, but I have some things to work through. Love is complicated, and it isn’t black and white. I will continue to protect him, as I have for years. I will never intentionally hurt him or anyone else. I will also continue to be truthful, and possibly say more than others are comfortable with because my perspective is valid. My truth is my truth, and I have been silenced long enough. 

I have felt torn about writing openly, as I want to write about things that are sensitive and tender to me and that may also be uncomfortable for others to read. I have considered stopping writing on this blog. I worry about hurting my kids and inadvertently hurting those who are important to me and Greg. I have resolved to quit writing several times, but I obviously haven’t stopped. It is possible I will decide to quit writing down the road, but for now, I feel that I am supposed to do this. I am supposed to share my honest feelings, with care and respect to others. I am supposed to put myself out there. Through my writing, I have realized that even though we all go through different things in life, we can relate to each other. Sharing difficult stories and emotions helps us all feel less alone. 

I think we all feel like we’re alone sometimes, even though we’re surrounded by people. I know I do. I want to feel less alone, and I want to dare to write about things that help others feel less alone as well. So, for now, I will keep writing.

Father’s Day

“What are we going to do about Father’s Day?” Owen and Levi have asked this several times over the past couple months. I always answered that we would figure it out when it got closer. It seems like these special occasion days come every couple of weeks. It is exhausting!

Owen requested that I get Father’s Day ornaments for the tree that is by where Greg was buried, and he kept checking up on me until I showed him that I had followed through. He also talked about making our own ornaments with pictures of Greg, but none of us were ambitious enough to make that happen.

I find that there are a lot of days that are hard for me and not the kids, but this is a day that is definitely harder for the kids than it is for me. The kids have been mentally preparing for this day to come for months. Each one is different. My older kids have more complicated feelings about things, and their wish was to ignore today. Father’s Day is hard for them for more than just the fact that their dad isn’t here anymore. But the little kids needed to acknowledge their dad and remember him today.

We decided on a mixture between acknowledging and ignoring the day. We decided to skip church today. The kids requested that we not go to church, and I thought that was a reasonable request. Instead, we went to the park and played on the playground, then to the cemetery to decorate Greg’s tree. From there we went on a hike to a reservoir. The day still isn’t over, but I think we will just spend the rest of the day at home.

It has been a fun day, and I think everyone’s needs were met. We have talked about Greg and laughed about some memories. We have also just enjoyed being together without making a big deal out of it. I hope the kids can look back at today with fondness. I know I will.

Fathers are so very important. The kids miss having Greg in their lives, and they definitely feel his absence on this day that is dedicated to fathers.

Finding Faith

Note: I wrote this last night before Levi’s surgery was cancelled. This is a very vulnerable post, and I wanted to sleep on it before posting it. It is really a journal entry (like all of my other posts) that I didn’t ever plan to post. I definitely don’t post everything I write. But it’s real, and I know I can’t be alone, even though I feel like I am. I am going to put myself out there today and hope I don’t regret it. I am actually quite optimistic by nature and want everyone to know that I do not always feel so negative. Please don’t be concerned. I’m just dealing with a lot. I’m still capable of finding good in my life. But here is a real and unsugar-coated post. Welcome to my pity party.


Today has been a very emotional day. Church was hard, and it usually is these days. It’s hard to feel alone in a crowd. It’s hard to feel that I fall short because the hardships of my life are so overwhelming, and I just can’t think or feel like everyone else. It’s hard to feel like the Lord cares about me. My life is and has been SO HARD. I feel guilty writing that, but where the heck is He? Why can’t I catch a break? It has been one big thing after another for over 6 years. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. My baby almost dies during birth and his arm is paralyzed. Major surgeries. Tons of PT and OT that continue to this day. Greg ends up in the ICU. Half of my family has a deadly genetic condition. More surgeries. My own health struggles. Greg’s health struggles. Family problems. Greg’s death. Mental health issues. More surgeries. I could keep going, but I won’t.

I don’t know how to reconcile this. I feel forsaken and forgotten. I feel abandoned. I was good at being faithful for quite some time. I was good at seeing God’s hand in my life. I could find beauty in any situation. But it’s really hard right now. I’m too beaten down. He’s hiding pretty well. I’m at the point where I don’t know how to have faith anymore. It’s hard for me to believe that ALL of this is for my good. That for some reason, I need to be refined in such a drastic way. That thought offends me. Don’t say that to people, please. 

I know a lot about positive thinking, mindset, gratitude, etc. I have practiced those things. I have seen them work. I know that looking for positive will help me see more positive in my life. Looking for God will help me see Him. Seriously though, I’m tired of playing hide and seek. It’s too much. I guess I’m one of those people who lets their hard things turn them away from God. Maybe I’m bitter. I’m definitely bitter. But really, I don’t think it’s fair to judge me or shame me or make me feel like I’m faithless and wrong. That isn’t helpful. I hope I can work through this. I just don’t know how. I’ve been through too much. No one will be able to say the right thing to help this all seem okay. It’s best not to try. Maybe I just need people to agree with me that life sucks right now and love me where I am.

Earlier tonight I was thinking about Levi’s surgery that is coming up in the morning, and I let myself get emotional about it for the first time. I have been through a lot of kid surgeries, and this isn’t the first time I’ve had to do it on my own. It is the first time I’ve had to do it without Greg on this Earth though.  I know I have a hard day ahead, and that I will have to feel some of the feelings tomorrow. Sometimes I feel numb about things because otherwise I would be a complete disaster all the time. It’s almost like I just expect a hard thing around the corner because it’s easier to expect it than to be blindsided. I’ve been beaten into submission, and now I’m just numb to it all. I would love to feel like God has an interest in making my burdens lighter, but it seems more like He’s saying, “Here’s one more. Oh, I forgot this one! It’s not too much, right?” It’s too much. I’m tired.

Six Months Ago

Tonight, it will be six months since Greg passed away. 182 days. Greg died on a Friday, which makes the day hard to pass by without remembering. I asked the kids if they want to do anything to acknowledge this day or pretend it doesn’t exist. They all said they want to pretend it doesn’t exist, and I’m okay with that. I find that that doesn’t work well for me, but I’m glad they are better at blocking the memories out. We will at least make tonight less like our normal Fridays. It will be easier to pretend it doesn’t exist that way. 

When a tragedy happens, six months from that day feels like a long time. It seems like it should be enough time to be getting the hang of things and for things to start being easier. I find that others expect that as well. It does feel like a long time since Greg’s death, but at the same time, six months isn’t very long. Some things are easier, but life is still hard, and in some ways, it is harder than it was in the beginning. 

Earlier this week, I was trying to think of how we have progressed the past six months. I honestly couldn’t think of much that was noteworthy. We are still very much grieving and trying to figure out a lot of things. The numbness is starting to wear off, and that means emotions remain high. We are all still very vulnerable. The one accomplishment I could think of is that we have survived. When asked how I am, I sometimes joke that we are all surviving…well most of us are. You’ve got to joke sometimes. 

Survival is a big accomplishment. We survived the most difficult months of our lives. We have truly been in survival mode much of the past six (really 7) months. But I think a bigger accomplishment for the past months is that we LIVED. Sometimes we did more than simply survive. Some days we actually enjoyed life. We have celebrated six birthdays, Christmas, New Years, and Easter. We went on an amazing trip to Disneyland. We have continued in our sports activities, finished a school year, done art, gone on walks and bike rides, raised butterflies and chickens, played games, gone to Lagoon, started new friendships, and created a lot of new memories. Life has continued, and it hasn’t all been bad. In all honesty, things are better in so many ways. 

So, here’s to life marching on, even when it feels like everything should stop. We have continued on with life, and we will keep doing that. Living is our victory, and we are doing a pretty okay job at it.