famThere has been A LOT of death and violence in my world lately.  As I type this, I recognize that I am lucky that I didn’t have to experience death at an earlier age and that I don’t live somewhere where violence is a normal, every day occurrence.  That being said, it’s been intense.  As you are already aware, my friend’s cancer came back this past September, opening the door to a rapid 6 months of witnessing life and death at it’s best and worst.

During month three– December–Newtown happened.  The shock and horror of that event still brings me to tears and has infused a state and national debate that I can’t help but take part in and get passionate about.  In February, my friend held a celebration of life which allowed friends and family the opportunity to celebrate her while she was still well enough to enjoy.  Although beautiful, this event is a painful reminder that you can’t avoid death.  And then March, a month I usually revel in seeing as it is my birthday and the start of Spring, became a waiting game for her death which I expected but had never truly accepted.  I don’t know if I ever will.

Finally, in April,  just as things seemed to be turning a corner–the weather started getting nicer, my daughter turned one– two bombs explode at the Boston Marathon, once again inflicting violence and death on innocent people, including my husband.  All of this is said not just to bitch (although it does feel good to get it out), but because regardless of what has been going on, I have also continued to be a mom during the past 6 months.

And today, my kids are extremely happy, joyful children who are creative and passionate and excited about the world.  I look back over the past 6 months and am both pleased and shocked by this.  There has certainly been a lot of secret crying–in my office with the door closed, on the way to work after dropping the kids at child care, and in the evening after the kids have gone to bed.  But there has also been a lot of reaching out to friends, family, and colleagues who have been open to simply listening and providing support.  I also have my kids, who for as much as I do for them, give back to me so much.  My husband, who is working through what he experienced last Monday, said it best the other night.  When we get home, regardless of what we’re going through, our kids still need to eat, brush their teeth, play with us, have clean clothes, take baths… the list goes on and on.

My children are a constant–a beautiful reminder that at the end of the day life is what you make of it, so you better make the most.  Life can certainly be scarey, unfair, horrifying and sad, but it is also so beautiful.  Today, I would like to say thank you to Donald and Edith.  Although you don’t know it yet, you saved me during the past 6 months and for that I am eternally grateful.

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