Sometimes the most precious gifts are wrapped deep inside the most painful experiences of our lives.
At my core, I am a writer. The written word is how I best express my thoughts and feelings, and I get as excited as a kid on Christmas morning when I sit down to create with words. But a year and a half ago, the words stopped flowing. After suffering a brain injury a decade earlier, my dad's health suddenly began to deteriorate. If you’ve read my novel, AND THEN SHE FLEW, you know my dad - he inspired Anna’s father, Raymond.
My dad was a superhero. He built my wings and encouraged me to find my own voice in the world. He taught me to ask "why?" and to create my own definition of success. I have always tried to use my writing to share the priceless insights my dad gifted to me.
But when his health began to fail, so did my words. After watching him take his last breath, I plummeted to a place I didn't recognize, a place that terrified me. On one hand, I was given swift and true understanding of just how fleeting life is, which left me with a profound appreciation for every moment of life. But on the other hand, watching my invincible daddy die, cut so deeply that it left me completely numb, with no feeling toward the future.
Truthfully, there were moments when I just didn’t see the point of going on. I had seen the end, and that totally warped my perception of the present and the future.
As a runner, I poured myself into training, and quite honestly, running and my love for my children were the only things that kept me going at certain points during the last year.
Now, a year after his passing, I can feel the words returning, bringing with them a completely new perspective on life. And that perspective is a gift - the final gift from my incredibly wise father. And it is that very perspective that is allowing me to heal.
But this gift came at a devastating cost. I had to experience the deepest heartbreak of my life to receive it.
It’s a paradox of sorts:
The things in life that hurt the worst often provide the most powerful insights and life-altering epiphanies. They allow us to see what truly matters and provide motivation for dramatic change.
And oh MAN was I in need of some serious dramatic change. Thank you Daddy.
My heart is so happy to be writing again, and I feel blessed to be able to share what I have learned with you. Thank you for joining me in this journey.
We're all in this together. Let’s share our gifts and build each other up. Let's use our energy to spread light and love every chance we get. Because it matters.