In case I hadn’t mentioned it, I was nominated to run for Woman of the Year with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This will undoubtedly keep me busy for the next 10 weeks!!
I am excited and hopeful that we will reach our team goal to raise $100,000. Please feel free to share the image, or fundraising page! Power of prayer and word of mouth can go a long way! Here’s to praying we find a cure in our lifetime and telling everyone about the cause so we can continue to search for it!
God Bless. Thank you for your continued support through life after loss!
Well, as you see, I have been missing for some time. I have wanted to write so many times and just simply haven’t. I graduated with my BSN in September but with the pandemic it has been very difficult to find a daytime nursing job. So my attention shifted to the kids and continuing to improve myself.
It’s now 2021 and time has flown by with the pandemic overhead. Dan and I managed to make it through and are still going strong after a year. Gabriel turned 2 last month and Amelia will be 6 in just two weeks! It’s been a whirlwind!
Amelia is starting to miss Josh a lot more as she starts processing her emotions and seeing other kids with dads. It’s been tough because I obviously miss him too and am struggling with processing grief myself, almost 4 years later. It never goes away and how do you explain to a child everything they will miss from not knowing their dad?
I have taken steps to begin EMDR therapy because I feel as though I’ve exhausted all other avenues of coping. I’ve continued to move forward, I’ve done good things, accomplished great things and continue to try to make the world a better place but at the end of the day, I am still left with not being able to fully experience any of it.
Turns out, when you try to avoid feeling the pain, you are also eliminating your ability to fully feel the good. I have so much good going on around me but I am so caught up in trying not to get excited for the fear of my world being flipped upside down again, that I stay neutral.
I’ve been let down so much in my life that getting excited over anything seems impossible however, I remain hopeful.
The pandemic caused the entire world to slow down. It challenged us all and pushed us to our limits. It caused businesses to falter, relationships to reflect and families to choose between sickness and health.
The hardest part for me during the pandemic has been the loneliness that is amplified from not being able to see and enjoy those you love. The inability to find a job that works with the kids and I has really challenged my self worth. I know I am worthy of all the greatest things but not being selected for work has been tough on my mental health. Being forced to stay home with little to no interaction for months on end has been grueling.
That being said, great things are happening too and while it’s been difficult for me to fully feel them, I have not failed to recognize them.
Graduating with my Bachelor’s degree was something I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would do. Having accomplished this, gives me hope that the right job will come about. It has been hard to think I didn’t get to walk across the stage or really embrace such an accomplishment but knowing I achieved it and with high distinction lets me know I am capable.
Being in a steady, happy and loving relationship was something I questioned ever being able to do again yet, here we are after 1 year and he still makes me laugh and feel beautiful. Even on the days when I’m a little harder to love; he loves me back harder and I am so grateful for him!
The in-laws have finally made the move closer and I cannot tell you how amazing that is! We still have a few months before Steve fully retires but having them close makes life so much easier. Adam and Angie are also closer now which means family will always be near, now more than ever! I married into the most amazing family EVER! They are truly wonderful! I am blessed!
The kids continue to amaze me every day! They also test me daily… from big emotions in a little girl to a little boy with big ambition and no fear I am constantly running into something to tame! Thank goodness for God’s grace and the heart of a child in forgiveness! Oh, and snuggles, thank goodness for snuggles! They seem to heal almost any situation!
The next best thing I will be facing is a campaign. I have never been the face of anything so it is nerve racking but running in Josh’s honor allows me to face it with hope and dedication. I will be running for “Woman of the Year 2021” through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! I was selected personally by staffers there and I am elated to represent so many widows in raising funds to find a cure! Here’s to many great things to come!
Overall, pandemic timing has really stretched the limits not just for us, but for the world. It has brought about some really good and not so good things but overall, I continue to be blessed and remain hopeful in our future. As we know just from our story, things don’t always end up the way we wanted but with faith and family, we can still accomplish great things <3
July is a pretty tough month and this year was no different. Instead of going on a picnic to celebrate what would have been our eighth year in wedded bliss, Amelia and I spent our night prior, in the ER after she had an encounter with a dog.
I had to watch as they put my little girl to sleep while she was connected to heart monitors, blood pressure cuffs and oxygen. I was strong for her but the staff could see the fear behind my mask and the tears streaming down my face. It was hard enough to see Josh go through it and then to relive something similar with your baby girl was pretty devastating. We are grateful for the compassionate hearts, knowledge and steady hands of the healthcare providers that night!
When she was waking up, she looked at me with her swollen lips all stitched up and said, “Mommy, I don’t want to go on the picnic tomorrow..”. How sweet she is to go through that and still be thinking of our annual “Picnic where Daddy proposed”. I assured her we would not be going and she was going to get a whole week of Mommy/Daughter days! A local Trooper was nice enough to still capture the entrance where Josh proposed so I could at least document the weather for another year. Lots of snuggles were had and she healed wonderfully!
I am so grateful Dan was there to drop off dinner to the ER and take Gabriel back home. I slept with Amelia that night because she did not respond well to waking up after anesthesia and Dan stayed to support and help me 🙂
It’s becoming more apparent that I depend on Dan more than I thought I would ever need or want to.
July 27th came around and it marked 3 years since the day God took Josh home. I was speechless. I could hardly mutter how painful it still was/is. I only got out that this day and life will never be the same. We met at the gravesite as a family to write messages on balloons and send them off to heaven. Dan accompanied us for this as well. We all returned to our house for dinner and then went our separate ways. There are no words to express how much it meant to me that Dan was willing to be there. He doesn’t understand any of this yet he was willing to put himself into an uncomfortable spot to be supportive of me.
So many things can change in 3 years. We have all come so far yet we are all still feel the weight of the pain each day. We manage to continue traditions, strive for new goals, and find joy in the present days but the pain never goes away. The uncertainty of “am I doing this right” still lingers.
Am I doing parenthood right? Am I dating correctly? Am I being present enough with the kids while still striving for success in school and work?
I will never know. All I do know is that Josh is missed so fiercely that even the happiest of times can still leave us empty.
I have finished all of my Baccalaureate Nursing courses and will graduate this summer. I hope to walk across a stage in December but who knows what this world will be like then given the current pandemic.
Dan and I are creating the start of a good relationship. We talk about things and he’s been helping out a ton with the kids! He brings so much to the table and I am so grateful we both decided to let our friends set us up. He can be quite literal at times so I am learning on explaining myself better 😉 He begins a new journey this September as a Family Practice Physician and I cannot wait to see how he thrives in the “real world” of medicine.
I continue to look for a job that meets the needs and availability of a solo parent. I began a job last month that seemed promising but it ended up not being a good fit. Saying goodbye to my client was hard but leaving the company to ensure my presence for my kids was a no brainer.
Dan has supported these decisions every step of the way.
August 2nd we showed up for our annual family camping trip. Three years ago on this day, we laid Josh to rest. It’s always fun but still a bit heartbreaking to show up to this trip without Josh. I was NEVER into camping before we met but slowly, I became a “glamper” as they like to call it. I pull our 36 foot fifth wheel camper 3 hours north (ok it might be east or west but thats not important) to our usual camping grounds with the family. Now, I’m here teaching Dan how to “camp” with the big kids and enjoy nature in a more modern way;-) That being said, we did get to sneak away for a few hours to go four wheeling on his Dads land even further north (or east or west)… I didn’t want to not do it for fear we might not get that opportunity again this summer. I paid for it the next day. I had fallen down the stairs before our trip and bruised my tailbone. It’s been painful but there was no way I was missing our annual trip or the chance to drive through the woods in the middle of nowhere!
It seemed to be a smaller crowd this year but still enough for belly laughs, shenanigans, and all the good that comes from spending time with family. It will be the last trip I take where I will have to set aside time for homework. Even my mother in law mentioned how she’s never seen me not have to work on homework in the 10 years she’s known me! It will be a fantastic change and I’m still trying to decide what to do with my free time that I’ll get!
It’s been just over 6 months with Dan and he has been gracious in his approach with me and open to learning how to handle the kids. It isn’t easy thats for sure but if you ask me, it’s worth it 😉 We’ve successfully dated through a quarantine and come fall we will try to manage more distance between us as he moves almost 2 hours away to practice. We’ve been creating a pretty great foundation and the patience with each other is never ending 🙂 I cant remember the last time I’ve laughed this hard and this frequently but he brings me joy, is great with the kids, and even the family sees his dedication to us all. It does not go unnoticed or under appreciated. He is good <3
It’s been an eventful week camping full of love, laughter, injuries, frustration, strong storms and sunshine.
Sounds par the course for life.
We all have our faith, family, friends, and the wisdom to know how truly blessed we are! I can’t wait to do it again next year!
Thank you to all of you as well, who continue to let us into your life with our story! I appreciate the continued support, encouragement, and love. It gets us through the tough days. God Bless!
This world is strange, days can be crazy but life is beautiful. It is so easy to focus on the negative especially when the world is shaking. I will admit, I’ve had some pretty hard days. Mentally, physically, and emotional exhausted. The world is not all rainbows and butterflies but there is still beauty in every situation. God never said it would be easy but He vowed to be there through it all. Even when it’s hard to see, be still and know.
It has been strange for me to FEEL when I often think I’m dead inside. It’s as if I want to cry but have forgotten how. I am learning to feel again. Not an easy thing when I’ve welded my armor together in hopes no-one can penetrate and see the pain inside. However, when you shut out negative feelings, positive ones often go with it because you can’t separate the two. It’s like a light switch to turn them on and off. Sometimes I turn off my feelings out of fear of the unknown. Life is hard but we can’t lose feeling or we are merely pawns in life.
It has been crazy and chaotic with new jobs, college ending, camping season, relationship trials, two crazy kids that each bring joy and their own kind of crazy and just the way the world is right now. It is crazy to see the world now and sometimes I do not know how we got here but all I can do is educate myself and the kids to become better people and love everyone.
Take a deep breath. No really, deep breath…….
This life is chaotic, stressful, crazy, strange and beautiful. Believe there is good. Life is harder than I ever dreamed of as a kid but it’s still pretty beautiful. It’s all in how you look at it. So take time to yourself, take chances and don’t be afraid to FEEL (even if it’s scary).
You’ve heard of speed dating but have you heard of pandemic dating? Well, now you have folks! Shortly after my last entry, a pandemic took over the world. Not exactly ideal times to begin a relationship however, he is still hanging around!
The pandemic has brought about so many changes in the way we do things. All schools went to distance learning which meant Amelia is now home and I became a teacher! Not my ideal job however, the extra time with Amelia has been kind of nice…. when she listens…
My job, like many, was essentially eliminated temporarily because as a school nurse sub, you only work when they need you. Well, school is out therefor my job is out too. Thankfully, with my online business of promoting DNA specific vitamins, we have managed to stay afloat. The other nice thing is schools around here still hand out breakfast and lunch for students which saves me and many others quite a bit on groceries.
I wont talk too much about the pandemic because this site is to be anything but political. I will say, the pandemic has raised fear in society and although our stay at home orders continue to be extended, there’s still a whole lot of good going on out there and many more reasons to be grateful for even the smallest of things.
Back to this pandemic dating, its different. Thankfully, we have Facetime! Which, he was not a fan of to begin with but eventually it became a nightly thing and we read to each other. That’s only weird because I’ve never been a “reader” but it somehow worked and forced us to become closer.
We have managed to stay distant and quarantine for weeks at a time however, we made the decision to see one another over Easter. It was then he decorated an egg to say “I Love You”. If you know me, you can already imagine my awkward reaction! It was a sweet way of expressing it. It made our later Facetime calls far less awkward because it was as if when we signed off prior, the words were dying to come out but neither one wanted to say it first or over Facetime. So, there we were decorating eggs with Amelia, he seized the moment and caught me off guard!
Dating in general is a learning process. It isn’t easy and it’s downright frustrating at times. Add in a pandemic and you’d think failure was around the corner yet, here we are, still making it work. It would have been easier to say “hey, catch ya on the flip side when this is over” but neither one of us were willing to do that.
Now, let me preface this with the above section has been sitting in my drafts for weeks!
So much can change in such a short time and although life continues to change it has all been for the best. Stressful, but wonderful.
With school officially out for the summer, Amelia was able to join Gabriel at daycare. Stay at home orders are being lifted so Dan and I were able to get an actual day date in amid the chaos. I started a new job which takes up a good chunk of my energy but I know I’m making a difference so I keep showing up. Dan will graduate residency in 3 weeks and at the same time, I will complete my FINAL nursing course for my bachelor’s program! It’s been interesting living life and dating through a pandemic but it has made my relationship with the kids, myself, and Dan a whole heck of a lot stronger so even though the uncertainty caused stress, we seem to be doing alright.
Long story short, my friend set me up on a date. I hate to admit it but I really didn’t want to go. After the last relationship failed, (which I haven’t spoken about the how or said how I really feel because quite frankly, I’m better than that and I deserve better too) I was just to a point where I was content with being alone but thought maybe I’d try putting myself out there one last time. Online wasn’t working out though. So, I reluctantly allowed her to exchange our numbers. I did reply to her “please let me set you two up” with a “fiiiiiine, I’ll go on a date with him for you.” I was told he was nice, smart, handsome, and tall….all of which was true except the last one….same height… maybe.
After numbers were exchanged my impulsiveness got to me and I texted first. Some smart a** comment about how I “never thought I’d let friends set me up yet here I am”….
We went on a date two days later and haven’t stopped talking since.
There is still plenty of learning and growing to be done and we are taking our time.
We both have our quirks and own side of nerdy. We often mean the same things but say it differently. We are willing to talk about the tough things and discuss life on a deeper level. Granted, I seem to do a lot more of the talking but hey, I’m a chatty Kathy and not afraid to speak the truth.
We also share a mutual love for tacos. I’ve waited my whole life for someone to show up at my door with tacos and it finally happened!
Feed me tacos and call me pretty and you’ve pretty much got me; hook, line, and sinker!
The first time he called me beautiful I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t remember the last time those words had been spoken.
It felt good. Sometimes you meet someone and they can instantly make you feel beautiful but maybe they never say it out loud. Maybe they think it so often they assume you know.
I’d say to hear it is to believe it but often that belief only lasts a few moments.
However, it’s in those moments that trust, faith and beauty are grown because you actually hear the words. No guessing, No questioning. Just an open door to believing it.
You can say it too much and you can not say it enough but when you use it at the right moments, it speaks power into a woman.
I’m excited to see where this leads but also not getting too over zealous nor diving in feet first. Slow and steady wins the race right?! I guess we shall see.
So much time ahead of us in this ever changing world but we enjoy each others company, conversations, and taco dinners. Plus he called me beautiful, he meant it and I believe him.
I’ve been thinking about four letter words for days now. Not the typical ones that slip out when I stub my toe or forget my kids winter coat at home… don’t worry she wore mine and I went back to get hers but F*** that made me feel terrible!
Back to these words. Words can hold so much meaning. Even if they only have four letters….
FEAR. LOVE. FALL. RISE. HOPE. LIVE. TIME. GROW.
All of these words have been swirling around my mind lately as I’ve come face to face with some pretty fantastic opportunities. I have fallen more times than I count but I have also risen. I continue to live, I continue to have hope. Time isn’t promised to anyone so love while you can. It can be scary sometimes but fear only prevents us from living our best life.
Those close to me know my fears, my hopes, and the way in which I choose to live. I have never been afraid to love. In fact, it’s something I am really good at when people are open to being loved. I do fear the fall. I fear falling for someone because sometimes, when we fall, we hit the ground. Sometimes however, we are caught and helped back to our feet. That’s why I hang onto hope that someone will breathe life into me and let me lean on them on hard days. The fear of not being caught should not prevent us from the fall. It’s a chance you have to be willing to take to live and to grow.
If we choose to not give up, we can take it day by day. We don’t have to accomplish everything we want in one day, one week, or even one year. But if we continue to hope, live, grow and love…. we will rise from the ashes that may have otherwise consumed us.
Our energy can be focused in so many different directions so choose the words you follow carefully.
Choose the people you surround yourself with even more care. Only keep those who help you rise. Throw out the rest without fear of judgement. Your life is meant to be lived.
Stay strong but be soft to allow people in. Time will not heal. Pain is very real and it lingers but if you choose to grow through it, life can find so much more meaning.
You’re only given one life. Use it to hope, live, grow, and to love.
Set fear aside, allow yourself to fall and always choose to rise.
One day someone will come along who won’t be bothered by your flaws or weirdness but rather will embrace it and grow with you in this journey of life. They will choose to see your strength and love you through the weak days.
Of all these four letter words; LOVE is the the greatest.
Gabriel is 12 months today! It’s hard to believe most days but especially today. I have a son! I am a mother to two beautiful children and while it was not my plan to be alone, I have done it. I will continue to be there for them and keep them safe.
I remember this day a year ago. I was induced and the waiting was atrocious for me because I am extremely impatient! (I know, shocker for some). I did some walking around the unit but it was mostly just hanging out in the room with my mom, Josh’s mom, my sister, and Josh’s sister and Joe…photo Joe as we have kindly deemed him.
All of whom were present the entire labor.
There was so much anticipation, angst, sadness, and joy all bottled up. How did I find the strength to make such a life altering decision? How was I going to raise two children through grief?
My love for Josh allowed me to make the decision to have Gabriel. Love has carried me through it all. There are times when I feel like I am not doing enough, I am not good enough, or I am missing something that inevitably will ruin their future. But, up to this point, they both seem to be happy and love me pretty well.
The greatest job I have ever had is being a mom. Although trying at times, it is also the most rewarding. It has not been merely the love I have for these two that has filled my heart but rather, watching their bond grow as well.
Amelia is her brothers keeper and she is amazing.
Gabriel is learning so much and he is such a happy baby! Teething, tiredness, and hunger are about the only things that make him cry and even then, it’s nothing a little mom snuggle can’t fix.
I love the sleep I miss because I get more awake time to reflect on their beautiful faces and how blessed I am.
Sometimes I wake them with tears because as beautiful as they are, it is equally heartbreaking that only I get to enjoy these nights. I wish more than anything that Josh was here to see this all unfold. I am positive that he had a conversation with God to give me a boy. He knew I’d need a boy.
Gabriel loves dancing with me in the kitchen and Amelia dances with me in the living room. Gabriel will be my forever slow dance partner and I am sure one day, he will be taller than me too!
While Gabriel will never know Josh, and Amelia will have vague memories, both will know his love.
It is his love that helps me to be the best parent I can be. It is that love that reminds me I am good enough. My love shows in them and they give it right back. I’ve had double the love for the last 12 months and I can’t wait to experience it for a lifetime.
I woke up, cared for the kids, did my hair, and put on some makeup over nap time! Feeling confident with a shade of lipstick I’ve never worn before just for new beginnings.
There’s so much excitement wrapped around new beginnings. This is when everyone sets new goals and often those goals and aspirations trickle off by the end of January when life’s to-do lists overtake our mind. However, I can assure you, if you really take the time to put your goals first, it can be done. This is not to say hard days won’t surface, because they will; they always do. Keeping your head up isn’t always easy when drowning in grief but I’m learning to swim harder day by day.
2018 was a year of learning to live with grief, and self growth. That learning continued to follow me well into 2019 as I began a new adventures having a second child!
My goals for 2019 were to begin stepping outside of my comfort zone and begin to do things I’ve always wanted to do while making time for the kids and time for myself.
I managed to keep not one, but TWO children happy and growing! It’s hard to believe Gabriel will be a year old in just a few short days.
I maintained straight A’s in college and am now just a mere 4 classes from completion.
I lost 20 pounds and am now halfway to my goal!
I started piano and voice lessons- something I have always wanted to do.
I opened my heart and home to a relationship that inevitability failed and that’s ok. From that failure I grew even more and will not make the same mistakes again.
I started organizing my craft room and doing crafts in my spare time.
I started going out more with friends and even on my own which is a stretch but has proved to be worth it.
I even had the confidence to ask a guy to dinner which I NEVER do. Nothing to report on this front but the act of actually asking was a HUGE deal for me.
I began a project that that will hopefully aid in making my 2020 the brightest one yet….those that have known me, know my strong passion for singing. With my vocal coach and the help of a few friends, I am working toward another bucket list item.
I already have a trip planned in 2020 and I am in a good place. It’s been a long time since I have felt this good but it refreshing and motivating.
I am ready for 2020 and the continued growth, learning, and adventures it has in store for me. I will not let 2019’s failures hold me back from opening my mind or my heart from opportunity and I refuse to let my self doubt hold me back from the things I desire most.
I woke up today knowing it was the last day of 2019 and looking forward to my first ever New Year’s Eve party. It’s taken 32 years to celebrate a new year outside of the home and I figured it was a good time to reflect on my accomplishments, places for improvements and remind myself that a little lipstick goes a long way.
Here’s to 2020! May you all be blessed with the best!
This past week has brought hell for me with tragedy stirring up my PTSD, stresses of life, and the overwhelming feeling of being alone. I think people underestimate the depths of loneliness that comes from widowhood. I could be in a room full of people who love and care for me and still feel alone. It’s no surprise that when I struggle, the loneliness amplifies because there is no-one there to sit with me. It doesn’t take much really, to be there for someone. It really only takes wanting to be there. No words are perfect, no actions can take away the grief but pure presence and maybe a hug or two can lighten the load.
It was all compounded by the already mix of emotions from Josh’s birthday and upcoming Christmas season. Holidays are still hard but we manage. Heck, everyday is still tough, but here we are, rocking it out.
My mom recently saw a post on my facebook and could tell I needed a little inspiration….now if you know my mother and I, you can just about imagine what this inspirational gesture could have been. While what I received was not at all what I figured it could have been, it was so much more than I could have ever imagined.
I was recently asked who the most influential person was in my life, while I have two, my Grandmother ranked #1. For so many reasons she is and always will be my #1. This is not to take away from my mother whom I also look up to but there’s a special bond with my grandmother that no-one, not even she would deny. I will always be Grandma’s favorite. My grandmother was beautiful, patient, kind and loving. She was wise and genuine. She was my biggest fan, best friend and always believed I would do much with my life. She has had such a huge impact on who I am today and I am forever grateful
Grandma Hattie passed away just weeks before I lost Josh. I still remember the call, walking back into Josh’s room in the ICU and Josh mustering up enough strength to lift his arm so I could come in for a hug. I didn’t even have to say she was gone because he could see it in my eyes. Losing two of my favorite people within a few weeks was heart shattering. It definitely turned the page to new chapters I never thought I’d have to write.
Which leads me to a song I stumbled upon entitled “Chapters” by Brett Young and Gavin Degraw. The bridge goes :
” Truth is that we all got stories Gotta fail on your way to glory Takes time tryna get it right But every future has a past And right now I can hear God laughin’ Guess he must have heard my plans And my odes, thought it was a joke Gave me more than I could ask And I wish I knew back then, oh”
In this song they sing about every page you turn being a lesson learned and my how many lessons I have learned whether I wanted to or not. I know there are some chapters I want to write but the timing isn’t right yet. We always wonder what will happen next and if you’re anything like me, you try to plan and know what’s around the corner but how can we?
I find it no coincidence that just days after I discovered this song, my mother mailed me a card and as I mentioned, it wasn’t just any card. It was a card my grandmother wrote out before her death and told my mother to give to me when I needed an extra boost. The card, marked with many underlined portions for me to pay attention to, tells me to “stay strong” and “have hope”. To be “patient”, “inspired”, “gentle”, “optimistic” and to always believe in “happy endings”. I am the author of my own story and I choose to be strong, optimistic, hopeful and give it all I’ve got. Above all, I will continue to believe in happy endings. I always have, and always will.
She left me with a note that I will hold dearest to my heart:
To my favorite granddaughter,
Follow your dreams and never give up.
I’ll always be there for you.
Be happy and loving to everyone.
She really was a saint that woman. We spent so much time together and thats when I first realized the value of time. Not many people get as many years with their grandparents as I did with mine and I am ever so grateful. She was the best and I was grandma’s favorite.
My mother could not have picked a more perfect time to finally send this to me. I have felt like I’ve held things together pretty well since Josh died but sometimes I begin to come unglued and it’s a really dark place that’s hard to crawl out of. Change is scary and not knowing what is to come is scary too. The Lord says not to worry but I find myself in a constant state of just that. I want to be good at all things and I want to be loved beyond this grief. There is so much left unwritten in these chapters but sometimes it’s difficult not knowing how the page will end up.
It’s hard to live in a life you didn’t plan. We all have our wants list of where we want to be by when and I can assure you, “widow at 29” was never on my life goals. However, I can still hope for a happy ending and pray that one day someone will love me through this pain because it never will go away, nothing will make it better, but just because I am grieving, doesn’t mean I am not lovable. Just because I have weak moments, doesn’t mean I am not strong. And just because I cry sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t believe that a happy ending is yet to come.
I will always take each page as it comes and take a deep breath when I feel frustration rising. I will lean not on my own understanding but on God’s plan. I will live by my grandmothers advice and rest knowing that not only am I God’s child, but I am always Grandma’s favorite.