11
Mar

Losing your heart

I lost my heart.
And you did too.

I lost who I was and what I love most about myself.
And you did too.

I lost my smile and any ease I had (which already was so little).
And you did too.

I felt lost.
Like I couldn't even imagine who I was anymore.
Or who I wanted to be because I felt so alone.
I couldn't image what I would become if I didn't have this heart to lead my way.
I felt uncomfortable.
Like I still wanted to shine, but I also needed and wanted to hide.
I wanted to continue just loving the parts of me that I loved and grow the parts of me that need growth, but I also wanted to go the hell away.
But you did not.

I lost my heart.
And you did too.

We talk a lot about how I am feeling through it all.
Not because we don't recognize the change in you, but because I need to talk it out. And I need to do that with you.
We don't talk about the change in you and there are times you won't acknowledge your change at all.
But, we lost our hearts. We lost who we are, who we fell in love with.
Not out of growth, but out of pain and stress and pressure.

I lost my heart.
And you did too.

I do not know how to find it again or who I will be from here on out.
As for you, you are starting to come to grips with your change. You are starting to realize you want to find who you were and bring that person back into our light.
You are finding your softer edges and your joy again. You are finding your heart, who you were - who you always were - and who you still are.

I lost my heart.
And you did too.
I lost who I was.
And you did too.
I lost who I wanted to be.
And I'm still quite a bit lost.

I will work on me because you are working on you.
I will work on what I will now become because you are getting back to who you were.

I lost my heart.
And you did too.

22
Jan

Love

Kindness eases change / Love quiets fear –OCTAVIA E. BUTLER

Love is an amazing emotion.
It takes up space, it fills the empty space in you, it washes over you like a bath.
And just like that, love makes you feel warm, cared for, present. It brings out smiles, joy, kindness.
Love is an amazing emotion.

When you are in doubt - of yourself, your worth, your self-worth - love whispers to you.
Almost like sweet nothings in your ear - love reminds you that you are important, you are here, and it matters that you are here.
Love is an amazing emotion.

Love helps with pain, sorrow, even grief.
It fixes the broken, and allows for healing.
It humbles you, it it astounding.
Love is an amazing emotion.

Love tells you to be kinder. Love reminds you that no matter what you do or don't do, it will show up.
Love won't back down, won't be afraid, won't back away.
Love is not shy, it is not written in ink, it is ever-changing, growing, evolving.
Love is an amazing emotion.

Love melts the hard spots, especially the ones in your heart.
It allows you to dream bigger, and see brighter. It asks you to forgive, it asks you to kneel and it asks you to rise.
It allows you to think about a future, with a person, in a spot, or to do more than think, to plan.
Love it an amazing emotion.

Love cannot be scripted, it does not wash away, no matter distance or circumstance.
It is ever-present, always involved.
Love asks your heart to grow and it asks it to rest. It asks it to settle into comfort as it flutters at a voice, or a sound or a smile.
Love is an amazing emotion.

I have met many lovers of love in my life.
I too am one.
I also created one.
I also adopted one.
I understand their need, their desire to feel loved, to show love, to give love, to have it received.
I understand their hearts, how pure it is.
I understand how and why they are all in on what they love, who they love. They know no other way.
I understand their emotions, I understand their power.

Love is one amazing emotion.

11
Dec

Year in review

In what ways am I pouring inward? And how does that change the way I pour outward onto others?

Dear 2023, I walked into my year of self-respect because
*I have been a punching bag and a doormat.
*I am mean to myself, really mean.
*When I feel taken advantage of, I become the worst version of myself.
*I spent 13 months walking my father to his death and it was really hard.
*I was hurt, my heart, my toes, my eyes, they felt the physical pain, but I was hurt.

And the year did not disappoint.
I was bombarded with pain and loss and loneliness and times of deep sorrow.
There were times I felt sought after and attacked.
But, I will say that those moments made me the kindest I have ever been to myself as I poured inward.
I reminded myself that I am a good friend with a good heart and I carry people with me.
I reminded myself that I was in trouble for allowing this to happen to me and I really really looked at why.
I reminded myself that I was the common denominator and I needed to find a different way or different loves.

I backed off and backed away.
I got quiet and sad.
I cried.
I held on to memories but also forced myself to remember the hurt, shock, and pain.
I looked at old photos and I read old letters.
I walked down memory lane after lane after lane.
I thought through who I wanted to be and who I wanted to show up for.
I felt empty, most of the year, I felt empty because I wasn't sure I could be myself anymore.

And I realized a lot.
Grief is fascinating and it comes out in outrageous ways and at the damndest of times.
I spent three solid months crying on every single run I was on and every single time, I was stunned.
Grief is experienced even when the people you love are still alive.
And most significantly, I feel so honored to feel grief because real/true/limitless love was once there.
I realized that many people can only take me in small doses because I am, in fact, too much.
I also realized you can shrink not to be too much but be careful because you will start to feel invisible, if only to yourself.
If you are a lover of love, you have a superpower and a kryptonite at the same exact time.
Your superpower is how you make others feel - how loved they feel - and that feeling gives you life.
Your kryptonite is that you will make others feel stuck and like they have no out with you.
And if you try and control your superpower and extinguish its light, you will feel as though you are no longer part of the living.

I also spent some time figuring out what and how to pour inward.
I realized that I could find some space.
I found my breath on my mat again and I found my quiet in the slowness of it all.
I found people who reminded me I can and will find love again. It will take time and it will take some trial and error but it will happen. And although I don't believe it in my heart yet, I know that logically, it has to be true.
I spent time with my mom. I watched her try and re-emerge. I watched her handle grief in a very loving and healthy way. She is still deep in it, but she is also finding moments of levity and reasons to smile.
I spent so much time with my littles.
One comes home and tells me everything but nothing.
The other is a tornado in a storm and I get whisps of information in a blur.
We continued to do a lot of traveling.
I fought and made up with my husband.
I found a really loving routine for my body.
I slept.
I read.
I walked thousands of miles (or so it feels).
I lifted heavier weights and trusted the process.
I bought new clothes for my new body - the one that is now athletic - yes, on purpose.
I start my morning with a glow - -candles, a clean home, warm coffee, relaxing walks and sounds, and of course, puppy snuggles.

As my year of respect wraps up - I cannot say that I am better for it or worse.
Worse because of the blueness that I feel engulfed in at times, better because I did pour a little more love inward.
No, my cup did not run over, but I did pour a little more than the year before.
As for 2024, I will look to the beauty in this world and show more gratitude for what I have in front of me.

But, like most of us, I lived another year full of ups and downs and joy and pain.
I know that is how all of my years will go - because I am part of the living.







3
Dec

I chose bigger

When I was younger and Dad and I were starting, I can't begin to explain how lovely our life was.
We were smitten.
Everything was so calm and joyful. We had this quaint little life and I loved it.

We spent our evenings watching shows and movies or going out.
We spent our weekends food shopping, going to coffee houses, and walking our puppy.
We lived in a city and we would walk and see friends and have dinner and just loved on each other.

We worked and got by. We started careers and got promoted. We would travel here and there, nothing extravagant.
We lived in apartments, some shitty, some nice, all of them small.

Once we got married, I knew how he wanted to live.
I walked into our marriage knowing he wanted to be a dad and he walked in knowing he needed to convince me of parenthood.
And he did.
I chose you both, I chose a bigger life.

And, although for Dad, there was no choice, it just always was the life he wanted, the life he pictured, and he could not see it any other way, this was an actual choice for me.
I was letting go of my little quaint level.

My quiet little lovely life and I was choosing bigger.

Bigger meant louder.
It meant more space.
It meant more of everything, including more love.
More love for each other as we changed and grew into parents and changed and broke up with ourselves and reformed who we were.
It meant more love for you, two new people in our lives.
We needed to make more room for you and I did.

And I loved it.
I won't be so bold as to say that I loved every part of it.
There were years upon years that were so hard.
Hard on us as a couple, hard on us as parents, hard on us as people, hard on you as we navigated our new lives and parenthood and couplehood.

But I went in eyes wide open and I embraced you and motherhood and loving on you.
I spent my time protecting your little.
I spent my days creating and celebrating special moments.
I spent my life creating our traditions and foundation.
I spent my love on you.

I chose bigger.

And I know your life will look different.
I'm excited to see what you will choose.
And I'm excited to see what will choose you.
What, like your dad, will not be a choice but just a must.
What will make you feel full...joyful...alive?
I'm excited to see what your world will look like, all wrapped up in your own comfort.
Because for one of you, you think you have it all figured out.
And the other seems to think there is no life outside of this little family of ours.

But, to both of you...
Although I can remember my other life. The one I loved.
And I can honestly say I would have loved living that life forever and always - I know that I wanted this one. The one we have right now.
The one that is messy with shoes everywhere and coats and bags thrown.
The one that has me stepping on Legos and forever cleaning a kitchen.
The one that has me tied to the laundry like an anchor.
The one that has me running from place to place to get you from one thing or another.
The one that cost me more money.
The one that will forever have me tied to you.
The one that changed me, changed who I am, changed my wants.

I want this one because I chose it lovies.
I chose you.
I chose bigger.

29
Aug

Relentless Humans.

"Surround yourself with relentless humans.
People who plan in decades, but live in moments.
Train like savages, but create like artists.
Obsess in work, relax in life.
People who know this is finite, and choose to play infinite games.
Find people scaling mountains. Climb together."

When I tuck you in at night, or when we are having a quiet moment, I whisper..."remember to always be you, because you're the best you I know."

And I forgot this message, or maybe I never learned it, for myself.

I have spent the last 18 months making myself smaller.
I have been made to feel as though I am too much.
I have been told I am too much.
I have definitely felt like I am too much.
Too open, too all in, too emotional, too sensitive.
I am too much to take.
I take too much on.
I have too many requirements.
I have too many moments to celebrate, no one can keep up.
I have too many routines.
I am crazy, no, too crazy.
I am too much to take.

And, it's all true.

So I retreated to become less.
And where I landed was being less me.
Less vibrant, less passionate, less loving, less interested.

"Your light may irritate a lot of unhealed people.
Shine anyway."

I have tried to fit into a more stable box.
One that has a nice tight lid.
One that is smaller in size.
One that does not take up space.

I wanted to be unseen, unheard, uninvolved.

And, it still wasn't enough.

I was still sought out.
I was still called names.
I still felt hurt, and very seen.
I was left feeling inside out and outside in.

I got even smaller.
I was more quiet. I was more withdrawn.
I hid. All the while, smiling through it.

It is my year of self respect.
It was time for me to look at myself to see what I was doing to attract pain...I am the common denominator.

All while I was telling you two to be who you are. At your core. Don't let this world change you. Try and allow your light to change the world...even when it gets hard.

"remember to always be you, because you're the best you I know."

So then I started calling myself names.
Hypocrite. Unauthentic. Maybe there is something wrong with my heart. Maybe my issues are that I am searching for something that can't be filled externally. I am just too damn much.

Or. Maybe it's not about me at all.
Or. Maybe it is.

Maybe it says something about me that I am searching.
Maybe it says something about me that I am in pain.
Maybe it says something about me that I do love hard.
Maybe it says something about me that I feel energy and emotions and can pick up on the room's energy.
Maybe it says something about me that people can feel my energy.

Maybe it is way too much.
Maybe I exhaust myself and others.
Maybe there is a lighter, smaller, easier way.
Maybe I can live a smaller life.

"remember to always be you, because you're the best you I know."

I do not have nor do I want a smaller life.
I do not live nor do I want to live in a glimmer-less world.
I do not want to pretend that the little things are special.
I do not want to smile through it.
I do not want to be closed off.
I do not want to not love with all I have.
I do not want to be less obsessed with what I love.

I want to plan in decades, because I see you in my future.
I want to be the one that shows up, because I love you.
I want to be the one you can count on, because I am here.
I want to be the one that understands you can't talk right now, because sometimes time is the best medicine.
I want to be the lover of life.
I want to be as passionate as I am.
I want to cry when things move me.
I want to laugh when things are funny.
I want to remember that there are dark corners everywhere so I'm okay celebrating light.
I want to tell you how beautiful you are because I believe it.
I want to listen to you, because life can be a lot and we all need good listeners.
I want to love what I love because it moves me.
I want to love a book so much I don't want it to end. And I want to be okay with the fact that I'm actually sad that it did end.
I want to be obsessed with our lives - because sometimes, it is so beautiful it could be a dream.
I want to be all in, because I'm an all in girl.
I want to be a light, because I know how dark it can get.
I want to be and am madly in love with a puppy we adopted. Because it is crazy how much I love her.
I want to find peace, love, relaxation in long rainy days. I want to linger in the sound.
I want to find comfort and warmth in snow days. I want to linger in the cozy.
I want to be obsessed with my work because I love love love to work. Because I am a relentless human.
I want to love how much I train like a savage. I put effort into me, my body, my health, my mind, my care. Because I am a relentless human.
I want to be the one you find to scale that mountain with. Because I am a relentless human.
I want to okay with being me. Because I am a relentless human.

"remember to always be you, because you're the best you I know."

To my littles and to myself...
"Keep good company, read good books, love good things and cultivate soul and body as faithfully as you can" - Louisa May Alcott

17
Jul

Paradise

I spent a week in heaven.

Paradise actually.

Surrounded by sun, blue water, white sand, heat, views, mountain tops, drinks, amazing dinners, my family of four.

Paradise, actual paradise.

But, it started to creep in...just a little anxiety because I was sick.
And then a little more because we landed and I couldn't hear due to the congestion and my ears being clogged.
And then a little more because of the heat and trying to find our card.
And then a little more because we needed to find the house and the escort.
And then a little more because I realized the home didn't have AC (only in the bedrooms).
And then a little more because bugs ate us alive the second we opened our doors.
And then a little more because I realized I couldn't work out at all, no way to run up and down the mountains, no way to take a walk, even without the mountain, the temperature wouldn't allow it.
And then a little more just because.

But I'm in paradise, actual paradise.

And then I started to really miss the puppy, and I couldn't shake my old feeling of dread.
And then I started to not be able to sleep well.
And then I woke up to "we have to go as soon as possible" and "are you ready to go?" and "are we ready?".
Usually, I can just roll with that, but it all started to be...a little more.

And then the kids started to get to me, just a little here and there.
And then the facial expressions got to me, just enough.
And then I called my mom and heard her voice and how much my puppy was hugging her and she couldn't understand her love.
And then my illness landed in my chest, and the coughing started.

And then I started to feel better.
And then I went for a swim - and I remembered how hard swimming is!
And then I went for another swim and got all the one from one side to the other and I felt great!
And then I started to dance with my kids.
And then we shopped.
And then my husband and I talked and connected.
And then I felt even better.
And then it was getting closer to getting home, and I was ready.

And now I'm back. Puppy at my feet.
Working out and walking and being in my home.
Drinking my coffee, sleeping in my snuggled bed.
Getting our home ready for renters, just a few weekends this time so we can enjoy our time here.
Doing my laundry and making and eating dinner together.
Thunderstorms and heavy rains at night.
Concerts and tourists all over our little town.
The feel, the energy, the rhythm.
Routine in check.

Paradise, actual paradise.

27
Mar

Here and now

Do not look back. And do not dream about the future, either...Your duty, your reward—your destiny—are here and now. –DAG HAMMARSKJOLD

I spend a lot of time deep in my past.
I also spend quite a bit of time wondering about my future.
That leaves very little time for the here and now.

Several years ago, I made a shift.
It wasn't overnight, and it wasn't a huge change, but it was significant for me.
I was never 100 percent where I was supposed to be, I was never 100 percent "present" but I leaned a little harder into the here and now.

It started with my runs.
I stopped racing and I started just running.
I no longer had to hit miles, I no longer racked them up, and I no longer had to prove I could do hard things.
Instead, I ran. I just ran to go for runs.
I stopped sometimes.
I watched the seasons change.
I watched my puppy.
I looked at the trees around me, I paid attention to the sky.
I looked at my surroundings, a lot.
I noticed things...like my breath and the sound of my feet.
I listened to her tag rattle against her collar and I heard the pitter-patter of her little feet too.

I then moved on to baths.
I took them much more often.
I sank into them, I really really sank into the warmth.
It felt like a hug and I just sat.
I lit candles, sometimes.
I made it a bubble bath, sometimes.
I brought wine with me, sometimes.
Sometimes I read or listened to music.
Other times I just sat there, alone, in the quiet.

Then, I started reading more, or again, or more again.
Either way, I started to end my night with a book instead of a screen.
I started to get lost in other stories instead of everyday reality, we all get enough of that.
I read slowly but that's okay, it's amazing how once you start reading more, you want to read more and more.
And I forgot how much I get lost in books and stories and how attached I get to characters.
How much I learn about myself or find myself attracted to a personality.
So, I started to read a lot more.

I started walking as a hobby.
Seriously.
My puppy and I walk and walk and walk.
I can feel my body open up.
I can feel myself calm the hell down.
How can you not with that little face so excited to take in the smells and sights?
She is so so happy on her walks and her joy is kind of everything.

Then, I took a look at my work.
How crazed I get about the mistakes of my past and worried about the future.
The traps I fall into like all of the "what ifs". I play the "what if" game a hell of a lot!
But, I didn't want to wake up again and have killed my joy of this path too so I got a handle on it.
I didn't want to realize that I was living a life of constant nightmares and crying so I needed to fix it.
So, I went to work on fixing my work and what it means to me.
I tried to remember that I am not my mistakes.
That I need thicker skin, most times.
I then realized that I can take some breaks.
I can clear my head.
I have the right people around me that have my back.
People smarter than me that work hard and keep me informed.
I found a way to start problem-solving again and being much more solution focused - I had forgotten I can do that.
I deal with things one at a time.
I try to not get too wrapped up in my self-made traps and I am learning a different style and approach.

I am not always and forever in the "here and now".
It's not who I am or how I tick, but I am trying and I am getting a little bit better.
And the most incredible thing I have noticed is, I do like noticing things.
I love watching the lake I run by change with the seasons.
I love taking in the colors of summer and the bitter gray of the winters in NY.
I love how many trips we now get to fit in and I love that the kids realize I am around and I love love love that I no longer feel like someone is standing on my chest.

Your duty, your reward—your destiny—are here and now.

7
Mar

Living a little slower

"But rushing around seems what's wrong with the world..." DMB

I live a life of doing...striving...full of grit...full of determination...full of goals...and next steps...I always rush.
From one meeting to the next, from one thing to the other, I wore busy like a freaking badge of honor.

Grit, determination, goals, and even stress...those can all be good things.
Until they are not.
Like everything in the world, too much of a good thing is never good and I always crossed a line.
And my biggest complaint was exhaustion but I was unable to sleep. No longer dreaming but living in nightmares.

I was burnt out and I felt like my life had no meaning.
If I wasn't running, what was the point?
I had a goal in mind and I was going to get there, even if it made me a disaster.

And then I gave up a career that defined me and I started something I never imagined I could.
I gave up on what I thought I was always and forever meant for, but what I clearly was loving to death.
Because it was going to be the end of the real me if I stayed much longer.

And then the world stopped spinning and COVID forced us all to stop.
So stop I did.
I stopped rushing and planning and meeting.
I stopped races and racing.
I put a stop to proving I could do hard things. I already know I can so who do I need to prove it to anymore?

And then I figured out how sick I was - how sick I was making myself.
Because it's not normal to cry that much.
It's not normal to have dreams that are war zones.
It's not normal to feel like someone is standing on your chest.
And it's not normal to work that damn hard.
It's also not normal to get the shakes, to forget the most important and the least important things.

And then my father was diagnosed and everything in my life was chaos.
And it was complicated.
And I tried.
And I cried and cried and cried.
And through all of the pain, chaos, dysfunction, complications, and family dynamics, I felt prepared.
I felt as though my heartbeat had finally slowed.
It was no longer racing in my chest, but instead it slowed down even more.

Because I had changed.
I was no longer the woman that was looking to prove herself.
I was showing up for very different reasons.
I was also losing huge parts of me and I was learning who I now was without.

I said goodbye to a career and a definition of who I was.
I said goodbye to people I thought would be my always and forever.
I said goodbye to a man I thought would outlive us all.
I said goodbye to parts of me I was ready to shed.

I put down my fighting gloves.
I lost my venom.
I lost my voice at times.
I lost my desire to stand up for myself a lot.

And I slowed down a lot.
I started to really take notice of the change of seasons.
I listened to my breath on a run.
I took in the colors around me.
I pet and snuggled my dog.
I slept and napped and slept and fell deeper and deeper into sleep.
I ran to hear my feet and feel my lungs push a little bit.
I went all in on a workout and backed off when I realized it was too much - I realized something was too much!
I read before bed now.
I travel a lot.
I walk and walk and walk and walk the dog.
I soak in tubs.
I take crazy hot showers.
I'm with my kids.
My daughter and I talk.
My son and I snuggle.
We have actual time together to just be together.

"Breathing just to breathe
We might find some reason...
" - DMB

13
Feb

Searching

I am out with lanterns, looking for myself. - Emily Dickinson

Hi sweet loves.
There are times in all of our lives in which we go searching.
We find ourselves a little lost.

Sometimes, it's because we don't know if we should stay in a relationship.
Sometimes, it's because we don't know what to do with a career.
Sometimes, it's because of our location and thoughts of moving.
Sometimes, it's because we just feel lost.
So we go searching.

Sometimes, it's because we have to make serious changes.
Sometimes, it's because we have to make decisions that are life-changing.
Sometimes, it's because we don't feel like ourselves and sometimes, it's because we've forgotten who we are.
So we go searching.

In 2023, your mom went searching.
After so much loss in her life, after feeling so off, after feeling so tired, she went searching.

I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.

I'm trying to figure myself out...again.
I'm trying to find myself...again.
I'm searching for my heart, but afraid to find it because I know there is still pain there.
I'm searching for myself, but afraid to find her because I know she is hurt.

And I have to ask myself if I'm really ready to find her.
Am I ready to pick her up? Am I ready to hold her up?
But I'm tired of feeling so heavy and I'm tired of feeling so off.
I'm tired of feeling and I'm tired of pretending.
So I do have a lot to figure out.

So, throughout your life, you too will go searching, I'm sure of it.
Especially for you Anna, you will find yourself time and time again a little lost.
It sneaks up on you when you don't think it should.
When you're young, when you're old, when you're unsettled, and when you're settled.
And it will happen more times than you can imagine.

For me it happened when I graduated college.
Then multiple times in my career.
Once to leave the city dad and I fell in love in.
Once after the fog fell onto our home and again and again and again.

So, I am out there again, with lanterns, looking for myself.
Trying to shine a light on the darkness all around me.
Trying to see if I can find her, most likely huddled on the ground.
Holding her knees close to her chest.
Most likely crying.
Most likely cold and wishing for a little comfort and warmth.

I'm coming, just look for my lantern and give me a shout, I'll find you soon enough.

5
Feb

Joy begin

Oh joy begin
Weak little thing
More precious there'll be nothing, no
Oh joy begin

Sweet loves of mine...
I have shared how motherhood was not what I had imagined in my life.
I have shared how worried I always was to be a mom.
I have shared how I put motherhood out of my mind.
But I share my life with a man that would not have it any other way.
Fatherhood was always a part of his story.

More precious there'll be nothing, no
Oh joy begin

When you first came into our lives, the joy of parenting was overwhelming.
I cannot begin to tell you how at peace I was in our first three years of life.
Joy had entered my soul in a way that I did not realize would happen.
My connection to your father was so intense, we were living a significant part of our purpose...
not just to be parents, but to be your parents.
I had no fear, I had no concerns, I just mothered and loved.
Let's not forget these early days...oh joy begin

And then, without warning, without realizing it...a fog came over us.
Draped in a heavy cloud, gray, full of darkness, it fell hard and fast.
We then spent years of our lives blindly stumbling through, no longer co-parenting, no longer connected, no longer living our purpose, but continuously trying.
We landed in such a way that our love allowed us to clear a path...we always knew we were all still there, we just needed to find a way, our way.
We lose our way in fear and pain...oh joy begin

As we lived through this fog, I look back and think of how thick it was to fight our way through.
Not our coach, he doesn't even remember it.
As I look back, I think of the pain, the tears, the difficulties.
Not our coach, he remembers our children growing up in front of his eyes.
And the truth is, we are both right. Both of those things happened at the same time.

More precious there'll be nothing, no
Oh joy begin

Looking back at our time together, so many things developed.
You grew, you grew and you grew and you grew and you grew.
And so did we.
Together, we built on something and intentionally tried to find joy.

We made joyous decisions like...
we would travel and give you experiences.
we would show you parts of the country and world that we hadn't seen.
We made joyous decisions like...
we would give you opportunities to try new things, things you wanted to try
instruments and sports and clubs and friends
We made joyous decisions like...
we would fill our home with traditions and foundations that you relied on
we would fall back to the real us and snuggle in
we would show each other love in wonderful ways
we would rely on each other
We made joyous decisions like
we would adopt and take care of a dog
we would show them our love and attention
we would take care of them and hold them as close as we held each other
We made joyous decisions like
we would read together
we would play board games
we would watch movie series
we would connect, in any way possible, we would connect.

After so many years, the fog is definitely lifting.
We can see how much more clearly now.
We have repaired much of the hurt we have faced.
We allowed love to fix the broken and find our way back.
There are reasons we are here now...

First and foremost, we would not give up on us.
With you growing, I leaned so heavily on dad and his parenting style.
We talked and talked and talked.
We listened to each other and made changes based on the pain we were causing.
We lost a lot together, more than we knew we were going to. More than we had imagined at this point in our lives. And, when you really are family, well, you fall into each other during significant loss and pain. You push each other to look differently at life. You ask each other about different ways it could have gone. You support each other, but also make sure you are being honest. You remember that your person makes you the best version of you and you show up.
We remembered that we are partners in the best way. It's the most wonderful thing about us lovies and recently, it has become so evident and makes me well, joyful.

It is important to me that you hear and remember all of us sweet loves.
Life, relationships, marriage, and partners, it is work. Real-life work. Forever work. The most important work.
It is so easy to love in the hard, it is so so easy to love in the easy. It is so easy to love in the beginning.
It is so much work to love forever. The most important job you will have is being in a relationship...any relationship. Friendships, forever loves, family, framily...they are all important work...our most important work.
Because why else are we all here if not to connect, support, love, push, cherish, engage, challenge, and adore one another?

If you ever find yourself in the deep of the fog, keep talking, keep searching, keep remembering.
Do not forget your story, your connection, your reasons.
Do not believe the lies of everyday bliss and joy.
Do not believe that there will not be fog.
Do not believe that the work isn't worth it, it always is.
Do not forget our story, our love story.
The one that began with two innocent kids, falling so easily for each other.
Finding joy so remarkably easily.
And then with intention, finding our way back.

With laughter sing, oh life begin
First just one step

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