2017 started rough - a dying cousin passed away. Living 1000 miles from my homeland, I've missed many funerals, weddings, gatherings and family time which is the result of loving my Kansas man! But I also pick and choose - so this time, when my beloved cousin who was like a little brother to me in many ways, passed on to be with Jesus.
I had to go North.
I took two (half) of the kiddos and we hit the road hard - winter travel when you head to Canada isn't a given and I knew that we would navigate ice and snow. We safely made it up, only on the day of the funeral a whopping blizzard arrived - I was thinking "I didn't drive 1000 miles to miss going to this funeral!" Luckily I was staying only 6 miles from the church and was able to make it. Highways were closed, schools cancelled - but I made it and am glad I was able to be there for the celebration of his life. Sadly my brother who grew up with my cousin, was further away and couldn't make it - neither could my own Mom as the highways she'd travel were closed.
I was so grateful to hear how my cousin touched soo many and loved Jesus soo much - his life, like my past brother's was a testimony of faith! At age 44 leaving behind a loving wife and two younger daughters, my heart ached for them all. We've experienced so much loss lately - and it doesn't stop. I realize as I continue to age, the losses will continue too - and I view the youth as I once was, not fully getting it - funerals aren't just for the old - they happen to younger people too. But the reality as I look at loved ones and friends - more funerals will come. They are the passage of life we all experience at one time or another.
We returned home in a rush - trying to beat the oncoming ice storm forecast for our area. God kept us safe and I happily spent many hours inside, watching rain / ice form and doing my piles of laundry!
Time is a healer - I'm embracing my time, healing as I can and taking it all one day at a time.
Remembering to pay it forward in the world we live in - when I think I have it tough, I simply look around and there is always someone who is having a harder time. Giving love and kindness to those around me. Being true to myself. Riding the parenting train through these teen years - learning grace, forgiveness and toughing it all out.
Peace - my goal is more inner peace for 2017. To let go of the things I can't change, accept what is and continue to hold to my morals despite the world around me.
Peace....find beauty in everyday things and cherish them. May you too!