Wishing you a year of hope in 2013

Well, it is the end of 2012 and I have survived the many challenges I was faced with.   2012 also brought many opportunities to learn, grow, love and appreciate. I chose to focus on the positive events and people that are in my life. Looking back on the year it would be easy to recite the big list of negatives that found their way into my life, but fortunately, I have grown to where has become a habit to reflect on the positive, the things I am and remain grateful for.

This was not an easy journey-nor is it over. I wake every day committed to living it gratefully.  Some days I live hour by hour, others minute by minute.  As I type this, I am with out heat. My fingers are frozen. The repairman came out but it can not be fixed until morning. Could I have gotten mad? Yes. Could I have let it ruin my New Years? Certainly. Instead I told him, this was just an inconvenience-I will have heat tomorrow and for that I am grateful. There are those who deal with this daily. So I get to bundle up. light a fire in the fire place and put a good movie on TV. Things could be so much worse.  I know-I have been down the darkest road.  While some days I struggle to see the light, I have hope and faith that it will always be there guiding my way.

I am grateful to each and everyone of you who not only believed in me and my foundation, but who continue to support me both personally and through the foundation.  I am truly humbled when someone tells me how I have reached out to them or how an event or posting helped them.  I can only hope to continue on this path and grow along with each of you.

I am grateful for my husband, whose health is finally settling into what it may be and amazingly we have together survived a string of events these past three years that would break the best of them. Our love continues to grow and guide us on our journey.  I am grateful for my sons, who enrich my life daily with their love and laughter, who I am proud not only to call them sons, but friends.  They have grown into their own and yet remain a constant in my life.  I am grateful for my family who continues to put up with me and my sketchy moods understanding that my grief is a life long journey and I am learning how to walk it each day.  I am grateful for friends who have stood by me when my life came crashing down.  They did not run out of fear, they stayed and listened and share memories with me.  I am grateful for all my new friends I have met through this grief journey.  They have shown me hope, support and love.  Honestly, I am grateful to those who have chosen not to be a part of my life/ You have taught me many things; patience, tolerance, and mostly that my life is better when surrounding myself with those who want my love and friendship. While there are some I would choose to have back in my life, I realize that it is not my choice, my decision and I live with hope that one day things will work out how they are meant to-even if it is not how I think it should be. I do believe that Love will always win out!

When I look back at all the foundation has accomplished over the year, I am humbled and honored and privileged to have shared so many beautiful moments.

  • In March we held our first memorial blood drive in honor of Tony’s birthday. We collected over 92 units-one of the largest blood drives they had in the area!
  • In April, we hosted a A Day with Mitch and Alan-A proactive grief workshop which was attended by over 50 people from as far away as New Jersey.
  • We also gave away a scholarship to The Compassionate Friends/USA National Conference and added to our Full Sail scholarship fund.
  • We started a group to host activities to help heal-the first being a banner to be carried at The TCF national walk to remember with photos and names of all our children.
  • In July I attended and volunteered at The Compassionate Friends conference and made plans to provide a scholarship to the 2013 conference in Boston.
  • In August, we held our 2nd Annual BROWNSTOCK Fundraiser-a very successful, fun event which enables us to continue to support and host our healing events.
  • In September, we hosted a free concert by bereaved parent and speaker/songwriter/performer Alan Pedersen with the Angels Across the USA. The evening reaches across all types of losses and unties us for an evening of understanding and hope.
  • October brought me to The American Grief Academy School which was hel in Omaha NE where I took classes to become a grief servies provider. It was a very intense and informational four days packed full of knowledge and sharing. I am woking on a final project since completing the academic portion
  • December of course was our annual candle lighting which is always a beautiful and healing night. We collected almost 200 pounds of food for our local food bank during the night.
  • Through out December the foundation hosted a Toys for Tots drive where we collected 197 toys!

2013 looks to be a growing year for the foundation. I plan to work towards the foundations “make a wish” goal We will also be holding our 2nd memorial blood drive on March 2nd. We are actively involved in a community out reach program which will bring a program of hope and healing to the community of Newtown, We are also on the committee for the National Compassionate Friends 2013 Conference and will be helping at the Bereaved Parents USA conference.
We also hope to bring Alan Pedersen and the Angels back and will be working on many other healing activities and events to help the bereaved walk this journey.

We wish you a year of ordinary days, because it is truly those days that we tend to be our best. I wish you health, love, peace and contentment-but mostly-I wish you enough!

I will not wish you a “happy” 2013.  Some of us have a dislike for the word happy.  I will wish you a year filled with memories that make your heart fill with love, a year of peace, health and hope.

 

Live each and every day your best. Be gentle with yourself and others. Smile when you can, laugh when possible and love always!

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