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Praise For What Remains

For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it. Amanda Gorman

Praise for toasty flannel sheets, hot showers, fuzzy blankets, the comforting weight of a slumbering 45 pound lap dog.

For vivid, late-night dreams where my long dead father can walk unassisted and my son is healthy, whole and here. For the burst of warmth upon walking and the sweet reminder that our time spent together is mine forever.

For long hikes under majestic, towering oak trees; startled vultures with mouths full of deer; well-behaved dogs and friendly owners.

For pale Northern California sunshine brightening these gray winter days and the brilliant orange and pink sunsets. Shimmering reminders that spring is coming.

Praise for my body, stalwart and steady, sometimes leaner, often plumper, still able to carry me out into the world.

For my heart, broken and beating, shattered and strong.

For my inner ear that can hear my son’s voice still. His calm, gentle tone and deep belly laugh. His nightly blessing of “hugs and kisses and high fives.”

For shared giggles, inside jokes and late night secrets exchanged under the cover of darkness.

For the broken places that speak their own language to other grieving souls who need no interpreter.

Praise for the friends who could hold my grief and understood the healing power of silence. Who didn’t wait for the right time or the perfect task or feel compelled to fix.

For the ones who couldn’t and walked away, making more space for those who could.

For letting go of burdens that are not mine to carry and no longer waiting for apologies that will never come.

For all the ways love shows up. In texts and calls. Errands and offers of help. Long walks and intense talks. Gardenia soap and yellow #JimmyStrong wristbands. Shared adventures and “Remember when …” Love that comes no matter what and helps light my way home.

For casseroles, chocolate cookies and homemade meals wrapped in kindness and compassion. The smell of Major Dickason’s coffee and Molly’s vegan lemon cashew pasta, wafting up to my home office.

Praise for stories, raw and real. The ones that taught me I wasn’t alone, showed me how to survive, inspired me to go on.

For writing to understand, remember or heal. For words that fix my loved ones in time, hold them close or, like sparks from a campfire, scatter them out into the world.

Praise for this life of mine … precious and fragile and still full of joy.

For learning to accept what is lost and embrace all that remains.

For this broken, beautiful world and the blessing of waking up in it, even when I had every reason not to.

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