Stepping Back for a Moment…

Lately, I find myself stepping back and taking it all in.  What a year we have had.  It has been one of the most productive years for us in a very long time and a very happy one too!

The year started with me experiencing a lot of trepidation.  After all, if it was going to be anything like the last few years I thought I’d better hang on!  Life had been more than a roller coaster…with it’s up and downs…turning sideways…flipping over…and twisting back again…only to roll faster again towards the unknown….

This year was different!  And, it was very welcomed.

I like to think about the year in relation to an experience Bill and I had just a few weeks ago.  Bill and I had being driving through the Ozarks, and we happened to come across a river.  We just had to pull over and check it out!  It was as if we were little kids again and intrigued by exploration!  As we stood, glancing around at the scenery, we noticed a bridge in the distance with beautifully curved arches.  The river was lined with trees heavy and bountiful with brilliantly colored leaves.  The hue of the leaves ranged from purple to pink, yellow to  orange and red…and there was us…the sun shining down with a surprisingly unique purple hue as it peeked through the trees…it shined its warmth on us filling us both with happiness, joy and hope.

Just like the beauty of that river and the trees so has been our life this year.  The year began with outright fear of what was to come, and then swiftly as the months passed it grew noticeably brighter and more  hopeful.  We sailed through May, which was a turning point for someone extremely dear and special to us. And then, of all things, we found ourselves in Ottawa, Kansas working alongside some extraordinary people.  Out of that experience grew new friendships that I can tell will help carry us along as we journey forward in life.

And just like the sun shining on us that day warm feelings are evoked as I find myself feeling thankful for my beautiful family, our friends new and old…and this year something different…I am thankful to be a part of erasing the stigma surrounding mental illness, and becoming a part of mental illness awareness.  I myself have broken through the stigma and actually find that I am not afraid, but instead I desire to talk about it!  How exciting can that be?  To be a part of change…a changing world…and to have the opportunity to embrace it…be a part of it…and just like the changing color of those leaves change in such a way as to say welcome…sit her awhile and enjoy the glorious moment…

Strides are being made, and I look forward to the day that all of us, including our dear loved ones living with the challenges of a mental  illness, find peace and acceptance.  Thank you to everyone for being a part of our story and listening to me as I cope through my writings.  We are beyond blessed.  Thank you for being all the beautiful colors of the rainbow!  Here’s a toast to family, friends , change and acceptance!

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