Loved from afar....reflections after loss and Orlando

My mother died on December 24, 2011. At the time I was 30, I had been married for 10 years and had 3 children with one on the way. I had started a good career as a teacher, at a school I really really liked, my husband was finally going to graduate college and was a stay-at-home dad with plans to get a pretty good job or stay home in the fall. Life was ok.

Losing my mother put my husband and I in a tailspin. She was an integral part of our family. Picking up my children from school, having weekly dinners with us and generally just being a great grandmother to her grand children. But more than that, she was my friend. She was my husband's friend. We had no way (or desire) to replace her. But, there was such a huge void. It was more than the cliched "hole in your heart" was a crater in my life!

Over the last 4.5 years we have attempted to make small changes and edits to our lives to allow the pain of that crater to be some what diminished from the pain it was originally. But it has taken some serious work and a lot of time.

This summer, I am teaching summer school at my mother's last school assignment as an Art Teacher before she died. There are several pieces of art around the building and they are all captivating, which was her style. But, she also left a more everlasting piece of herself. Her love for gardening. She started and created a beautiful courtyard, complete with a seedling of her grandmother's rose bush. I have been asked to help maintain those flowers, and oh what a gift it is. It is a quiet gift of her love to get to care for her roses.

Earlier this week there was a shooting in Orlando. If you had not already heard, it was pretty awful. My heart hurts for those who have lost loved ones. For those who feel threatened. For those who have felt this pain. Then more recently this week, a child was ripped from his parents at a beach in Orlando at a Disney Resort Hotel.

There is no simple way to solve the many problems that are affecting our society right now. For what ever reason, some people have real fundamental problems with other people for religious, social, cultural or other reasons. I do not pretend that I understand what is going on.

All I can say to those who have lost loved ones or are affected by the many tragedies; you are loved.

I hope over time you are able to find love and support in these times and are able to find peace.

Look for the moments when your loved ones will speak to you. Because they will. It will be subtle and quiet, but it will be there.

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