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The Waves.

Have you ever had the privilege to sit at the edge of the ocean and watch the waves crash over the sand?

If you have not, you should make it a priority, it is a beautiful thing to watch and to hear.

And they say the ocean is good for ones soul, I am sure the peace that comes from watching and hearing the waves is part of that goodness. And in all the beauty and the peace, as each wave crashes, there is also purpose, the wind blows to create the waves and the waves crash to move the water to minimize the extremes of the planets temperature. Without the waves, we would have a completely different climate, and a completely different ocean.

Eleven years ago today, my life was completely different.

I was 21. I can still remember the day like yesterday. I woke up, at my friends house where I was living at the time, texted my mom back to tell her I loved her and I would talk to her at their first stop and i headed to work.

Just an average day...

Only this day, she, along with my dad, my younger sisters and my younger brother were heading to Chicago to visit family, aboard my dads small Cesna six seater airplane. He had flown this route many times, only this time, would be his last.

My mom never called me at that stop, and she has never called me again.

And my heart will never be whole again.

This day eleven years ago, my family went to Heaven instead of Chicago.

Eleven years ago today, I died with my family but have had to go on without them for over 4,000 days.

After a few years of trying to manage my grief on my own, with counselors I decided I needed to try something else. I started attending a grief group called Grief Share hosted at a local church. *These groups still meet at various churches.*

It was at Griefshare, I finally started to find some healing. And purpose. And like the ocean needs waves, so does grief. And for the first time, I felt it was "okay" to have all different emotions. It was "okay" to be sad and happy and angry all at the same time. Despite what other people had to say about it. I was "normal" in my grieving process. And like the ocean waves have so much purpose, so do the waves of emotions. My emotions have shaped me, some ways for the better, some ways for the worse. But regardless, the waves were and still are necessary to who God wants me to be.

Isnt it interesting to think about the ocean and the waves and even in all their beauty...there are times of calm and times of chaos. The waves can be beautiful and small and fulfilling their purpose, but then almost out of nowhere, a hurricane can start. The winds get so high, it forces the waves to be catastrophic and dangerous. And for a time, those waves loose some of their beauty, because they are so terrifying.

Just like life.

Just like grief.

Sometimes, some moments in life, cause our waves of emotions to be SO huge.

So uncontrollable.

So terrifying.

So uncomfortable.

And during these times, moments, "life hurricanes", we can loose site of the goodness and all the beauty. We do things that may not make sense, we think things that may not be true, we say things that may not be nice.

And then the hurricane ends.

They always end.

And we look around to see who is still standing with us.

Loving us.

Supporting us.

Forgiving us.

Just like a real hurricane.

We look around for those who are still standing with us.

Rebuilding with us.

Cleaning with us.

Feeding us.

Helping us.

And it is in those people, we start to see the goodness again.

We get a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.

We find hope, again.

We begin, again.

The ocean waves get smaller again, beautiful again.

Life gets 'normal' again.

And those waves, re-design who we are, again.

The storm reminds us who God has chosen us to be, again.


These past eleven years have been full of hurricanes. Last year, was by far one of the worst and it still has not completely subsided. And as we continue to look around for those still standing with us, the waves of emotion constantly take over.

Today, eleven years ago, my life was completely different.

Today, last year, my life was completely different.

Storms change us.

Today, I am getting on an airplane.

Eleven years after my family died on an airplane.

Today, the waves are fierce.

But God is good at rebuilding, redefining, and reminding.

And, as I think about last year, on THIS day, I was sitting in a conference room learning about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy...with waves crashing at the edge of my memories and my future. Happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, rage, joy, peace, fear, and hurt all at the same time...I realize, THIS year, TODAY, is no different. I am getting on an airplane, with the waves crashing at the edge of my memories and my future...and I am CHOOSING TO RIDE.

I hope today, you will all think about my family.

Share a memory, do something new, be kind, be loving.

Choose to ride the waves of not only your own storms, but also the storms of those around you.

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