This time of year is full of bumpy days. I haven’t written much about it this year (year 5) because I don’t know what to say. Most days I’m totally fine and then something will smack me in the face – a sneeze, a siren, driving by Regions – and make me cry. But those things are fewer and further between than they’ve been in the past few years.

Life is so good. Life is awesome. I’m so very lucky. 

So this year rather than trying to explain my feelings – good and bad – I’m going to tell you what I’m thankful for. If Brent hadn’t gotten sick, this whole thing wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people – Teri, Jennifer, Beth, Alyson, Molley, Jessica, Jen, Anne,…the list is endless. ENDLESS. I wouldn’t know about BlogU and the wonderful experiences to be had there. I’d have never run a half marathon – flying out to meet a woman I hadn’t met in real life (I won’t say I didn’t know because by then Teri and I were fast friends) – on the East Coast. I wouldn’t have run a marathon with Brent – he asked when I was still in the “I’M THANKFUL YOU’RE ALIVE AND I’LL DO ANYTHING YOU WANT TO- INCLUDING RUNNING A FULL FREAKING MARATHON” stage. I wouldn’t be a published author. I wouldn’t have snowboarding.

The last few years have forced me to grow up. I had to face the potential of life as a single mama of four. But I didn’t have to face that reality. What I had to reconcile is the guilt that comes from the fact I considered that as a possibility (and as sick as Brent was it was a very real possibility). And that after all was said and done I realized I’d have been okay. There is guilt in that – for me – anyhow.

I learned to say “no.” I learned to stand up for myself, navigate all the parts of being adult I avoided. I learned to be honest and forward – not all the time – but I’m working on it. I learned who my family is and how friends become part of your family.

Back to snowboarding for just a minute. By now if you don’t know I LOVE IT – you’re either new here, you’re a bot, or you just don’t care. I’m not great at it. I’m competent. I have a lot to learn, but guess what? I will learn it. I’ll keep working at it and working on myself along the way. Riding has been a huge source of self discovery for me as I push the edge of my fears almost every time I go out. (Breaking multiple bones my first ride may have a tad bit to do with that.) Watching my kids master a box or new trick inspires to me push myself on the skills I need to learn.

I wouldn’t have any of this if Brent hadn’t gotten sick.

Life is full of twists and turns. Ride it out because the other side of each one holds something amazing if you look for it.