Down to the wire of course but writing this is something I not only promised but want to do. We have so much to be grateful for this year as a family and an organization.
Three things stand out to me as true gifts; finding light in darkness, finding reassurance in authenticity and remembering the foundation of family grounds the efforts of kindness, generosity and healing we work so hard to provide.
So in our journey to spread the message of the irreplaceable person we have learned one thing that has allowed us to focus on the grateful. I’ll call it the ‘Both | And’…. A phrase used by a very wise friend of mine.
Light in darkness: Life is not always what we expect, life is not always easy or planned. Life can be hard, dark and confusing. Control and perfection are illusions that leave us with unrealistic expectations. But in the darkness and disbelief of disappointment we can find the light. In fact, as an artist I often use the contrast of the darkness of a Rembrandt and point to the gentle hardly noticeable light. To be truly grateful, there has to be something to contrast the beauty to or we might not see it.
No matter how challenging the situation or the person, there is a lesson of growth. All of life’s challenges whether small or overwhelming offer us an opportunity however small to see the light. Life is both a challenge and a lesson. It is a gift we are grateful for to be able to stop, breathe and look for that light.
Authenticity and honesty: There is no substitute for a genuine and pure intentioned person. Add in some passion and those people placed in our life can renew our hope in humanity when we are down. At our toughest moments this fall with our work with You Can NOT Be Replaced; when people saddened us and took advantage of us, we found that the most amazing people stepped forward. It was a ‘Both|And’ experience again.
People can be shallow, selfish and motivated by pride. But people can also be healers, genuine, caring and real. Words cannot express the depth of gratefulness we have for the genuine people we have met through You Can NOT Be Replaced.
Family: We tell the kids we speak to when we go to schools that at our core is the impact of our very first attachments. Our first community- our family. Imperfect as they may be (there is both light and dark), the people who loved us first are forever a part of our story.
When life is challenging the worst we experienced from the dark times of family rears its ugly head. Go to any holiday table to see family members regress. But also when times are troubled the love of our families, however broken, shows up too.
As children we are reminded of our beginnings and securities when with our families. They are our safe place. As adults we are aware of the ever growing importance to keep relationships strong, simple and healthy. No matter what You Can NOT Be Replaced is challenged with, blessed with, accomplishes or encounters- our family is there loving us the best they can, while we love them with the best we have.
Our rock and safe place is our home. For the blessings of family we are truly grateful. Everything we do as an organization; the stories we tell and the lives we hope to save, come from the events and experiences of our family, our children and their friends.
Life is both dark and light
People are both challenging and authentic
Family is complex but simple
For these things were are thankful
USC’s Gratitude Campaign
This is my cousin Lisa. Well, my fathers cousin..I’m the first cousin once removed.
Her Dad, is my Dad’s uncle who was only 8 year older than him. Uncle Doug was always someone special in our house. Someone to look up to. He is the subject of this beautiful memoir.
He was a special person and so is she.
She says different….not so different if you ask me
There is nothing in life more important than our relationships. That’s hard to say after spending a weekend with them! Those of you who have a hard time with family will nod your heads at that.
This is a little window into a father and daughter with a relationship they worked at. Like we all have to. Its not supposed to be perfect this life; its a journey, a learning experience of navigating the tough stuff and coming out on the other side with deeper understanding of one another. We then pass those lessons to others and work continually in this organic and ever changing life towards being just a little better than we were the year before.
Excellent and honest.
How interesting that this author went viral on a beautiful post about real marriage, but the real gift for many will be that they notice this post. Well done
This blog post is thought provoking to say the least.
When we had our babies we were close with many families on the same journey. We always put together meals for one another, we joked that it was worth having a baby so you didnt have to cook for 8 weeks….our friends were that good.
This article makes you think, how easy it is and how we support each other with the birth of a child, or if someone is ill like in this piece.
Why then dont we see a family with a child struggling with depression or addiction that same way? The family is suffering a change from ‘normal’, they are carrying a burden that is beyond what they are used to .
Honestly we’re here to help each other and carry one another through the hard times. Why then do we look the other way, afraid to ask, afraid to make eye contact and give a hug…or even bring a meal. Suffering is suffering no matter how its packaged and delivered.
Think about it
Nice article, remember grief comes in stages and has many faces. Temperament and relationships play a role in healing. Grief is work. You dont ‘get over it’ you work through it.
You Can NOT Be Replaced® Website update!
There is also a really cool email grabber on both. Don’t forget to sign up for coupons and cool updates, snippets about what we’re doing, and stuff before it hits the market. The regular website is focused on the organization and the new one is mainly for schools or adults who work with youth.
Dont forget to tell your friends! Thanks