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Little Pieces of Wisdom When Life Turns Upside Down

Quotes From "Lessons From My Son's Tattoo" Living with Resilience, Despite the Unthinkable

"Sometimes just being a strong and silent presence makes all the difference"

     An acquaintance noticed my husband and I sitting at a table near him in a restaurant.  He started walking over to us, I assumed to say hi.  Instead, he looked in my eye and said- “What is life but a series of moments linked together to make hours, days, month and years.  We don’t know how many of those moments each of us gets.  We decided what to make of them.  It is entirely our choice. ” My eyes welled up with tears.  I softly said, “you are quoting my book.”  He then showed me the notes page of his phone.  He said I have many quotes from your book saved to teach my children. Thank you for writing it.  This was my vision, my dream, my why.  Whether it be illness, addiction, divorce, abandonment or any of the ugly bumps that happen on the road of our humanness, I wrote my son’s story to have a voice whispering to you, keep going, learn from us.  

     Through his six years of battling childhood cancer, we stumbled, we fell, but somehow we always were able to rise and face another day.  Some of the wisdom we learned on how to do that is my gift to the world, letting my son’s life breathe through yours.  

THE LESSONS

Renew yourself and be thankful for the gift of a normal life! Don’t dwell on the challenges, ponder the ways you can be filled to the brim with your purpose and passion. You never know when life will turn, and you will need the strength of what you have become to carry you through. Be thankful that your world is more than just hoping to breathe another day. Expand, give, serve, and grow. Do it for those who do not have that choice, for those who must put all of their energy into sheer survival.

Sometimes just being a strong and silent presence makes all the difference.

Strive to create beautiful, real and honest life moments… connecting heart to heart, friend to friend. If you think about it, that’s what life is all about… human connection.

What is life but a series of moments linked together to make hours, days, months and years. We don’t know how many of those moments each of us gets. We decide what to make of them- it is entirely our choice.

The mind has an amazing way of prompting the body to respond when negative thoughts are not accepted.

Faith is trusting, even when there are no answers the human brain can provide.

In the midst of chaos and turmoil, there are always unexpected blessings.

Illness brings a wisdom all its own-a wisdom that teaches patience, tolerance and a new sense of value for the moments that make up life.

Navigating uncertainty teaches you to be flexible and open minded. It is uncomfortable, but necessary to have trust in a process that is unfamiliar and to remain optimistic and faithful that the path is the right one.

Rituals and routines become powerful tools for coping during massive life change.

Sometimes a smile instead of a stare can give a stranger the strength to navigate the next hour.

Reaching out of your own pain to help another can be a powerful part of healing.

Choosing gratitude for how far you have come, instead of the obstacles in getting there is empowering.

Find little windows of self-care to feed you for another day.

The value and appreciation of simple things is magnified when life as you know it is stripped away.

We don’t always know who among us is struggling emotionally or physically. Wouldn’t all of humanity be better served if we approached everyone with empathy and compassion, and not judgement?

Try not to judge when someone is not easy to get along with. Burdens are hard to carry. You never know what difficulty a person may be facing.

Try and remind yourself of your gifts and blessings. Even in the worst of times the only thing you can control is your reactions.

Live in the now. Embrace the gifts of the moment- because the moment is really all we have.

What is our purpose on earth if not to embrace one another through hardship and help lighten the burdens that challenge our faith and our fortitude?

In crisis you learn to put one foot in front of the other and cherish the few moments that feel normal. You learn to compartmentalize and keep moving, finding gratitude for the smallest bits of relief.

It is a gift to have small things to look forward to during challenging times. Learning to set the smallest of goals and feeling a sense of forward momentum fuels the heart.

Finding the compass points that help you see the horizon, even during turbulent times helps to keep you grounded and moving forward. For us they were courage, strength, friends, family, and faith.

It is difficult to do so, but you try to never let yourself go to that place where you look at “the big picture”- because the possibilities are too, too horrible. You live within and are grateful for, small victories, battle by battle.

Even on the very best of days, there can be a dark undercurrent that rumbles and shakes your core. Gratitude helps to quiet the rumble, snuff out the sadness, and go on living, like everyone else, most of the time.

Learn to set goals; benchmarks of normalcy that help steer you in small, deliberate ways.

Predictions often don’t match outcomes. The threat of turbulent storms sometimes yield a starlit night instead. Why wait for the lightning and thunder? If you keep marching forward sometimes the rain never comes. Sometimes you build new experiences and new memories, just by ignoring the warnings and enjoying the moments as they happen. Find small parts of life that are good. Don’t sit and wait for the storm to arrive. Play on.

Be like a child and find a calmness during challenging times. Throw some rocks in a puddle, watch the sun set, snuggle a little closer. Find peace during chaotic times with simple gestures like a child.

And so it is..  

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